My list is broken into sections, starting with what I'm wearing on the plane. These are usually items that are too bulky to pack and comfortable for travel. Jeans, a sweater and sneakers are must haves in my book and I've racked up my share of airline miles in them. Planes get cold and I've been so happy to have my sweater instead of wearing shorts and flip flops like all the other tourists.
Wear on Plane
Then I have the list of what goes in my backpack. I like backpacks because my hands are free, but this could be your carry on, your toiletry bag...whatever. Just make sure these items are in a bag you physically have custody of at all times. You'll notice mine includes several things for the workshop we're doing on Friday. Must have that stuff. You don't want it to end up in Seattle while you're waiting in California.
- Plane Itinerary
- Camera & Battery Charger
- Cell Phone & Charger
- Workshop Stuff - Laptop & Accessories, Flash Drive w/any necessary files, Handouts & Notecards
- 1 extra pair of panties & socks (just in case)
- Book to read on the plane
- ID and/or Passport (I keep this and some cash in an easily accessible pocket - one that zips for security - for the 20 times I have to get it out to travel. This is mainly because of the next item.)
- Purse (I transition to a smaller purse and stuff it inside my backpack so I have less to carry. This makes it harder to get to, so I take a few essentials out for the day. Even though you won't need your keys, be sure to carry them with you as well so you have them when you get home.)
- Snacks (They don't feed you on planes anymore, so this is a MUST. Its also good to have once you get to Nationals so you have something to eat aside from the overpriced hotel food.)
- Prescription Medication (Never, ever check your pills with your luggage.)
- Travel Alarm Clock (If you can't set your cell phone, and you can, I'm pretty sure)
- Mini flashlight
- Business Cards
Next is what goes in my toiletry bag. Mine is actually a small bag that fits inside my luggage, which is good considering all the charges for extra pieces these days. If you're carrying this on, remember all liquids, gels and aerosols must be smaller than 3 ounces and must all fit within a one quart ziplock bag. You have to pull this out and run it through the security x-ray separately. If you do check the bag, I still recommend putting liquids inside a ziploc bag in case a bottle comes open and leaks all over your clothes.
- Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Floss & Mouthwash
- Shampoo & Conditioner (if you can use the hotel provided ones, ok, but my hair is too picky)
- Lotion and Soap (I will use the hotel provided stuff, but if you can't, pack your own)
- Hair Products - Gel, Hairspray, Mousse, Detangler
- Hair Electronics - blow dryers, curling iron, flat iron, etc.
- Makeup, brushes, cotton applicators
- Moisturizer w/ SPF (you might also take outright sunblock if you'll be outside a lot)
- Razor & Shaving gel
- Feminine Hygiene (I always take an emergency stash just in case.)
- OTC Meds - Pain Reliever, Antacids, Stomach Pills
- Clear and colored nail polish & file for manicure fixes and hosiery runs
- First Aid Kit & Extra bandaids (if you have to ask, you haven't read this blog for very long)
- Mini Sewing Kit
- Mini bottle of Downy Wrinkle Release Spray (another must on the Playground!)
- Another copy of your flight itinerary in case your bag loses its ID tag
- Panties x # of days, plus one
- Sport or Trouser Socks x # of days needed
- 2 pair pantyhose (I hate them, but its good to carry one pair JIC and an extra if it runs)
- 1 regular bra & 1 strapless bra (as needed for formals, etc)
- Spanx (the ever-so important foundation garment) & slips as needed
- Casual tops x # of siteseeing/travel days
- 1 pair jeans (if you aren't doing a lot of tourist stuff, this might not be necessary)
- Waterproof Windbreaker (SFO is cool, wet and windy)
- Pull over sweater (layers are good)
- Gloves and a hat if its really cold by the water
- Pajamas (I don't know how many times I stress over every outfit, then forget PJs)
- Daytime Outfit Components (see breakdown below)
- Party Outfits as needed for Ritas, etc.
- Badge Lanyard with conference and chapter pins (RWA did a nice one in Reno for their Anniversary that had a pocket and a pen holder that I like to bring and use instead of the normal ones they usually have.)
- Shoes - At a minimum, 2 pairs of comfortable casual shoes or sandals, 1 or 2 dress pairs for formals, maybe some slippers or flip flops if you're inclined to swim or visit the spa. If you coordinate your outfit to a color scheme, you can cut down to less. You could wear the same shoes every day if it matches, but I find even the most comfortable pair will start to rub and make your feet sore if you wear them over and over.
- Jewelry - Make sure you know what you're wearing with each piece and put them all together in a bag with tissue if you don't have a jewelry travel case.
Finally, to determine my outfits, I use a daily breakdown. I try to bring some neutral pieces like black capris or a skirt that I can use a couple times. As PC has mentioned, microfiber is awesome - it doesn't wrinkle and it takes up almost no space in your bag. I also advocate the inclusion of one extra outfit that lies somewhere between your workshop attire and your formal in case you get an impromptu invite to a dinner or a party someplace nice. Here's my breakdown based on my typical activities...
- Wednesday - black microfiber skirt, red top, black heels, red jewelry
- Thursday - black capris, blue microfiber top, black sandals, blue jewelry
- Thursday Night - eHQN PJ party attire, flip flops/slippers
- Friday - black microfiber skirt, purple microfiber top, black sweater, black heels, purple jewelry
- Friday Night - formal, PM dress heels, silver/black jewelry
- Saturday - black capris, pink satin top, pink heels, pink jewelry
- Saturday Night - formal, SW dress heels, silver/black jewelry
- Sunday - t-shirt, jeans, etc. for flight home
(add days as needed if you're coming early or staying late to sitesee)
- Pitch Outfit - if you are pitching, bring the outfit that makes you feel your best if its not already one of the ensembles you're wearing
- Extra Outfit - a fabu just in case outfit that you can wear with the shoes and jewelry you're already planning to bring
Hope The Comprehensive, Must-Have, Magical, Mystical, Packing List helps make planning for the big trip a little easier for you. Have I missed anything? What's on your must pack list?
Oh, and don't forget the deadline for blog proposals is coming up. Email Angel with what you'd like to blog about and you could replace one of us while we're at conference!