HOW TO: Pack for Conferences (Including Printable Download)

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Okay, okay! So I’m going to BlogHer Conference 2013 this week, YAY!!!  I get to hang out with my fabulous roomies: Paula of Thrifty Mommas Tips, Margarita of Downshifting Pro, and Jennifer of Genuine Jenn and traveling buddies: Wendy of Funny Things are Everywhere and Christy of FrecklesMom (that’s 16 hours of fun in a 2013 Ford Explorer, on the way and back from Chicago! WOOT!)  Good times are gonna be had.

I’m even speaking in the Geek Bar which promises to be all kinds of fun again. If you’ve ever questioned the hows and why of taxonomy (categories and tags), come visit me on Friday and/or Saturday, and I’ll try to sort it out for you!

I wish I thought of it sooner; I’d love to be all ironic by wearing a blue shirt in the Geek Bar, like this…

BlogHer GeekBar T-Shirt - I want!!

I swear, if I get a chance to do the Geek Bar again next year, I’m going to beg for this “uniform”, LOL.

But I digress, I need to pack and get there first!  Heys Luggage was kind enough to provide a couple luggage cases to me for all my conference trips, as there are quite a few of them every year!  There’s BlogHer as I’ve just mentioned, but then there is also Blissdom Canada and possibly LINK for me in the near future.  I love meeting up with fellow bloggers, ’cause as much as I love talking on my blog, I love talking with bloggers about blogging, heh.  (I swear that sentence makes sense!)

Packing is a BIG DEALTM when it comes to conferences.  Quite possibly much more than when you’re going on vacation.  And the main reason for that is attempting to fit swag in your bags on the way back home!  So you’ve got to try to leave ample room for the ride home, while packing for all occasions, and my occasions include everything from yoga in the park to cocktail parties, panel going, expo adventures and luncheons with leading chefs, and don’t forget the trip there and back which will be roughly 8 hrs each way for me.  Essentially, I need to pack for comfort and style, and ensure that I’m not stuck wearing a cocktail dress while executing the tree pose in Millenium Park!

Yoga in a Dress - not for me!

Okay, so not quite the cocktail dress, but you get what I mean?

And its not just clothes, I also have tons of toiletries, accessories, handbags, travel and hotel snacks and tech to bring with me to boot!


Most of my stuff to pack for BlogHer Conference 2013

What you don’t see are the four pairs of shoes that I’m bringing (though they are in the pic, can you guess where?), as well as a few bits of clothing that I’m not prepared to post on my blog yet, lol.  The bright white pile in the back of this picture, beside my handbag is my pile of clothes all flattened down.

So yeah, wanna see the results?

Luckily, with the help of Heys’ luggage and their packing cubes, I’m gonna have one heck of an organized luggage both to get there and home! One thing I love about their luggage is the tech involved in making them.  Have you even seen the TSA approved secured locking system?  Or if you’re familiar in trying to negotiate your luggage around a whole bunch of people in massive lines at the air port, these babies just glide right by without stressing you out on trying to lug it by that disturbingly large duffel bag without catching a handle or around that group of people that love to stand in a circle exactly in the path you need to take.  Stress free traveling, can you imagine?

So I’m one of those worry-worts that always second guesses if I’ve packed everything I need.  I’ll spend hours going from room to room to just look around and think distressingly, “Did I leave anything here that I’ll need there?”  This year, I sat down and wrote out a “must have” list.  I like lists.  Lists means I can think up everything I need all at once and then check that stuff off when I get around to pack it later.

So I’ve created a list and decided to post it here for your printing pleasure if you need one too!  Granted this one is geared with women in mind; I may create a unisex version in the future since quite a few men go to blogging conferences too!

GeekWithStyle Conference Packing Checklist

If the Scribd app above doesn’t work for you to print, you can download the pdf here.

I do have some suggestions that you might not think of for while you’re packing:

  • Get one of those TIDE To Go markers should you accidentally spill anything on your clothes, Tide To Go
  • and pick up a spray bottle of Downy wrinkle releaser too! (Should be able to find this in the travel bins at your Walmart/Shoppers Drug Mart.)  I don’t know about you, but no matter how well I pack, my clothes always have a wrinkle or two when I get to my destination. Downy Wrinkle Releaser
  • Q-Tips are your friends, so bring some! Q-Tips Travel Pack
  • If you wear contacts, always bring an extra pair wherever you go, but particularly when you’re out of town.
  • If you can find your fave shampoo and conditioner in travel sizes, pick up enough of those bottles to last for your trip. The less packaging you need to bring home the better.
  • And if you can’t find your fave haircare in travel sizes, pick up a travel case and pour your brands into them!
  • Dr. Scholl’s has a heel balm, and if you’re planning to walk a lot, you’ll want something to ease any aches and pains in your feet each night. Dr. Scholl's Heel Balm
  • Dr. Scholl’s also has this Rub Relief tube, if you’re prone to blisters n’ such with your shoes. Dr. Scholl's Rub Relief
  • and finally, bring a travel packet of water-free face cleanser wipes.  Especially if you’re sharing a room with three other women! Getting into the shared bathroom may be particularly difficult first thing in the morning and just before bed, so knock back some of the time you need in the bathroom by using these wipes instead.  If you can find one that is oil-free, all the better ’cause hotel and conference air will make you oily, I promise. Neutrogena Oli-Free, Water-Free Facial Cleansing Wipes

Whew! Yeah I think that’s all the tips I have for you today! 🙂  What are your favourite tips for traveling?  I’d love to read some in the comments below!

