Caroline Cunningham, Recruiting Team Lead for Enterprise Hiring at Chevron Corporation and co-chair of the NACE 2015 Conference Committee
I can’t believe NACE 2015 will be my eighth NACE conference! Over the years, I have traveled to some pretty fun places like New Orleans, Orlando, Dallas, and Las Vegas—twice! Between my travels to the NACE conference, and many years of campus and conference recruiting trips, I have learned a few dos and don’ts about packing that I hope will be helpful for you as you get ready to come to Anaheim.
1. When packing your clothes, try these things to keep them from getting creased in your suitcase:
- Roll Your Clothes: Backpackers swear by this method. Rolling works well with pants, skirts, and sport shirts. Lay the item face down, fold back the sleeves, and roll from the bottom up.
- Fold Clothes Together: Take two or more garments—for example trousers—and lay half of one pair on top of the other. Fold the one on the bottom over the pair on the top. Then take the other and fold it over the top. This gives each pair some cushion where you’ve folded, so it’s less likely either will crease or wrinkle in the folds.
2. Most hotels provide basic toiletries like shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, and disposable razors. Lighten your load by calling ahead to see what will be provided.
3. Bring clothes in neutral colors that you can mix and match, and only pack shoes that can be worn with multiple outfits. Believe me, a pair of black pants and a pair of black flats go a long way!
4. Check the weather at your destination before you leave and pack accordingly. If the weather deviates significantly from the forecast, you can always buy a sweater or rain poncho and keep it as a souvenir. Temperatures average in the low 80s in June in Anaheim, but the conference rooms can be chilly, so pack a light sweater or wrap.
5. Bring a few laundry pods. These are one of the greatest inventions for travelers. I always pack a few of these in my suitcase in case I spill or need to quickly wash a T-shirt or blouse.
6. Use zipper storage bags. These are great for organizing socks and undergarments or packing individual outfits in your suitcase. I always tuck a few extra in my suitcase as well for a wet bathing suit or those souvenir soaps I want to bring home.
7. If you have a tablet or small laptop, bring it. Last year, I took notes on my iPad during several of the sessions and was so glad to have it with me.
8. Other items you might want to pack include a stretchy exercise band for a quick in-room workout, a baseball hat and flip flops to run down and get coffee first thing before you shower, an umbrella (though in California lately those are rarely used), and a neck or back pillow for the plane.
Lastly, I can’t tell you how worthwhile it has been for me to invest in a really good carry-on size suitcase. I opted for a lightweight polycarbonate case with four way spinners and an external pocket for my laptop. This thing is tough as nails and can hold a surprising amount of stuff. The bonus is not having to check my luggage.
Happy packing and see you in Anaheim!