8 Travel Must Haves for Conferences Like #SXSW

What to Pack for the 2013 SXSW

Heading to SXSW? Don’t forget to check out our VIP Party Guide and look for more awesome content as we near the 2013 SXSW Interactive Media Conference.

I’m no stranger to work travel and I’m certainly no stranger to the conference speaking and travel scene. It’s hard to pick up and pack your life into 2 little carry on travel bags especially when it comes to the 2013 SXSW Interactive Media Conference.

What to Pack with for the 2013 Conference Season and SXSW

  • Juice Pack.  There is nothing worse than being married to the outlet when you travel living your life based on the battery percentage of your mobile devices. I keep a battery juice pack handy with me that easily fits into my purse so I’m always charged and ready to go. I shy away from the standard mophie cover for your iphone because my iPad needs a charge now and then too.
  • Uber App. Uber is one of my favorite apps when I travel on my phone. A towncar magically arrives at my location and charges my credit card upon arriving at my destination. No more fumbling for cash or arguing with the cabbie on the credit card fee when I use my company credit card. 
  • Corralling Tech Cords.  One of my biggest frustrations when traveling is the endless cords, outlets and tech gear that I travel with.  It’s easy to get lost in a sea cords, batteries, and other device chargers.  I use a traveling hanging organizer to tame the growing assortment of cords that I carry on my person.  I love my Vera Bradley Hanging Organizer that offers even more room.  Roughly $48 the cost is worth it.  I can quickly grab and go with all my cords organizer and knot free.
  • Starbucks Instant Coffee. There is never good coffee around when I need it especially when I travel. I keep a package of the Starbucks Instant Coffee on hand because the line at SXSW is FOREVER!  Prepare to wait 30 minutes in line for a coffee nearly where ever you go. I pack my instant coffee and I’m ready to go – so easy!
  • Hand Sanitizing Wipes. Travel is gross. Hotels, I don’t trust so I keep a pack of organic sanitizing hand wipes in my purse or bag when I travel. They are great to quickly wipe down or seat or table especially when traveling with little ones. My favorite is EO’s travel hand sanitizer pack that comes in a lavender scent. It’s chemical free and smells great.
  • My Eagle Creek Carry On. I’ve had this Eagle Creek Carry On for over a year in berry and love it. All four wheels move easily and I absolutely love the piggy back feature where you can attach another bag or jacket directly to the bag. The cost is $340 but it is worth the price.
  • Foldable Travel Bag. When it comes to conferences, I love me some conference swag and shopping too. Because I opt to only have carry on luggage when I travel, I like to keep a foldable travel bag with me so when I head on my return flight home, I’m prepared. I shy away from the free reusable grocery bags because I have a closet full of them, and I like to travel in style. Here’s one I’m digging at the moment.
  • Flight Aware App. It always seems like I only have 50 minutes to make a connecting flight. With FlightAware, I know what terminal and gate my next plane is so I don’t miss a beat. There’s nothing worse than scrambling on the big screen trying desperately to find my gate. It’s equally helpful when I’m picking someone up from the airport.

So what did I miss? What’s your favorite go to travel items for conference season this year. Heading to SXSW? Don’t forget to check out our VIP Party Guide.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.

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