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19 Top Convention Packing List Items for 2024 + What NOT to Bring

19 Top Convention Packing List Items for 2024 + What NOT to Bring
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Conventions come in all shapes and sizes and happen all over the world! No matter what type of convention you’re headed to, whether it’s Comic-Con, a work conference, or a Consumer Electronics Show – this packing list will have you ready to go!

See our product selection criteria and guidelines here.

What to Pack for a Convention – 19 Essentials

  • 1. Badge and Badge Case

    By far, the most important thing to bring with you to a convention is your badge or entry pass. Bringing a case that keeps your badge safe and attached to you is key. This one is durable, waterproof, and retractable.

    Badge and Badge Case

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  • 2. Packing Cubes

    Packing cubes are my traveling must-have, no matter the length of the trip or destination. They’ll keep you unbelievably organized. These come in a set that is perfect for a convention-length trip, different colors for every traveler, and two bonus laundry bags!

    Packing Cubes

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  • 3. Comfortable Shoes

    Attending a convention can mean a lot of sitting and listening, sure, but even more walking. Don’t let sore feet keep you from seeing all the headlining speakers, showcases, or cool presentations in the evenings. Comfortable shoes are something you will be glad you packed. These Dr. Scholl’s walking shoes are top-tier and feel like a cloud!

    Comfortable Shoes

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  • 4. RFID-Blocking Neck Wallet

    A neck wallet is a great place to keep a stash of business cards to give out while networking. Don’t forget to bring cash for spending money, credit cards, your ID, phones, and anything else you usually keep in your wallet. We recommend a neck wallet that keeps your valuables safer and more easily accessible. It’s RFID-blocking to stop modern thieves from scanning your financial data.

    neck wallet

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  • 5. Appropriate Clothing

    Maybe you’re headed to Comic-Con or an anime convention. In that case, don’t forget to bring a sick costume from your favorite characters! Every convention undoubtedly requires a specific wardrobe, so read up on what is appropriate, fun, and eccentric yet expected of your fellow convention-goers.

    Appropriate Clothing

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  • 6. Travel Insurance

    If you’re traveling more than 100 miles from home, be sure to add travel insurance to your packing list! It’s affordable and will cover you for medical emergencies, baggage loss, theft, flight delays, or even trip cancelation. We use Faye because their mobile app makes claims and reimbursements a breeze! We tell all our friends about them since other providers are like dinosaurs in their approach. But you won’t want to pay out-of-pocket if your domestic provider doesn’t cover you.

    Travel Insurance

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  • 7. Portable Phone Charger

    With your phone, you can take notes during presentations, snap pictures with your special guest idols, and stay up-to-date with what’s going on at the convention. Needless to say, bringing a portable phone charger is key. This one is universal and will keep your devices active all day. You can keep it in your backpack for on-the-go charging so you don’t run into an emergency.

    Portable Phone Charger

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  • 8. Quick-Dry Travel Towel

    A travel towel will come in handy for countless situations. Whether you head to the hotel hot tub for a soak, hit the beach, or enjoy a sunset hike in a multi-day convention – this towel will be way friendlier for travel than a bulky bath towel. We use it as a packing cushion, beach towel, makeup remover wipe, seat cover, and more. It dries 10x faster than cotton and is made for travel!

    Quick-Dry Travel Towel

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  • 9. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    Don’t leave yourself vulnerable to potential hackers by joining public WiFi networks at your convention. Even if it’s named ‘FREE CONVENTION GUEST’ and looks super safe, these public networks can risk your private data like passwords, credit card numbers, and your social security number. Use a VPN to create a private network to surf the web on. It will also reduce censorship in certain areas so you can use your favorite websites like YouTube and Facebook, just as you would at home. It’s affordable and will offer peace of mind that no hackers can target you in public places!


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  • 10. Camera

    There are so many moments to be captured at conventions, especially if you’re headed to one in which super creative costumes are involved. Bring a GoPro, Point & Shoot camera, or even a disposable one to snap those pictures! This one is highly rated and a good deal for the price. Don’t forget the SD card!


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  • 11. Laptop/Charger

    If you’re going to a medical, business or scientific convention, you’ll probably want to have your laptop with you to take into talks and take notes. If you’re going to a more “fun” convention, you may still want to bring your computer to get some work done in your downtime!


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  • 12. Hanging Toiletry Bag

    This is one of my wife’s favorite discoveries! This bag has four giant pockets that create a built-in storage system in any bathroom. Hook it on a door, pole, hook (or even a branch if you’re camping!), and you’ll have an instant replacement for countertop space. It’s way more organized than chaotically throwing your products around. And we haven’t had a luggage spill since switching to these for all liquids!

