We bowl every Memorial Day weekend. I will be heading out there on May 22nd and heading home on the 26th. I fly SW so I never worry about my bowling balls. I take 4 with me. I carry on my clothes and my laptop
Bowling Ball express seemed a little steep to me. I think that when I priced it out a few years ago, it was over $100 each way for all 4 of my balls. Then, I would have to use my bowling bags as luggage anyway because they ship them in bowling ball boxes (unless you have the tote bags). I am contemplating getting another ball before Nationals. If I do, I will take 6 with me. I am still up in the air on it though.
For equipment, you need a few balls.
1) Sanded ball. Like 320 or 500. This will help you burn a spot for you on the lane.
2) Strong pearl. Something that has a good backend to it and can cut through some oil.
3) A little weaker pearl. For when the lanes start to break down.
4) Spare ball. A must for Nationals. I highly recommend no hooking at spares.
I am sure that Jim will have a little more detail on equipment to take. That is what I take.