Hello everyone! I know it's been a while since you've heard from me, hasn't it?
Now that the summer convention season is coming up, I felt like sharing my useful list of things to pack when going to a convention of any type (or traveling in general). Based off of 10+ years of going to different cons, I feel like this is a system that works for me and may be useful for others as well. So here we go!
- Tickets/other travel cards/documents
- Prescription medicines/items if you have any
- Jacket/coat with a hood
- Sturdy shoes
I find that these are the most important necessities for any sort of traveling- while it would suck to forget all the other things, these life-relevant or legal things are going to be most vital and likely irreplaceable. If you don't pack anything else, these items & the clothes on your back will be minimally sufficient.
*Toiletries is the exception because it can be replaced... but it would just be extremely inconvenient.
- Portable charger (especially multi usb port)
- Plug adapter if traveling internationally
- Thermos/reusable water bottle
- Other outer clothing relevant to climate
- PJs (also wear on plane/transport to save space)
- Hat, gloves
- Other shoes
- Mini towel
- Makeup if needed
- Other skincare/haircare
- Bug repellent if needed
- Items relevant to the event you're going to (i.e. costumes, props, electronics, sleeping bag, etc)
- First aid kit- I put this here and toiletries in most important because from experience, toiletries are more personalized/reuseable or I would often have to re-buy if I don't have it; whereas first aid is disposable and I can easily borrow from the venue/hotel, medics, or fellow traveler/attendee.
- Sleep mask
- Entertainment/devices that are not your phone
- Reusable bags
- neck pillow
- shower flip flops
- pain patches
- Slightly empty space for souvenirs*
Bonus: What kind of toiletries, makeup, medicine, & skincare do I pack? It depends on where I'm going and what I'll be doing there- for example, if I'm not doing any kind of performing or costumes, I don't bring makeup at all. Everything I bring in sample size only.
Medicine: Prescription medicine is most important (i.e. birth control, heart medicine, HRT if you're transgender, etc). Other medicines I bring- mucinex, benadryl, and this Chinese cold medicine. While I rarely or don't bring these myself, some good OTC medicines that you may consider: painkillers (ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen), digestion-related (anti-diarrhea, constipation, etc), melatonin, cough drops, epipen if you need it.
Toiletries/skincare: toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, eye drops, face wash, menstrual cup*, (sometimes: body soap, floss, mouthwash, toner, lotion, lip balm, shower cap, thin pads). *Ever since I discovered menstrual cups, I prefer them WAY more than tampons and pads. To learn more about menstrual cups, go here.
Makeup: bb cream, concealer, primer, setting spray, mini eyeshadow, eyeliner (black & white), mascara, qtips, brush or sponge, and anything special if needed for a costume. Yes- I don't do anything with my eyebrows and I don't wear false lashes. I sometimes also bring earrings.
*To create this slightly empty space, on the last day of your travel return home, wear ALL of your outerwear+PJs at the same time- if you get too hot, just tie it around your waist/shoulders, especially belts (never bother packing belts- either "wear" it or use it to tie around your bag like a luggage strap).
Other space saving options: Tetris your items! Use sample sizes instead of full sizes. Folding clothing as flat as possible or roll them & squeeze into spaces around the rest of the items in your luggage. For fragile items, cushion them inside the clothing, especially socks. Plastic bags/travel cubes/vacuum bags are also good ways to keep items organized & flat.
Hopefully this will be useful if you've ever struggled with figuring out how to pack!