My RootsTech Day Bag

Today I packed for RootsTech 2019! I have been working on planning some carry-on only travel to Europe in the fall, so I’ve had packing on the brain this week and it’s spilling over into this week’s blog post.

After two years of packing waaaay too much in a suitcase that was waaaay too big I am going light this year. A favorable weather forecast for next week and a lack of dressy events on my itinerary made it easy to lighten the load. I managed to reduce my luggage down to a small duffel bag and a slim backpack (that I actually won at RootsTech last year!), so I can go carry-on only.

bagNot only have I been bringing too much luggage in general, I have also been hauling too much stuff around the convention center on a day to day basis. I already have problems with my shoulders and neck that are exacerbated by carry a heavy bag. This year I am downsizing my RootsTech day bag to only the essentials. I will be using this Baggallini cross-body purse I found at TJ Maxx a few years ago. It has one main compartment and two front pockets. I’m packing this bag for RootsTech next week, but the contents are what I would bring to any genealogy conference.

  1. Water bottle (carried through airport security empty)
  2. Small notebook – I don’t tend to take many notes at lectures, partially because I download the handouts from the RootsTech app, so a small notebook will suffice
  3. Small wallet (relieved of excessive cards or change)
  4. Backup phone battery
  5. Travel pack of tissues
  6. Pen and pencil (mostly for work on the plane, there will be plenty of free pens in the exhibit hall!)
  7. Wet wipe (for breakfast or lunch on the go)
  8. Phone charging cord
  9. Business cards – RootsTech is great for networking with other genealogists! These are old cards I made myself last year using tear-apart printable cards from an office supply store because my work cards have not come in yet. They feature my blog, Twitter handle, email address and LinkedIn page.
  10. Day’s worth of medications (I keep refills in my suitcase)
  11. Lip balm (I can’t go anywhere without it)
  12. Earbuds – So I can unwind with an audiobook, a tune or a quick DuoLingo lesson during lunch or downtime.

With a smaller bag, I am also committed to picking up less from the exhibit hall. I won’t be stuffing my bag with literature and swag. Instead of picking up literature from a booth I might snap a photo of it with my phone, which is not only lighter but greener! It will reduce the amount of paper I have to throw away before I head home on Sunday! I will only pick up swag I plan to use, instead of bringing home a pile of unnecessary pens and stickers.

Do you have any packing tips for genealogy conferences? Share your ideas in the comments below!

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