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RE: Traveling Tips Need ...

Wow, a bus trip from Austin to NY and back with your equipment in bags. 
should inspire some good blues tunes when you are finished.

A few thoughts:
Chances are you and your baggage will be transferring busses several times
during your journey which adds the risk of things getting bashed about.

If you can borrow or rent an amp in NY you will save alot of effort in
transporting yours.

Duffel bags offer very little protection even if you pad all of your 
stuff with your clothes. Get a trunk, pad it with foam and pad lock it. 
surplus is one source for affordable trunks.

Get hard-shell cases for your axes. Carrying one in a bag is tough enough 
protect but 2 is very tough to keep track of. There is always the
possibility of once you have them stashed in an overhead someone will come
along and cram their luggage into your axes with alot of force.

Travel as light as you possibly can and get insurance if you can. Who's
gonna watch your stuff when you have to use the restroom at a strange bus

If you have to take that much and pack like that seriously consider driving

Good luck!
Toby Gray