19 Essentials You MUST HAVE for Your Convention Packing List (What to Bring to a Convention)

Are you trying to get your convention packing list together, but you don’t know where to start?

No need to worry because I got you covered!

Conventions are one of the coolest places to be. They are filled with people who love the same things you do.

Plus, there are panels, workshops, cosplayers, vendors, and more.

Whether you are attending a convention as a vendor, a cosplayer, a fan, or just an attendee, it can be extremely overwhelming when it comes to packing for the incredible event.

Today, I’m going to share my best convention packing list and show you how to also pack for a cosplay event that will make your experience stress-free.

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Leaky Con

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Finding the Best Bags for Conventions

If you are in the market for a new bag for your next convention, I highly recommend you consider stalking Amazon for the best bags for conventions and you can do this by looking at reviews and ratings. 

Blue Travel Backpack. Keep reading to get the Essentials You MUST HAVE for Your Convention Packing List and What to Bring to a Convention.

Amazon is one of my favorite companies to get bags from.

Hegwid Loungefly Bag at Universal Orlando Wizarding World of Harry Potter Holiday Tribute Store. Keep reading to get the Essentials You MUST HAVE for Your Convention Packing List and What to Bring to a Convention.
Harry Potter Inspired Bag to Match Your Cosplay

They have a huge variety of bags to choose from for conventions, and they’re also great for gift bags for cosplay items, gifts, and more.

5 Best Bags for Conventions on Amazon

  1. WANDF Drawstring Bag with Shoe Pocket, String Bag Sackpack Cinch Water Resistant Nylon
  2. WATERFLY Packable Small Crossbody Sling Backpack
  3. Original Floral Water Resistant Large Tote Bag Shoulder Bag
  4. KAVU Original Rope Bag Cotton Crossbody Sling
  5. Messenger Bag, 17 In Laptop Bag Vintage Water Resistant Canvas Shoulder Bag Satchel for Men by VONXURY

Backpacks for Conventions

If you’re more of a backpack person and you like to have multiple compartments, then these are the ultimate backpacks for your conventions.

Universal Orlando Resort The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley Merchandise at Universal Studios Florida Niffler Loungefly Bag and Wallet Cosplay. Keep reading to get the Essentials You MUST HAVE for Your Convention Packing List and What to Bring to a Convention.
Harry Potter Inspired Bag to Match Your Cosplay

Plus, it’s all about the size, durability, and convenience that fits the ideal convention bag.

5 Best Backpacks for Conventions on Amazon

  1. Matein Travel Laptop Backpack, Business Anti Theft Slim Durable Laptops Backpack
  2. Extra Large 50L Travel Laptop Backpack with USB Charging Port Fit 17 Inch Laptops
  3. ZOMAKE Ultra Lightweight Hiking Backpack with Water Resistant Small Backpack Packable Daypack
  4. Harry Potter Hogwarts Collegiate Backpack
  5. Loungefly Star Wars Stormtrooper Lenticular Mini Backpack
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Packing for my Trip 🙂

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Convention Essentials

When preparing for your trip this year, you have to know what items you must bring before you event start packing.

Leaky Con Convention in Orlando Florida 2014 with Outdoorsy Diva and NikkyJ. Keep reading to get the Essentials You MUST HAVE for Your Convention Packing List and What to Bring to a Convention.
Leaky Con Convention in Orlando Florida with Outdoorsy Diva and NikkyJ (ThemeParkHipster)

Con Packing List

Your convention essentials must include power banks, cell phones, memory cards, portable hard drives, and USB-C adapters, but let’s go through a full list just for you.

Universal Orlando Resort The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley Merchandise at Universal Studios Florida Hedwig Owl Bag Backpack. Keep reading to get the Essentials You MUST HAVE for Your Convention Packing List and What to Bring to a Convention.
Harry Potter Inspired Bag to Match Your Cosplay

1. A Good Backpack 

Convention backpacks are great for those long walks and lengthy waits in line.

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Leaky Con Convention in Orlando Florida 2014 Vendors Whimsic Alley. Keep reading to get the Essentials You MUST HAVE for Your Convention Packing List and What to Bring to a Convention.

So, you’ll want a good backpack to be able to carry all of your convention souvenirs.

Based on my personal experience, you’ll have A LOT of stuff to pick up during your visit.

2. Paper Work

If you’re going to a major convention that needs you to have your confirmation number and proof of payment in order to complete your registration, then you’ll want to have all of that with you in addition to having it in a dedicated email folder.

Recommended: Florida Packing List: What to Pack for Your EPIC Trip!

3. Your Cosplay Pieces 

Packing your cosplay early is another good tip is when it comes to creating a good con packing list.

Universal-Orlando-Resort-NikkyJ-Ravenclaw-Flag-at-Celebration-of-Harry-Potter-World. Keep reading to get the Essentials You MUST HAVE for Your Convention Packing List and What to Bring to a Convention.

