Packing for Conference Travel

Conference season is upon us again, and so is the time honored tradition of living from a suitcase! If you hit even a single conference, you know what a pain it can be to pack. But that pales in the face of managing your gear on the road. Lugging bags through the airport, waiting for checked bags and other indignities await as you journey to visit old and new friends.

So what do you do? Pack super light and buy things on the road? Well, it’s an option, provided you have the time to shop. Or pack a big bag, just tossing stuff in in case you might need it? Highly inefficient.

I’m convinced a single roll aboard is all that’s needed for most folks. Well, let me caveat that…for some gals and almost all guys, that is. Many ladies choose to travel with outfits which require the right shoes to match. Now, they *could* just skip the coordinating, but frankly, I say no. Better to take a bigger bag and look pulled together I think. 😉 Thus this is an 85% – 90% solution.

Today I packed for 11 days on the road:

  • 11 pairs of socks and underwear
  • 9 t-shirts
  • extra pair of jeans
  • 3 dress shirts
  • coat
  • extra pair of shoes
  • waterproof shell/jacket
  • 2 henleys
  • toiletry bag
  • emergency bag
  • laundry bag

All of that is in my roll aboard for my flight. It’s a tight fit, but it works. I could travel with less, I guess, but why? The weight of the bag is under the limits, the size easily fits the overhead bins and the bag isn’t even expanded.

My go-to choices for luggage are either Eagle Creek or Briggs & Riley. I have used both for 7+ years now, and while neither is cheap, I can confirm their lifetime warranties do in fact cover all manner of breakage.

For a week on the road, which is usually enough for most folks hitting a single conference, the standard roll aboard is plenty big enough…dare I say it, even the ladies with coordinated outfits may be able to make due! No intention of sounding sexist here, but if you’re a dude and can’t get by with something like this for a week on the road, you need to sit in front of the mirror and have a serious talk with yourself.

Were I traveling with a suit, I would opt for the Briggs & Riley in the video here because it has a folding divider to help keep garments secure and wrinkle free.

Loads of options out there beyond the one shown here, but the real key is the quality of your packing game. The cubes shown make a world of difference in helping with efficient packing. You won’t regret using them.

See you on the road gang!