    Hanging Toiletry Bag

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  • 13. Toiletries

    Always travel with your own toiletries. Don’t count on your hotel to have real toothpaste or extra toothbrushes. This has all of the essentials for a man and here’s an equally-equipped one for women.


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  • 14. Lightweight Backpack

    Between all of the different events, symposiums, and presentations at your convention, you’ll be collecting flyers and souvenirs right and left. Bringing a lightweight backpack is a good way to stay organized and keep your hands free! This one is super practical and made for travel.

    Lightweight Backpack

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  • 15. TSA-Approved Luggage Locks

    For flying, camping, or using public lockers, these luggage locks are perfect for securing your items. You may have to pass off your bags at the hotel or check luggage at the airport. Since things will be out of sight for long durations, it really adds peace of mind to have a 4-figure combination lock around your belongings.

    TSA-Approved Luggage Locks

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  • 16. Sharpies

    There may be some celebrities in your field at the convention you’re going to. If you happen to brush shoulders with one (or wait in line to shake their hand!) you might want to think about bringing along a Sharpie. That way, you can get autographs on your convention pamphlet.


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  • 17. Healthy Snacks

    Food at conventions is almost always extremely expensive. Bringing snacks with you is a good way to save money, curb your cravings, and maybe make a few friends. Who doesn’t like trail mix? This set has healthy snacks that are still indulgent, like popcorn and chips.

    Healthy Snacks

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  • 18. Windproof Travel Umbrella

    Rain is prevalent in almost any destination. You should always bring a lightweight travel umbrella with you for exploring. It will ensure that unpredictable weather won’t slow you down when visiting a new town or getting to your convention. This one weighs 1-pound and comes with a convenient carrying case.

    Windproof Travel Umbrella

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  • 19. “Just in Case” Bag

    Do you ever travel and find yourself saying, “ugh! I wish I had just one extra bag!” For any shopping, gifts, or things you pick up along the way – use this ‘just in case’ bag that counts as your personal item bag on the flight home! It’s a duffel material so it won’t take up space on the way there, but on the way home, it will save you carry-on fees!

    “Just in Case” Bag

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What to wear at a Convention

What you wear to your convention really depends on what kind of convention you’re attending. Is it a zumba convention? Cosplay? Panhellenic? You probably already have an idea on what to wear, and if not, do some research before you pack. Make sure to bring comfortable walking shoes, and a light jacket or sweater since hotel rooms always get cold!

For the car or plane trip there and back, make sure to pack some comfortable clothes that you can re-wear throughout the weekend so that you don’t overpack.

What NOT to bring to Convention

  • 1.Weapons

    There’s usually security and metal detectors that you have to pass through as you enter a convention venue (in case you need a reason not to bring any weapons)!

  • 2.Unnecessary electronics

    No need to weigh yourself or your brain down with extra electronics.

  • 3.Too many outfit options

    Overpacking will be the death of you. Organize and plan outfits in advance so that your suitcase or backpack stays nice and light.

  • 4.A bad attitude

    Go into every convention with an open mind!

FAQs about Conventions

  • 1. Do I need to wear a costume to a cosplay convention?

    Most people actually do wear a costume. As a matter of fact, many Comic-con-goers spend months creating their costumes from scratch! It’s a great display of creativity and ingenuity. That’s not to say you need to wear one though. Wear what you feel comfortable in!

  • 2. Do I need to stay at the hotel that the conference is being held at?

    Not necessarily. Staying at a hotel can be expensive, especially if there’s high demand that weekend because of the convention. Check out local AirBnbs for an alternative place to stay. Make sure you book way ahead of time since everything will fill up fast on convention weekends!

  • 3. How do I find a cool convention hear me?

    The best way to find a cool convention is to google your local convention center. You can also try researching your interests and see if a convention is going on anywhere in the country, then make a trip out of it!

  • 4. How do I choose the right suitcase to bring?

    Do some research online, make a packing list, then choose a suitcase that is big enough to fit what you need to bring and nothing more. If you have back issues, a rolling suitcase with wheels might be the best option. If you’re going for a weekend only, a small duffel bag or backpack might work.

  • 5. How can I keep my bag organized?

    Always use packing cubes to keep your clothes organized and separate. Use one for underwear, one for pants, one for costumes, etc. Using lots of Ziploc bags is a great idea too. You can use them for everything from toiletries to writing utensils to snacks!