Friday, June 16, 2017

BlogHer 17 Packing Trip Tips From A Blog Conference Veteran


If you're lucky enough to be headed to Orlando, Florida next week for BlogHer 2017 from June 22-24, you'll have the opportunity to hear from some of the most iconic recognizable American emerging female leaders of our time including Chelsea Clinton, Serena Williams and others.  These packing tips for both first-timers and serial blog conference attendees are perfect for this conference as well as being applicable to any of the popular blogging conferences. Either way, having attended BlogHer the past six years myself, I think running through this checklist of packing ideas should help make your upcoming trip the best possible.

6 Blog Conference Packing Pointers

Start Packing In Advance

Don't wait till the night before and just throw stuff into your suitcase (I'm embarrassed to admit that used to be my old packing style). Instead, pack a few days before departure, that way you won't be so stressed out and you'll be less likely to forget things you really want to bring. Another good strategy as you pack: attach luggage tags right now to each piece of baggage as well as your carry ons with your cell phone number, rather than waiting till you get to the airport since you might forget. Better to be on the safe side rather than have regrets later  -- the reality is airlines lose or delay bloggers' checked baggage every now and then, so make sure you carry on essentials like important medication , a good supply of business cards and anything else you will need to hit the ground running when you arrive.

Packing for Comfort

If you check now you'll see that Orlando is quite humid and hot. So pack accordingly with mix-and-match comfortable clothing, shoes and accessories. Remember to pack wardrobe items you can layer so you don't freeze from indoor air conditioning or roast when stepping outdoors. Another great tried and true piece of advice, your days and nights are likely to be hectic, so be good to yourself and don't bring more complete outfits than you're going to have time to change into. And, unless you're a fashion blogger, you might want to consider bringing comfortable shoes (rather than your tallest stiletto heels) for all the walking you'll be doing each day.

What Else Should You Bring?

First and foremost don't forget those business cards (250-500 cards are suggested) since you'll be networking with hundreds of fellow bloggers as well as brands over the course of the event. You'll also want to bring mobile chargers for your smartphone, laptop, tablet and/or camera since charging your devices at the conference may be a challenge because you'll be on the go constantly and outlets aren't always available when you need them. A great additional tip is to make sure ALL your devices have identification on them. That way you'll maximize the chances of being reunited with anything you might misplace (or get accidentally mixed up with another blogger who has the same exact device or phone case as you).

Leave Extra Space in Your Luggage

It's a good idea to bring one large, lightly-packed suitcase with another piece of baggage inside (like a duffle bag) that you can check on the way home. Not only will this give you the baggage space for all the SWAG you'll be picking up, you avoid paying an unnecessary luggage fee on the second suitcase on your in-bound flight to the conference. If you've never been to a blogging conference before, you are going to be surprised about the amount of stuff you will accumulate in just a few days.

Check Your Airline's Carry On Policy

As you pack, you will also want to make sure you know what your airfare covers and what you can and cannot carry on board without having to pay extra. It's old news that bargain airlines like Spirit, Frontier, etc have been charging a premium for carry ons for a while. But now some major airlines (United, to name one) are starting to offer special lower fares which limit passengers to ONE personal item (purse, small backpack, etc) and then if you show up at the gate with a second carry on that is anything larger, they'll add on a hefty fee.

Shipping Swag Home

When BlogHer is over, if you still happen to end up with a suitcase or two exceeding the 50 pound limit, you might be able to save money by shipping boxes home to yourself. Check with the conference host hotel to see where the closest FedEx and/or UPS shipping center is located. But, a word to the wise, do compare prices and ask for an estimate because this option can actually cost you more than the stuff you are shipping is worth and you may decide -- depending on your personal situation -- if it makes more sense to either pay to check it as an extra piece of baggage or to give it away to someone else.

Safe travels and have a fun and productive BlogHer 17 in Orlando!

FTC Disclosure: I have attended multiple BlogHer conferences at my own expense. I did not receive any compensation for this post and thoughts here are my own. See complete FTC Disclosure information that appears at the bottom of MommyBlogExpert's main page and at the bottom of every individual post on this blog, including this one.

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