Hipster Power Tip: Brainstorming what you’ll bring is always a long process if you’re a perfectionist, so you’ll want to make sure you have a list written out on all your pieces that way you don’t forget to start packing those essential items early.

4. Makeup

You’re going to want to pack makeup for the event. While products are available for sale at various store locations near the convention, having them with you will save time and money.

Leaky Con Convention in Orlando Florida with NikkyJ. Keep reading to get the Essentials You MUST HAVE for Your Convention Packing List and What to Bring to a Convention.
Leaky Con Harry Potter Convention

Mainly because stores near high volume tourist areas tend to be way more expensive.

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5. Photo ID

Don’t forget to pack your photo ID. It will be crucial to your travel experience with things such as boarding a flight, convention registration confirmation, checking into your hotel and purchasing alcoholic beverages.

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So, please don’t forget to add this to your convention packing list.

6. Scarves

The scarves are a good thing to pack for conventions because some venue locations are really cold and if you don’t want to have a heavy jacket on throughout your whole visit.

Leaky Con Convention in Orlando Florida 2014 with NikkyJ and Outdoorsy Diva. Keep reading to get the Essentials You MUST HAVE for Your Convention Packing List and What to Bring to a Convention.

Plus they provide an alternative way to stay warm.

Whether you’re going to a more professional convention or a cosplay convention, a scarf can be used to enhance the theming of your outfit.

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7. Snacks

For snacks you definitely want to keep it healthy. That way not only will you have healthier choices, but you’ll also be saving yourself from unnecessary food bills.

Best Snack to take to a convention with green apple on top of peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Keep reading to get the Essentials You MUST HAVE for Your Convention Packing List and What to Bring to a Convention.

Good snacks will help you keep up your stamina during the convention.

8. Water

Packing water in your bag is a good way to keep you not only hydrated, but it can help you keep up your energy at a convention. I like having both water and snacks with me all the time.

Leaky Con Convention in Orlando Florida 2014 Seminar Class. Keep reading to get the Essentials You MUST HAVE for Your Convention Packing List and What to Bring to a Convention.

Did you know that dehydration can not only cause fatigue, but also lead to dizziness?

This is something to think about before you make your way out to your convention trip.

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9. Extra Clothes

Having extra clothing in your convention bag is ideal because there’s always a time where something bad could accidently happen and you’ll want to have a backup shirt or pants with you.

Tampa Bay Comic Con with Game of Throne Cosplay and NikkyJ 2013. Keep reading to get the Essentials You MUST HAVE for Your Convention Packing List and What to Bring to a Convention.
Tampa Bay Comic Con

I’ve had horrifying stories of white pants at theme parks so I’ll just leave it there…

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10. Extra Shoes

So, those shoes may have started off as a good idea, but as the day goes on you realize that you’ve made a mistake.

NikkyJ at Harry Potter Convention in Universal Orlando Resort. Keep reading to get the Essentials You MUST HAVE for Your Convention Packing List and What to Bring to a Convention.

Luckily for you, you’ve read this guide and you listened to me and you have an extra pair of shoes on hand.

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11. A Good Battery/Power Bank

This is essential if you will be using many types of portable devices that will require you to charge them frequently.

Leaky Con Convention in Orlando Florida 2014 Muggle Net. Keep reading to get the Essentials You MUST HAVE for Your Convention Packing List and What to Bring to a Convention.

We all know just how intense a convention can get and whether it’s a professional event that requires you to be on your laptop or if you’re a iPad type of person, you’ll want to make sure you have a way to charge your devices.

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So, please don’t forget to add this to your convention packing list.

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12. Toiletries Deodorant

Just in case you get a little toasty under your cosplay outfit, you’ll want to have some much needed toiletry items to keep yourself fresh throughout the day such as:

  • Deodorant
  • Body Spray
  • Mouth Wash
  • Floss (after meals)
  • Mints
  • Lip Balm

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13. A Basic Phone Charger

This will be another must have as you’ll be using your phone to capture all of the incredible moments you’ll be having at the convention.

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Adding a good portable phone charger can make or break your experience on your visit.

14. Stationary Items

If you’re old school like me, then you’ll want to have a notebook, markers, pencils or pens on hand to take good notes of the speakers or to get an autograph from your favorite celebrity at a convention.

Leaky Con Convention in Orlando Florida 2014 Harry Potter Lifesize posters with Belatrix and Hermoine. Keep reading to get the Essentials You MUST HAVE for Your Convention Packing List and What to Bring to a Convention.

15. Maps

Review the convention map prior to your visit.

This will make your experience less stressful knowing that you have a plan in action because you have already become familiar with the layout of the event.

NikkyJ ThemeParkHipster with Mauricio, Miraphora, and Eduardo of MinaLima Design. Keep reading to get the Essentials You MUST HAVE for Your Convention Packing List and What to Bring to a Convention.
Enjoying my time at a Harry Potter Convention with the Design Team from the movies (Mauricio, Miraphora, and Eduardo of MinaLima Design).

You’ll then know exactly where to go when you arrive to the convention.

