Traveling w/ Tech

I’m incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to travel the world to work with awesome educators. As much as possible, I try to make my workshops hands-on and interactive. In some cases, that means I’m bringing a lot of stuff with me. A lot of EXPENSIVE and FRAGILE stuff. For a while, I was lugging everything around in a hard-shell suitcase, but it wasn’t really giving it the protection my stuff needed.

So I did some research and asked around and was repeatedly directed to Pelican cases. It’s the same company that makes the Cadillac of coolers, but they are also known for their protective travel cases. Unfortunately they’re also hella expensive.

$400?!

This short post is to share how I created my own “Pelican” case for less than $80. 

Jennifer LaGarde posted a picture on Facebook of her lugging around this case from Husky and I knew it would make a perfect solution!

Note: this is NOT carry-on size. You will need to check this. But you have the added security of knowing that even if the airline staff aren’t gentle with your luggage, that your tech will still be in tact. 

Click the image to the left to view on Amazon, but you can also snag it at Home Depot for $60.

  • Holds up to 100lb of gear
  • All terrain wheels (much better than my suitcase)
  • Has a hole for a cord so you can charge your stuff without unlocking the case.
  • Padlock eye so you can keep your stuff secured.
  • Removable tray great for small items.

First thing I did was line the inside with foam. I used some leftover foam my from Makey Makey workshop and had some foam from a twin mattress topper which I used to make a bed for my dog (which, of course, he doesn’t use).

 

If you don’t have a stash of E6000 glue laying around, you’re missing out. It’s potent, but it’s stronger than any glue I’ve ever used. I used this glue to adhere the foam to the inside of the case.

The only thing I didn’t love about this case was it didn’t have a handle on the side. So I found a file on Thingiverse and 3D printed them in PLA on my Monoprice Maker Select Plus printer.

Okay I lied, there was one more thing I didn’t love and that was the foam on the extendable handle. It was soft, but I knew it was only a matter of time before I had it worn away. So I put some of this Friction tape. 

The final product!

I got back from FETC this week and already added a bunch more stickers. I’m pretty happy with this solution and time will tell how it holds up. Either way, it was still 1/4 of the price of a Pelican. 

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