Hey ya’ll! So I’ve been doing a lot of traveling lately. If you keep up with me on Instagram (@thefabgrad) you’ll see I go to a lot of conferences! One of the many perks of working in higher education, is that there is ALWAYS a conference to go to! So far in my program, I’ve been to over six conferences! They’re super fun but can be hard to pack for (and pay for too). Now that I have a little experience prepping for conferences, I thought I’d share with you my tips on What to Pack for a Conference!
Only Pack the Essentials
I know, I know, this is easier said than done! I’ve been know to over pack for conferences and trips too. But after traveling a few times and realizing that some items aren’t necessary, I’ve learned that having light, build-able items in my luggage is key! The six most important things to have in your luggage are:
A wide variety of tops
Neutral colored bottoms
A go-to coat
Versatile, comfortable shoes
Comfy lounge wear
Tops are what set your outfit apart! I would have some basic colors like black, white, or navy blue but also have a few fun ones too! Definitely don’t spend a lot of money in this area either! This is where you hit Forever 21 and the H&M sales rack! Depending on the weather, you can also trade a few tops for sweaters or long-sleeves.
Pro Tip: Blouses with a cute pattern are great for transitioning from day to night events! See examples of this below.
Keep your bottoms basic! My go to is black denim and black, grey, or navy blue work pants. Depending on the weather, I’ll throw in some skirts as well. Now this is where you want to invest! Please don’t pack the bottoms that are too tight, see-through, or falling off your waist! Invest in some great bottoms! I got mine from Banana Republic (they were having a 40% off sale) and I LOVE them. I’m tall so these pants are great because they come in petite, regular, and long! Click here to check them out!
Pro tip: You can switch up the length of your bottoms to add variety to your outfit! See I how I did it below!
A GO-TO COAT
Coats can be tricky because you never want to be too cold or too hot. I say be realistic! If it’s going to be cold most of the time, bring one heavy coat in a neutral color. You can always take it off if it gets too hot. If it’s going to be warm most of the time, pack a long sleeved jacket or light cardigan that can easily be taken on and off through out the day.
Pro-tip: No matter what kind of coat you get, try to buy one with a hood!
Travel sized-items work for makeup, hair, toiletries, and even accessories! My favorite place to grab these items is Target! Walmart is also a great (and sometimes cheaper) as well. You’ll also want to find a cute bag to put it all in as well! Click here for a few options.
Pro-Tip: Buy two of each item you get, that way you won’t have to rush to the store the night before your next trip!
VERSATILE, COMFORTABLE SHOES
Shoes are what usually tip people over, but here’s how to avoid it: Pack two shoes that go with every outfit! For me that would be a black heel and a black flat. This might require you to try on your clothes before you go to make sure it all matches, but it’s so worth it!
Pro-Tip: If you know you’ll be in colder climates, pack a comfortable boot and wear them on the plane! That way you’ll have something to wear when you explore the city and when you’re in casual wear!
COMFY LOUNGE WEAR
Something about comfy pajamas just make hotel rooms feel more like home! I added this to the list for two reasons: One, after a long day having something comfortable to put on is SO nice! Two, sometimes you might share a room or have visitors from the conference knock on your door, so you’ll want to look presentable at ALL times! I found some great, affordable lounge wear from Target here.
Pro-Tip: If you have room in your luggage, pack slippers (or flip-flops)! Hotel floors can be a mystery and it’s nice to have something on your feet in the hotel room!
The items listed above are all you need to be prepared for your exciting conference travel! Here are a few things you could add to your list that would fit into a purse or backpack:
Business Cards (Resumes if you’ll be looking for a job)
Gum AND Mints
Portable Cell Phone Charger
A small notebook for note-taking
I hope this helps you all! Be sure to tag me in your fun travel adventures on insta! I’d love to see where you all are going! If you’re thinking about going on a casual vacay, try going solo! I wrote an entire blog post about How to Plan a MeCation here! Check it out!
Thanks for reading,