Tomorrow's the day!
I tend to be a last minute packer...it drives The Hubs nuts. He's more of a pack-the-week-before kind of fella'.
So, as I toss in the last few items into my suitcase, I thought I'd just share with you what I'll be taking with me to ensure a successful convention weekend.
Here they are in no particular order...
A notepad and penWhile most speakers provide handouts for taking notes, I tend to need a little more writing space. In addition, I love to have some paper handy for writing down possible curriculum ideas and book titles for the future.
A highlighterThe convention schedule is a well-ordered road map of dozens and dozens of great speaker sessions. But, I can obviously only hear one speaker per session. The moment I get to the convention, I quickly scan the schedule and highlight the titles of the sessions that I hope to attend. That way, as I am rushing from the vendor floor to find the correct conference room, I can see the WHO, WHAT, and WHERE at a glance.
Sensible shoesI'm all for looking nice, but I'll never understand why ladies wear heels to a homeschool convention. By the end of a full weekend of walking from one end of a convention centerto the other multiple times, my feet THANK ME for dressing them in sensible, albeit not as fashionable, shoes.
A laundry basketI'm not gonna lie, folks. I buy a lot of stuff at the convention each year. In my own defense, most of it is used and purchased at a steal-of-a-deal price. I always bring along a laundry basket to stash away in my trunk so that I don't end up with a bunch of books flying around in the back of my van while I drive home. I can organize them neatly in the basket and know they will STAY SECURE on the long journey back.
Cash in small billsMost NEW-material vendors accept credit cards, but USED-material vendors prefer cash. By having small bills, I can make a quick and painless transaction.
Address labelsMany NEW-material vendors do not carry their full stock to the convention. Be prepared to order your books to be shipped to you. By bringing address labels, I don't have to fill out redundant contact info dozens of times by weekend's end. I can just slap an address label on the "contact info" portion of each form and be done.
Water bottlesWho wants to pay $2 for a bottle of water every few hours? I am always sure to pack a refillable water bottle to stay hydrated. (Consult your convention building regulations first, however. Some centers do not allow outside food or drink.)
SnacksI pack for a mentally and physically draining weekend. A granola bar or two can go along way to bolster my energy mid-day.
A backbackWhile I utilize the coat check to store my too-large or too-heavy-to-carry purchases, I always end up with a small pile of books and paper, as well as my water bottle and snacks, that I end up having to carry throughout the majority of the day.
A shopping listPrior to the convention, I spend hours researching potential curriculum options. I can't expect to remember all those titles throughout the course of a vigorous weekend. So, I always bring a tentative shopping list with me. I never have to feel married to the list...it's just tentative. But, at least I have a skeletal plan to point me in the right direction as I shop.
So that's what I'll be packing? How about you? What's going in your suitcase?