Packing for a Long Conference: The Results (Everything Else)

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, when you’re packing for two weeks, clothes are really only half the battle. I definitely brought too many clothes, but how did I do on everything else? Uh, I brought too much. The problem: when you’re away from home for so long, you get stuck in the, “But, but, but….I might need three magazines to read! Or dressier makeup! Or three knitting projects! Or a fan (in the Home Warrior’s case).” Etc.

What I took (non clothing items):

  • Kindle
  • Computer
  • IPad
  • Sunscreen
  • Legal pad
  • Binder
  • Magazines
  • Knitting
  • Jewelry
  • Curling iron
  • Makeup
  • Fun makeup
  • Umbrella
  • Pashmina
  • Headphones
  • Water bottle

What I should have brought:

  • Kindle
  • Computer
  • Legal pad
  • Jewelry
  • Curling iron
  • Makeup
  • Umbrella
  • Pashmina
  • Headphones
  • Water bottle

Honestly, I didn’t do too badly. My biggest mistake was that I was very optimistic about how much downtime I was going to have. The magazines, sunscreen, and even my knitting (and I brought a lot of knitting!) sat unused in the hotel room the entire trip. Same with my fun makeup—I’m not sure when I thought I would have dress up time, but I definitely did not. Finally, I brought a binder to coral all of the papers I was given, but I should have just brought a simple folder. Would have saved a ton of space.

After this experience, there are a few things that will help me pack for a long conference. The biggest thing: Know your conference!! Look closely at the agenda. If it looks like there won’t be much downtime, plan your packing list accordingly. It helps to ask people who have gone before! Had I done that, I would have known that there would be little to no time for fun. Also, remember that you can buy things on location. If I hadn’t packed the sunscreen, but had ended up needing some, I could have easily purchased some at the hotel gift shop or the CVS down the street. Finally, don’t forget to leave some room for giveaways you receive at the conference. I ended up leaving behind some pretty sweet stuff since I simply had no room for it.

One thing I did need that I didn’t have: compression socks. But that will go on the “tips for traveling during your second trimester” post….

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