Monday, June 12, 2017

The Traveling Business Law Prof: Part I - Prepacking

It's conference season, yet again.  It seems like just yesterday that I was embarking on my June Scholarship and Teaching Tour 2016.  In fact, it was over a year ago.  My, how time flies . . . .

This year, I am doing the "City" tour for the first part of the summer season.  I have already been to Kansas City, MO (Midwest Symposium on Social Entrepreneurship), New York City, NY (Legal Issues in Social Entrepreneurship and Impact Investing: In the US and Beyond), and Salt Lake City, UT (National Business Law Scholars Conference).  Next week, I will be in Mexico City, Mexico for the Law and Society Association's International Meeting on Law and Society.  Not fitting into the "City" theme is my teaching day for Barbri in Nashville, TN and the Southeastern Association of Law Schools conference in Boca Raton, FL at the end of the summer.

Because of my travel schedule throughout the year, I often am asked about packing for my conference trips, which typically include some personal elements (e.g., touring, yoga, walking, or other exercise, etc.).  So, I decided to do a few posts on some packing tips and hacks that I use.  

Today, I focus on having a prepacked bag.  Given that I am a woman and choose to dress up for conferences, men and those who dress more casually will have to make significant modifications to my system.  Nevertheless, I hope that by sharing my conventions, I am offering something new to think about (at the very least). 

First things first: the generalities of my luggage (such as it is).  Unless I am teaching in a study abroad program (which I have not done since 2010), I pack in a soft-sided carryall and a tote large enough to fit my handbag (usually a small cross-body bag).  This combination works well for me.  (I am sure, however, that my doctor doesn't approve and would like me to use a wheelie bag, given the cervical and thoracic issues that I have in my neck and back.)  I do not like to have to lift wheelie bags into the overhead bins. The carryall lifts easily and typically fits nicely, even in the overhead bins on the small puddle-jumper planes that I sometimes must take from my beloved TYS (Knoxville's McGee-Tyson Airport). 

The carryall is prepacked with a pouch filled with non-liquid makeup products and tools (for conference days and mights out) and a see-through ziplock bag (I use a more substantial bag from Sephora somewhat like this one now, but I used to use just a normal sandwich bag) filled with liquid personal care and makeup products in small (as small as possible) bottles and jars.  My travel makeup includes foundation, cream blush, powder blush/bronzer, eyeliner, eye shadow, eyebrow pencil, lip color, several travel-sized brushes, and a pencil sharpener.  My travel personal care products include facial cleanser, toner, moisturizer, eye cream, toothpaste, toothbrush, Boroleum ointment, hair curl cream, deodorant, cotton rounds, cotton swabs, face wipes, a portable razor, a mini sewing kit, and in some cases (especially where a hotel stay is not involved in the trip), soap or body wash, body oil or cream, shampoo, and conditioner.

Also prepacked in the carryall is a case for my electronic cables--one for charging my phone and one for my computer.  (The latter is a new addition--the result of having left my old computer power cord at a hotel and needing to buy a new one to serve me until the old one could be located and shipped back.)  It's surprising how helpful this stocked power cord case has been for me . . . .

The tote is prepacked with two zippered pouches.  One carries small, generally electronics-related, items (a jump drive or two, my Fitbit charger cord, a few small binder clips, and some pens.  The other zippered pouch is my mini-pharmacy, which consists of antacids, ibuprofen and naproxen sodium tablets, decongestants, antibiotic ointment, and bandage strips. The tote also holds, as noted above, my handbag (with the included wallet, keys, and phone), my computer, and any written materials and stationery products that I am bringing (including any hard-copy reading for the plane).  Sometimes (including when traveling internationally) the tote also holds a change of clothes and shoes.  But I will say more about packing clothing in another post.

Let me know what, other than the clothes packing advice, might be of use to you, if you get a chance.  I want this series of posts to be of help to you.  I will respond in either the comments or a future post.


Conferences, Joan Heminway, Travel | Permalink


I don't travel as much as you, but I like the pre-packed bag idea. I don't like checking bags--I didn't even check when we went to Brazil years ago--but I do find it difficult to pack all the shoes I need for conferences--dress shoes for the conference, casual (more comfortable) shoes for walking around, and running shoes. I usually just don't bring the casual shoes and use the dress shoes or the running shoes for walking around/dinners, though neither really go with jeans very well. I also really like hard copy books, but they can get quite heavy.

Posted by: Haskell Murray | Jun 13, 2017 9:14:36 AM

Thanks, Joan. These are great.

Posted by: anon | Jun 13, 2017 9:58:12 AM

Thanks for the suggestions, Haskell, and the encouragement, anon. Haskell, I do intend to address the issues you raise. You may disagree with my approaches/ideas, and if you do, I hope that you will share your thoughts in the comments or in a post of your own.

Posted by: joanheminway | Jun 13, 2017 1:06:40 PM

Thanks, Joan! And great seeing you in Utah.

I enjoyed these very much. Three minor things I do, in case they are helpful (though they don't address the issues Haskell raise): (1) if it's a short conference, I'll sometimes use this backpack, which is regular-size but will fit one suit (or presumably a dress) and one or two shirts in the suit compartment. The wrinkling is about what you'd expect from a garment bag, i.e., I would not wear anything straight out of the bag but if you put it in the bathroom and run the shower it's fine. (2) I roll all my clothing, including ties. Saves space and reduces wrinkling because there are no hard creases. (3) This is a general life hack, not only for travel, but iPhone tethering (turning on "Personal Hotspot," which I believe requires one initial setup call to the carrier) is key. Instant internet anywhere. I used to bill an extra half hour on the way home this way while in practice :-)

Posted by: Greg Shill | Jun 14, 2017 10:40:21 AM

Thanks, Greg! Great tips. I am likely to cross-reference them in a subsequent post, in whole or in part. But just to preview: I used to use a garment bag-type luggage item but have abandoned the approach; I sometimes also roll clothing (more on that later); and I am currently an android user and can get Internet through my phone (although it seemed more complex than the Apple system the one time I used it heavily). More later! But (again) thanks for all this.

Posted by: joanheminway | Jun 14, 2017 11:00:28 AM

Thanks, Joan! Makes sense. I look forward to the next installment(s)!

Posted by: Greg Shill | Jun 14, 2017 11:48:45 AM

Post a comment