I take trains or planes to 3 to 5 conventions per year, traveling across time zones and multiple states to get to them all with as little weight and difficulty as possible. I attend many of these conventions because I work in administration–including organization, management, marketing, and promotion–and I attend others as a presenter or just for fun.
I want to share advice for how to best pack luggage to make the most of your convention for your professional and leisure purposes, as well as to keep down weight, prices, and airplane and train hassle. Based on my 10 years experience presenting, managing, promoting, and organizing at annual conventions, I can advise how to prepare for your traveling experience!
This advice is directed to people traveling alone to attend conventions as speakers or attendees. While this advice may be helpful to vendors, the amount of materials to transport will require additional considerations, including whether it is more productive to have materials shipped in advance to be received at the convention’s location or a nearby office and mailing store. Please share in the comments below or tweet @dereksmcgrath additional travel advice, especially for how to travel with children and families.
An earlier version of this post appeared at the Japanese, Anime, and Manga Studies Association. While this post still applies to fan conventions, its revisions are directed to those attending academic conventions.