16. A Guidebook

It’s very helpful if you can download the event guidebook before you get your trip started.

Leaky Con Convention in Orlando Florida 2014 Guidebook and Lanyard. Keep reading to get the Essentials You MUST HAVE for Your Convention Packing List and What to Bring to a Convention.

Guidebooks are useful in knowing exactly who will be speaking, where your favorite speaker or influencer will be, what time various lectures or presentations will start and so much more!

This is something you don’t want to forget for your convention packing list.

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17. Comfortable Shoes

You’re going to definitely want to invest in a good pair of shoes.

Now these shoes should be something that you’re already familiar with and have possibly already broken in. The last thing you want to ruin your convention experience is a pair of bad shoes.

Celebration of Harry Potter 2014 with NikkyJ dueling with wands. Keep reading to get the Essentials You MUST HAVE for Your Convention Packing List and What to Bring to a Convention.

Most conventions will have you walking around large complexes throughout the event.

18. A Good Camera

Although most cellular phones offer great video recording and photography, you may be a type of person who wants to have high-quality photos to document your experience or maybe you’re making a video that you want to look a bit more polished.

NikkyJ Using Camera in Niagara Waterfalls Canada. Keep reading to get the Essentials You MUST HAVE for Your Convention Packing List and What to Bring to a Convention.

If that’s the case, then you’ll want to think about getting a good camera for your trip.

19. Cash

Since you maybe paying for parking at the venue or dealing with vendors who may only accept cash, you’ll want to have a few dollars on you just in case you run into this situation.

This is important for your con packing list.

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4 Pro Convention Tips for Your Trip

Packing for a convention can be a little bit of a daunting task, especially if you’re going for the first time.

Leaky Con Convention in Orlando Florida 2014 Lobby. Keep reading to get the Essentials You MUST HAVE for Your Convention Packing List and What to Bring to a Convention.

A lot of people tend to overpack and end up with a huge bag to carry around, but now that we know what to pack, let’s go through a few tips.

1. Invest in a Good Bag

When it comes to packing for a convention, the first thing you want to invest in is some kind of bag that you can use long-term.

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You want to make sure it’s large enough to fit everything you are planning on bringing, but not too large so that it’s an inconvenience.

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Packing for My Trip 🙂

If you can invest in a backpack, It makes life much easier. You just need to make sure that the strap adjusts. If it doesn’t adjust it’s going to hurt your back.

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2. Bring an Extra Smaller Bag with You

You may also want to consider bringing another small bag like one of those 4 pocket bags.

NikkyJ with Chewbauca at Tampa Bay Comic Con. Keep reading to get the Essentials You MUST HAVE for Your Convention Packing List and What to Bring to a Convention.

This will prove handy so you won’t need to make multiple trips back and forth to your hotel room or car!

You can even pack a few granola bars in there!  

3. Start Early

This is the most important tip if you want to make the most of your time.

Tampa Bay Convention Center. Keep reading to get the Essentials You MUST HAVE for Your Convention Packing List and What to Bring to a Convention.
Tampa Bay Convention Center

Arriving early to the convention will allow you to take your time exploring the full event and interacting with others while also being able to participate in your must do

4. Plan Out Your Day

Know exactly what speakers you want to see, what events you have to attend and any other meetups that you want to do while at your convention.

How to Pack for Cosplay Convention

If you plan on attending a cosplay convention, then you need to know how to pack for one.

Universal Studios Mardi Gras with NikkyJ of ThemeParkHipster. Keep reading to get the Essentials You MUST HAVE for Your Convention Packing List and What to Bring to a Convention.

And if you’re like me, then you’ve probably packed a few things in the past that didn’t work out. Use this checklist to track every step of your cosplay build.

  • Cosplay shoes/boots
  • Makeup
  • Cosplay wigs (spare wig)
  • Super glue
  • Safety pins
  • Hair pins

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My Final Thoughts on Your Convention Packing List

Hopefully my tips help make your convention experience a breeze.

I know for me, I really appreciate when I can find good help when it comes to planning and I hope I was able to help you as well.

Leaky Con Convention in Orlando Florida 2014 NikkyJ and Unicorn Harry Potter Hufflepuff. Keep reading to get the Essentials You MUST HAVE for Your Convention Packing List and What to Bring to a Convention.

This convention packing list has some of the most important things you should bring to your conference.

In the end, if you can think of anything else that is super important to bring, you can always add it to the list.

Travel Guide to the best Convention Packing List.

What’s your favorite thing to bring to a convention? Leave your answer down below!

Happy Florida Travels!

Universal Studios Mardi Gras with NikkyJ of ThemeParkHipster

About the Author

My name is NikkyJ. I’m a wife, a mother, a pharmacist turned theme park blogger, USA Today 10Best Contributor, and a writer who loves exploring all the hidden gems of Florida!

I was born and raised in Leesburg, Florida which attributes to my passion about for this amazing state.

I want to show you how you can create your own memories while discovering the Sunshine State!

Connect with me on Instagram!

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