Con Survival – Pack Your Bags!

Conventions, Personal

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Rejoice, for con season is upon us! Fun adventures await but first, you have to pack your suitcases. Some people loathe packing. I thoroughly enjoy it and have been known to be packed and ready a week in advance. I’m going to share my tips and tricks with you and hopefully make your pre-con preparations a little bit easier.

  1. Good luggage – I cannot recommend quality luggage enough. I prefer hardsided suitcases with spinner wheels. Not only will a hard suitcase provide more protection for your belongings, the spinner wheels will make navigating through airports and hotels a breeze. You can find hardside luggage sets for a very reasonable price online. I purchased a 3 piece set by Rockland from ebags.com for $150.
  2. Compression bags – These are my best friend. The travel compression bags don’t require a vacuum and will free up quite a bit of space in your suitcase.
  3. Designated travel toiletries – I keep a separate make-up bag with all of my travel-size toiletries ready to go. I also have hair accessories, a mini brush and comb, a small first aid kit and a small sewing kit in there. When it’s time to pack, I just grab it out of the closet and toss it in!
  4. Check with your friends – Ladies, if you plan on rooming with friends, see who is bringing what in the way of blow-dryers, curling irons and flat irons. Chances are, everyone is planning on bringing one. Decide amongst yourself who is going to bring what and everyone can share. I’ve found that having 2 of each tool is good for a room of 5 chicks.
  5. Keep It Separated – This is a personal quirk of mine, but I like to have a separate suitcase for my cosplay. I keep the costume and any accessories, makeup and miscellaneous odds and ends out of my main suitcase. This makes it easier for me to keep track of everything and makes getting into my cosplay faster since I’m not digging through a giant suitcase.
  6. POWAH – Seriously, pack a power strip. You will become everyone’s best friend.
  7. Plan ahead – I used to overpack. With a little bit of planning, I learned to avoid this. I look at the convention schedule and any off-site events I may attend. I decide what outfits I will need and lay them out prior to packing. I make sure to include everything like socks, jewelry, etc. Try to use versatile jewelry which can be utlized with more than one outfit. Once you know that each outfit is complete, you can pack and know that you have everything you want to wear. No last minute scrambling to remember what you have and throwing in socks and underwear just in case you forgot to pack them.
  8. List it – If you’re the forgetful type when it’s time to pack up and head home, write down each item as you pack it before you leave for the convention. Stick the list in your suitcase and then use it at the end of the weekend to make sure everything you brought with you is coming home.

There it is; my favorite hints to make packing easy and stress-free. Does anyone else already do some of these things? Or have any tips I may have missed? Leave a comment and let us know!

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