The Ultimate Convention Packing List
Updated: Sep 26, 2019
There are two kinds of packers: people who plan out every last detail, working from a list they made weeks in advance; and people who make no list at all, throwing stuff in a bag at the last minute and hoping they didn't forget anything. If you are a member of the second group, please let me try to persuade to the dork side of the packing list.
Conventions are hectic, planning is hectic, packing is hectic. You're making last-minute adjustments to your costumes, you're making sure you have enough cash, you're making sure all your plans are intact. A packing list can help make your con better in two ways: it'll reduce stress when packing (you know you're not forgetting anything, and you can use the list when you're going home to make sure you don't leave anything in the hotel), and you'll know that you will have everything you could need, should your trip run less-than-smoothly. Here's what I take to a three-day con. (Before you judge, every last one of these things has come in handy.)
The go bag itself
Medical insurance card
Driver’s license or photo ID
Tablet and charger
Shout wipes or Tide to-go pen
Over-the-counter medication (Tylenol, ibuprofen, Midol, Immodium, antihistamine)
Travel first aid kit (bandages, rubbing alcohol swabs, Neosporin swabs, moleskin for blisters)
Costume repair kit (sewing needle, thread to match your costume, hem tape, safety pins, extra buttons)
Socks and underwear for each day
Comfortable shoes/Ballet flats /Thin slippers
Wigs (wig, wig cap, wig comb, hairspray, and bobby pins)
All costume components (including any necessary undergarments and accessories)
Any special effects makeup
Airbrush for makeup, if using
Shampoo--use this to double for fabric detergent
Conditioner--use this to double for fabric softener, shaving cream, and detangler
Travel baby powder--for relieving chafed skin and setting makeup
Cotton swabs—store these in empty prescription containers or empty tic-tac boxes
Brushes and sponges for applying makeup
Feminine hygeine products--ladies, you'll be surprised sometimes, and someone else you know might need some
Prescription medication—please double-check that you have enough; it can be a huge pain to get a prescription filled in another city on a weekend. Keep meds in their original containers, with your name on them.
Items to get autographed
Ticket or ticket confirmation
Copy of hotel confirmation email
Also enjoy our freebie checklist for convention goers!
This might seem like overkill, but the confirmation email comes in handy when the hotel loses your reservation. A poncho can protect your costume from being ruined. Think like
the Boy Scouts: it pays to be prepared.
Audrey Peters, Writer