This is definitely not a how-to, seeing as how this was my first time out on the road and I am far from an expert. However, I do think I did a decent job of packing lightly. I'm certain I can bring less on the Midwest leg.
This is what I had to take into consideration when packing:
1. We would be on the road for 2 1/2 weeks, travelling as far north as Salisbury, MA and as far south as Richmond, VA.
2. There was a total of four women travelling, and priority had to be given to the guitar, ukulele, keyboard and PA.
3. We weren't totally sure what type of car we'd get from Enterprise, we just knew it'd be a full sized sedan. We lucked out and got an Impala, which had a huge trunk.
4. Opportunities to do laundry existed, but time was a factor.
I ended up with three bags: a backpack for clothes, my laptop bag for electronics, and a tote bag as a purse/car bag.
My Kanken Backpack held all of my clothes as well as my zipper pouches. (One each for underwear/socks, makeup, toiletries, accessories.) I took two pairs of jeans--flare and skinny--two dresses, a trapeze style tank top, various t shirts and tank tops for layering, my swim suit, and a cardigan. I only took two pair of shoes: My Chucks and a pair of roll up ballet flats. The cardigan was essential for car rides and going in and out of air conditioned places.
Next leg, I think I'll be able to get by packing even less clothing, I mostly lived in the striped dress, especially once we got to the beach.
The laptop bag housed most of my electronics and their chargers, extra lenses, as well as my moleskine and book. The yellow zipper pouch held small items such as lens caps, extra memory cards and my iPad memory card adapter. I also kept my toothbrush in this bag so it would always be handy.
The red tote started out holding a dozen or so energy bars and nuts, but eventually became my catch all bag for the car and outings. I also kept my camera in there, which turned out to be a big mistake and resulted in a damaged lens. Lesson learned.
Most of the time, I kept my phone and two pouches in it. The smaller pouch carried my money, ID and cards. The larger one contained medication, lotion, my inhaler and lip balm. But at times it held everything from mic cables to beach towels.
While I'd like to cut down significantly on what I bring next time out, there are a few things that I found to be essential.
1. Zipper pouches. These are so great for organizing items within your bags. It made it so easy to find what I needed, since most of the time we weren't able to unpack and lived out of our bags.
2. Travel sized Febreze. No explanation needed.
3. Pre moistened face wipes. Good not only for taking off makeup when you're tired, but also for those mornings when the schedule is so tight that a shower is impossible.
4. Lots of plastic grocery bags for laundry and garbage.
5. White noise app on iPad. Many of the places we stayed either had a fan or one of those super loud and frosty hotel AC units, but some places were incredibly quiet. I usually sleep with a fan, so this app was a Godsend. I also used it on the train when I slept, but with ear buds in.
Hard to believe we'll be doing it all again in about six weeks. I feel more prepared, but the Midwest may end up being a whole new set of challenges.