The packing struggle…

Figuring out what to pack for the next two years is insanely difficult, especially since a lot of the advice I get is to “pack for a two year business trip.” I have been on zero business trips, let alone one lasting for two years, so thanks for that advice, everyone.

I’m lucky since I have access to other Peace Corps Volunteers and their blogs for information, but at the end of the day I’m deciding how to pack my entire life into two bags.

Since Peace Corps is paying for our checked bags, we have to stay within the very specific requirements airlines have for luggage, which adds another dimension to the process: not only have I not figured out WHAT to pack, I also haven’t figured out what to pack it IN.

I’m allowed to have two checked bags. Seems simple on the surface. These bags must not weigh more than 50lbs each. Again, not bad. But then we get to the dimension requirements. The combined dimensions of the bags (length + width + height) can’t exceed more than 107 inches, but the larger bag also can’t exceed 60 inches. So of course that means that the suitcase I already have is too big and can’t be used.

I’ve spent a lot of my day calculating what combinations of bags I can check under these requirements and it seems like the optimum situation is this:
*Large rolling suitcase–26″ (comes to about 57″ total, just under the 60″ maximum)
*Rolling duffel bag–22″ (brings my checked total to 97.5″, perfect)
*45L Osprey hiking backpack (carry-on, can’t be filled up all the way or it won’t meet the carry on requirements because nothing about flights can be easy)
*One personal item to carry on (probably a tote bag)

What exactly will be packed in each bag (and what of my packing list I’ll actually be able to FIT) is yet to be seen. Wish me luck!