Minimalist packing for conference – travel with one backpack

Sew Paradise | February 10, 2013 | By

I have a 30 minute layover in one of the largest and busiest airports in the world tonight: From commuter terminal to the main terminal. I figure I’ll have to break my sub-10-minute-mile personal record to make this connector flight. I’ll be running with three other companions (or at least breathlessly saying to the gate agent: there are three more coming!)

I decided to make this a minimalist trip. It’s a conference where I’m representing Sparrow Hospital at the Best Fed Beginnings Baby Friendly learning session 2. The conference will be attended by 30 hospitals across the country (there are 90 in total, they divide us in three, and hold three group sessions for us to learn from one another in the 2-year Baby Friendly certification process.) I’m one of the two official parents on the Sparrow team and this is the “parent conference” where best practices and good ideas from parents will be presented to the hospital teams.

So I need to dress comfortably but semi-professionally. I opted to start with a black boucle suit jacket as my base and build around that:

  • Black boucle suit jacket
  • Teal and teal-black-white snake print colorblocked wrap dress
  • black leggings (for under the dress and for yoga)
  • Black and white knit print tops – 3/4 sleeve and short sleeve
  • Aqua pashmina scarf
  • black ballet flats
  • black ponte knit pants (they can work as ‘suit pants’ under a jacket)
  • Skinny jeans
  • black trench coat (it’ll be cold  here, and rainy in Austin)

That’s it! A nightie, robe and undergarments round out my bag. The vast majority of stuff in my backpack is not clothing, but snacks, work folder and conference packets, iPad, knitting and a tote bag that will double as my purse at the event. I almost left the jeans at home – the black pants could be worn twice easily, and if I come back having not worn the jeans I’ll remember that for next time.

The breastpump was the limiting factor – you’re only allowed one carryon and one personal item and the breastpump counts as the purse/laptop bag. So I had to leave my laptop at home and take my pump instead. I opted for the iPad; I won’t have time to work but I can check in via email if needed.

I’ll be running in the ballet flats (taking an extra pair of shoes for running just wasn’t in the cards for time or space.) I should have on something like these: http://www.6pm.com/keen-auckland-ballerina-black?zlfid=186&recoName=6pm_pdp_acc&zfcTest=mat%3A1

But my Keen Ballerinas are not that fancy and certainly can’t pass as dressy shoes in case I need that.

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