- A few months ago, I ran a post about how much I stressed about what to pack for Blog World. I feel like I ended up doing pretty well, and was happy with my choices. In two weeks I leave to go to a regular work conference. Should be simple to pack, right? Normally, yes. But this time I will be conferencing elevendays. That’s right, I will be in conference from a Tuesday until the next Friday, and traveling home on Saturday. Oy. Talk about tricky packing!! And of course, I want to carry on. A list like this requires some major planning and editing!! Here are the steps I am following as I put together my packing list:
- First, I need to remember the cardinal rules of conference clothes: comfortable, professional, with shoes you can walk in. I’m going to add one more: layers. Because the conference is in Florida, I’m assuming it will be warm outside and cold inside, and I want to be able to adjust as necessary.
- Figure out the different occasions. How many conference days are there? Will you want to change for dinner? Will there be any free time? Will there be a chance to swim? In my case, I will have ten conference days, one free day, and two travel days. The conference days are looong, so I may not have the energy to eat dinner, much less change for it. Just in case, I’ll bring a couple of cute, non work items.
- Plan to wear items more than once. Since I really want to avoid checking my bag, I will need to wear my itemsmultiple times. I will just assume I need to wear everything 2-3 times, changing accessories as needed to keep things fresh. In fact, if I don’t think I can wear something at least twice, it won’t make the cut and it will stay home. This also means I’ll need to spend some extra time planning outfits, and bring more accessories (primarily necklaces and scarves, and maybe an extra pair of shoes) than normal.
- Think about toiletries. Since almost two weeks is far longer than my normal 3-4 day trip, I will need to make sure I have enough of my everyday toiletries. Some of my grooming items are kept in 3 oz bottles (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion) so I should be good with those as long as the bottles are full. But I may need to increase items I carry in smaller amounts (face wash, moisturizer, makeup remover, and hair products).
- Make a preliminary list. On the first list, I’ll just write down everything I think I should take, no matter what. Also, at this point I will start figuring out what I need to get for my trip (yay shopping!) Then I’ll start figuring out outfits, and adding and removing as necessary. Finally, I’ll get everything out and try to fit it in my suitcase, just to make sure I’m being realistic about what will fit, and what I can actually lift.
- Buy the missing items. Starting early on planning for a major trip gives you plenty of time to fill in the gaps. For this trip, I will need to get some new mascara, some more razor blades, and possibly a new pair of flats.
At this point, I plan to utilize my travel workhorses—jersey dresses, cardigans, slacks, and flats—just in larger quantities. My goal is to stick to my three pairs of shoes rule, but we’ll see how that goes. I’ve got just under two weeks—I hope I can figure it all out by then!
Readers, have any of you been to a two week conference before? What did you take? Any recommendations?