The frenzy of packing for a writer’s retreat is full of adrenaline, suitcase miracles, and forgetful moments. Yes, you will probably forget something you wished you’d packed. There are several blogs that have great articles on packing for a writer’s conference, but what about those small unexpected details that you didn’t know to plan for? That is where I come in.
Top Ten Must Know Packing Tips For A Writer’s Conference:
1. Roll your clothes. I learned this tip from a missionary that visited our home while I was in high school. For example, fold your pants in half the long way and then roll, being careful not to role in wrinkles. This will save space and help you avoid wrinkles.
2. Bring Shout Wipes To Remove Stains. You can find a shout travel size pack of Shout Wipes that can remove an unexpected stain on your clothes after breakfast. These totally surprised me by how well they worked in an emergency moment for me in the past.
3. Bring Cough Drops/Throat Lozenges. At a conference you talk a lot more than usual. This often takes a toll on your throat. To avoid losing your voice, plan for the need to rest your voice and take a cough drop if necessary.
4. Pack An Envelope In Your Carry-On Bag For Expense Receipts. Every state has different tax laws. Some states allow for per diam(set amount of money per day) for food, others go on receipts. Expenses like shuttles, writing resources, or other travel related professional expense may be tax deductible. During the trip put all receipts in the envelop as you spend. Then on the outside of the envelop write the type of expense and cost as you go. That way, if you are on a tight budget you can see how much you actually have spent and it is easier come tax season to claim your expenses.
5. Pack Beverage Comforts. Yes, there is vending machines at the hotel and you will have plenty of water available at meals, but the water often tastes different in different locations. If you drink only pop, you might lose your voice and feel even more jittery. Bring Water Flavor Packets, or your favorite tea/coffee travel packs to use in your hotel room.
6. Clear Nail Polish. This is a great way to stop a runner in your nylons.
7. Arrive Early At The Airport To Avoid Lost Checked Bags. On a lot of airline websites they give you this tip. If you are early your bags are more likely to get on the right flight and arrive with you.
8. Small Gifts or Thank You Cards For Your Special Peeps. If you have a close writing friend or critique buddy you only see once a year, bring a little something to make their day. It doesn’t need to be big, just remember those few close buddies or mentors who have helped you.
9. A Watchful Eye & A Few Extra Dollars. There are times when you will notice one of the Conference Staff, Mentors, or Teachers fighting exhaustion or a sore throat. Be watching for ways to bless them as they are blessing you. Bring them a bottle of water, offer to get them a cup of coffee, or some other small gesture. (“As You Have Done Unto The Least Of These, You Have Done This Unto Me.” Matthew 25:40)
10. Destress Items. When you are stressed out you may have skin break outs, toothaches, headaches, indigestion, sleeplessness, and other such things. Not to be a downer, but it is better to be safe than sorry. How does your body respond to stress.
Possible Things To Bring: Benadryl, Ambesol, Facial Scrub, Tea, Soothing Music, Headache Medication, Motion Sickness Medicine(in flight), Gum, eye drops, Bag for Ice, Stronger Deodorant, carmex, chapstick, stress ball, etc. You get the picture.
What other travel tips have you heard or tried to improve your traveling experience?