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Living in Superman’s Metropolis (aka Toronto, Canada), Aeryn Lynne found a way to entirely over-share everything she loves, and make a career out of it! Ultimately a geek, she waxes poetically over technology, squees over comic art, hunts down the nerdiest places to visit and literally sparkles, thanks to her makeup addiction.

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17 Comments on “HOW TO: Pack for Conferences (Including Printable Download)

jodi shaw
July 21, 2013 at 8:32 am

Never mind a conference, I could take all this with me when camping lol. Great check list, I downloaded it and as always great post! 🙂

Aeryn Lynne
July 21, 2013 at 4:05 pm

Lol!! Thanks Jodi! 😀

July 21, 2013 at 7:07 pm

LOVE the Vine video, btw! That’s some impressive packing skills, lady! Oh, and have I told you how jealous I am? Oh, wait. I did. Today! 🙂 I wish I were going with you ladies!!! *sob*

Aeryn Lynne
July 23, 2013 at 12:15 am

♥ you totally did, LOL! Wish you were coming with us hun (and *cough* possibly supplying us with chocolate while you’re at it! 😛 I swear its becoming pavlovian, lol!!) ♥

Kerrie @ Family Food and Travel
July 21, 2013 at 9:08 pm

I SO wish I was going to Blog Her so I could meet up with you!

LOVE this packing list – so creative and so useful. And, the Heys packing cubes – genius. I used to have packing bags but not sure where they are. They absolutely help you get packed quicker and more efficiently.

Aeryn Lynne
July 23, 2013 at 12:12 am

Awh I wish you were going too! *hugs* Are you doing any conferences this year? Definitely want to hang out with you at one! 😀

Have to admit, I cannot see myself ever packing without the cubes ever again, they make packing just so easy! And thanks! I had fun making that list. 🙂

paula schuck
July 22, 2013 at 9:55 am

Girl!! Why are you so organized? You make me look sick and like a total slacker. Frig. Now of course I will be printing this out and of course I love your luggage. Mine is pitiful and old. Why did I not get organized enough to get someone to sponsor my luggage? D’OH. Slapping forehead. I am seriously thrilled we are roommates again and the fact that you just said taxonomy and I thought Oh Aeryn is talking about taxes has me questioning my IQ right now. I will be seeking you out at that geek bar so I can fancy my brains up a bit. So yes great post and thanks for reminding me of all the stuff I did not do yet. going to have a little cry now.

Aeryn Lynne
July 23, 2013 at 12:07 am

*Hearts you* Paula, you are awesome!! I totally cannot wait to meet up with you again hun; its gonna be a blast roomie! 🙂 And I wish I knew enough to talk about taxes, LOL!!! See you in the Geek Bar! 🙂

July 22, 2013 at 3:39 pm

LOVE that video! I’m amazed you fit everything in!! lol! Good times! A packing list is very important especially if you have never been to a conference. There are so many little things that you can easily forget!

Aeryn Lynne
July 23, 2013 at 12:00 am

Thanks Jenn! 😀 Those packing cubes are so awesome!! They completely did the packing for me lol! Yeah, the very first conference I’d ever been to, I had wished every night that I had more than one outlet so that I didn’t have to strategically choose what to charge overnight, lol.

Nancy @ Whispered Inspirations
July 22, 2013 at 4:01 pm

This is a great list! And you pack heavier than I do! LOL, I pack 4 pairs of shoes though. 🙂 What a great printable too. 🙂 I won’t be going to BlogHer, I had a chance to go but, since it was so last minute, I decided not to.

Aeryn Lynne
July 22, 2013 at 11:57 pm

LOL my clothes are bigger! 😉 And yeah I keep having to hold back on how many shoes I’m gonna bring… LOVE shoes! 🙂 So wish you were going hun. We’re gonna have to figure out a meetup or something. *hugs*

Kristin Barclay
July 22, 2013 at 11:31 pm

This is a great checklist, and I never thought about wrinkle releaser. BUT, how will you bring anything from the trip home?

Aeryn Lynne
July 22, 2013 at 11:53 pm

Thanks Kristin! 🙂 With everything packed I still have half of the main luggage empty (that includes an extension if I need more room, lol.) Plus my carry-on case is completely empty. 🙂 Based on what I brought home last year I should have enough room for the things I want to bring back! 🙂

Paula Huie
August 6, 2013 at 10:58 am

Love this post! So much i can relate to! i’m a chronic over packer by nature and we have a lot of similar tips! love your linguistic style!

Shari G
August 19, 2013 at 3:12 pm

I love this…although…part of the fun for me is making the list of things to take! I am a list maker 🙂 Oh and I see your justfab bag in there!


[…] knows the basics about traveling to events and trade shows. (Geek with Style has a great downloadable checklist if you want a refresher) Always bring more than one pair of comfortable shoes, have your […]


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