by Beth K. Vogt
I love going to a writers conference.
Packing for one?
Not so much.
But through the years, I've learned a few packing tricks that ease my dread of making my wardrobe expectations match my luggage realities. So, for your reading pleasure -- and your traveling reality -- here are my Top 4 Packing Tips:
- CHOOSE - Check bags or carry on? This boils down to "pay the fee" or "don't pay the fee."In the past, I've returned from a conference having saved money and yet I've wrecked my back after lugging my suitcase all over multiple airports and tossing it up into the airplane's overhead compartment. Traveling for more than one or two nights? Check your bags. Who wants to visit the doctor when you get back from a conference?
- COORDINATE - What to wear, what to wear? First, decide if your base color will be brown or black. I used to mix and match, selecting all my favorite outfits. This meant I (over)packed all the coordinating shoes. And jewelry. Now I decide on basic outfits built on black pants and shoes or brown pants and shoes -- and coordinate from there.
- MEDICATE - Last year at ACFW, I managed to forget an important prescription medication. I spent valuable time in a drugstore trying to get my medicine -- without coming to verbal blows with my insurance company. Now I pre-pack all my meds in small individual plastic containers purchased at REI. I then store them all in one Ziploc bag and carry them in my purse -- not my suitcase.
- EXERCISE - If anything gets left behind when I go to a writers conference, it's my exercise routine. My excuse? My suitcase is filled to overflowing and there's no room for my workout clothes and tennis shoes. Here's my husband's brilliant idea: Wear your workout clothes on the plane. No -- not your ratty T-shirt and worn out sweat pants. Indulge in a new workout outfit and wear that while you're traveling. Now you have no excuse to avoid the exercise room!
Those are my tips -- and I promised you some truth too. It's the new e-book, The Truth About Conferences, written by best-selling authors Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck, along with the My Book Therapy staff. Here are some of the topics covered in the book:
- How to choose a conference
- Budgeting for a conference
- How to prepare professionally with business cards and pitch sheets
- Choosing the right workshops
- How to handle appointments
- Organizing your time and information
- Standing out in a positive way
- Conference etiquette
- How to pack for success
- And even how to network to after the conference is over!
The Truth About Conferences is available as an e-book (mobi, epub, PDF) for $3.99. (Print version: $8.99)
Do you have any tips for packing for a writers conference?