What all I am packing for 34 days America trip? - eNidhi India Travel Blog

What all I am packing for 34 days America trip?

As you may be aware, I am on a 34 day trip across USA, Central America, South America and Canada. Past one week I've explored Washington (see Cherry blossom pics here), Baltimore, The Bahamas and now back in Florida, heading to Bogota Colombia tomorrow.
This being a 5 week long trip, what all I am packing? If you're curious to know, this post is for you. Do watch the video below for a quick detailing on what's in my bag. [Watch on youtube here]

 Apart from what's shown in the video, I am carrying a water bottle, a pair of slippers and an umbrella.

My reasons and motives for traveling light:
  • Save money: Most of domestic/regional low cost flights charge extra for check-in bag. Without one, I can save several dollars. (Spirit and Frontier charge for cabin bags also, which I am unable to avoid)
  • High mobility: I hate spending lots of money on taxi. If required, I am ok to walk a few kms. With a backpack alone, I will have high mobility, can start exploring right from airport, can walk a bit if required. If I take a check-in bag then dragging it all along won't be practical.
  • Saves time: Checked bags take lots of time to arrive on the belt- having to wait for them is wasted time
  • Less risk- Checked bags can get lost, delayed- with cabin bag only, my risk is minimized.
How I am planning to manage with only a cabin bag for 5 week trip?
Minimum Cloths: The main culprits why most of our bags swell. How much cloths do we need? Of course not possible to manage with just one or two pairs, but definitely we don't need dozens of them. I am carrying 5 sets of cloths plus one wearing- with these 6 sets, I am planning to manage for about a week and whenever time and situation permits, use laundry service, get them cleaned up and reuse. I will have to spend a few dollars on laundry but will save a lot w.r.t time, effort, money spent on taxi/check-in baggage.

No DSLR: I didn't carry my Nikon on most of my trips last year- to China, New Zealand, Australia etc. It adds up to about 2 kgs with body, lens, mini tripod etc. I have been able to manage with mobile photography of late- I miss DSLR only when there's a need to zoom-in. But that trade off has been worth as I can travel light with only mobile and goPro, not having to carry Nikon on my neck.

2 kg laptop: Like DSLR, if I had avoided carrying a laptop, I would have saved about 2 kgs and also my airport security check would have been faster. But after detailed deliberation I decided to carry it.
- I can transfer files from phone to laptop to free up space
-Can do some blogging on the go- painful to do everything on mobile

Other items are bare minimum- travel adapter, chargers, printout of important documents, a selfie-stick for gopro(could have avoided this), an umbrella, a jacket, a water bottle, a power bank and a note pad.

Pickles to save cost: I am carrying some 6-7 packets of pickles, each some 60gms each. I plan to use this with rice, bread etc where possible. Many restaurants sell rice for say X dollars, curry/side dish would cost 2x to 3x dollars. With pickle and possibly curd from a supermarket, I can have my meals cheap.
Let me know what you think.

So far I am able to manage well. Still 4 more weeks to go. Wish me luck.

Also read: Exploring Washington for almost free * Miami to Bahamas- flight vs Cruise * US Trip expense report


  1. Great effort.Wish you lots of luck for a successful trip.

  2. Great, Watched your video.
    Good luck for your trip.
    Loved all pics posted on your FB page.

  3. Best of luck Shrinidhi, your everyday updates feels like we are also travelling with you and will be eager to wait for next day episode

  4. Amazing Shri.. do keep posting on your adventures!

  5. Hi, your information is point to point n appreciative, your travel ideology also matches mine. But I never explored the world like this. Alas I could have!!


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