Ultimate Carry-On Packing List for Conference Travelers

Ultimate Carry-On Packing List for Conference Travelers

As a frequent conference traveler in the scientific field, I've mastered the art of packing light with a carry-on only. Avoiding checked baggage is crucial for a hassle-free airport experience and maximizing productivity upon arrival. Traveling with carry-on only can be a game-changing travel hack that allows you to breeze through security and baggage claim without delays.

Here's my expert guide on how to pack the ultimate conference carry-on bag, along with essential travel tips for conferences. This comprehensive carry-on packing list and clever travel hacks will help you pack like a pro for your next scientific conference:

Carryon Packing Hacks for a conference and tips

  • Use a lightweight, spinner carry-on luggage for easy mobility
  • Roll your clothes instead of folding them to save space in your carry-on.
  • Use packing cubes to separate and compress your clothing and accessories.
  • Wear your heaviest shoes and jacket on the plane to free up space in your bag.
  • Print your poster on fabric so it can be folded and packed easily in your carry-on
  • Pack versatile clothing that can be mixed and matched for different occasions.
  • Use solid toiletry bars (soap, shampoo, etc.) instead of liquids to avoid spills.
  • Bring a portable power bank to keep devices charged.
  • Pack charging cables and adapters for all devices.
  • Download conference apps and materials onto devices before traveling.
  • Pack a reusable water bottle to refill after security.
  • Bring snacks like energy bars to avoid overpriced airport food.
  • Keep essentials like ID, boarding pass, medications in an easily accessible pouch.
  • Sign up for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry for faster security screening.
  • Scan and save important documents
  • Mark your parking spot on maps to easily locate your car later. 

Airport hacks to streamline your travel experience when using a carry-on bag:

  • Sign up for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry for faster security.
  • Invest in a luggage scale for weight restrictions.
  • Pack a portable charger for device power-ups.
  • Bring an empty water bottle to refill post-security.
  • Wear your heaviest shoes and jacket onto the plane.
  • Use lightweight, spinner carry-on luggage.
  • Roll clothes to maximize space and minimize wrinkles.
  • Utilize packing cubes for organization.
  • Access airline or credit card lounges for comfort.
  • Check Groupon for lounge, parking, and transportation deals.
  • Use the MyTSA app for security wait times and item rules.
  • Park at hotels with free airport shuttles.
  • Pack snacks and a reusable water bottle.
  • Wear easily removable shoes and keep essentials accessible.
  • Take photos of your parking spot for easy car retrieval. 

Most forgotten items when packing for a conference

  • Power banks, chargers, and charging cables
  • Breath mints/gum
  • Headphones/earbuds24
  • Reusable water bottle15
  • Travel documents (ID, hotel reservation, etc.)35
  • Medications
  • Promotional items/giveaways
  • Posters ! (Make sure to print on cloth)

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About the Author

Dr. Dickson W., is an Atlanta-based research scientist, passionate traveler and CEO of Loomis Travel, the direct to customer luggage company you can trust featured below.