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Monday, January 25, 2016

Less than one week to go! RootsTech on the brain…

Don’t you hate how inevitably everything gets pushed off to the last minute?  I had such wonderful laid plans about how I was going to be on top of things and really organized for this trip.  This time was going to be different.  Yeah, right. 

Once again deadlines loomed.  Client reports were typed.  And there sat my pre-RootsTech list, alone, waiting for me to get to it.  Well, nothing like a deadline to get you into gear huh?  Seems that is the only way I really know how to work.

My checklist for what I want to take is starting to grow in length.  With weight and bag restrictions on airlines, I am actually beginning to worry if I can fit everything I want to bring.  I mean heck, I buy toiletries and clothes there…right?

So far, I have this on my list for things to bring with me and I plan to bring in my carry-on.  Believe it or not, I will check a bag of clothes.  Mainly because my main carry-on bag will be filled with items for my booth that I don’t want to ship or get lost. Oh, plus I have the reasons why.  Maybe you see something which you should bring too?  Or better yet, am I missing something that is not a typical need (such as gum, snacks, or something to read)?  Let me know!

Tech Gear:
·         Laptop / Cord / wireless mouse: the ultimate essential huh.  I really do need this for blogging, photo editing, and etc.  Usually it stays in my hotel.
·         Laptop lock: I know I should trust people, but I don’t.  I lock my laptop down where I go, especially in public places.
·         iPad / Clam Case / charger: this is what I take with me on the day of.  Much easier to take notes on, use in the library, or fiddle with genealogy apps while talking with new to me cousins.  The clam case is a hard shell cover with a Bluetooth keyboard.  LOVE it, mainly because I am clumsy and this prevents me from hurting it…so far.
·         Charging brick: these are the most awesome inventions and handy for on the go charging when you do not have access to an outlet.  Get one!
·         Selfie stick: do not laugh, this has been a life saver in a number of genealogy instances.  Mainly because I am short.  However, I am pretty sure I will be using it for pics of myself with people and of the crowd.  Make sure you get one with a Bluetooth connection because they are much easier to use.  I picked up mine from Target for less than $20.
·         Flash drives: for computers not attached to Dropbox or printers so I don’t use paper.
·         Apps: make sure you have the ones you need, or want, and that they are up to date.
·         Mobile hotspot: that way I am always connected…

Non-Tech Gear:
·         Flight stuff: My boarding pass will be on my phone, but I am always paranoid about missing flights.  So I write the information down on a note card and carry it with me.
·         My RT itinerary: which, because I am insane, is color-coded and annotated so I know what I am doing when.  I print a copy (and placed inside a sheet protector) and I have access to one on my mobile devices through Drive.
·         Passport: always an accepted form of ID.
·         Change of clothes: see part where I am messy.  Accidents happen, and sometimes clothes don’t arrive when checked.
·         Handi-wipes: choose your favorite brand but I am messy and usually feel gross when I fly.  Wipes are great for quick hand washes, face washes, or washing anything really.

Hacks to know and use:
·         I use an old hard sided glasses case to carry and store my phone and tablet chargers in.  Keeps them tangle free and all in one place.
·         Label everything with a mailing label which has how to get ahold of you at the conference (cell phone?).  If you lose something it should get back to you quickly!
·         Use binder clips to organize your headphones as well as your cables when you get to your room or research area.

Other Resources:
Need more tips? Like to watch videos?  Great!  Here are a few items I have found useful for packing and life hacks.  Pick and choose those that work for you.

·         How To: Pack Like a Pro by Heathrow Airport
·         How to Pack a Carry-on Bag by The Travel Channel

·         Tips on How to Travel Light by Genealogy In Time Magazine 


  1. I change the home screen on my phone to a photo of me and contact info, with an alternate phone number of friend at event to call. Take a photo using hairstyle and maybe shirt you will be wearing so easier to identify you.

  2. No giggling here: I just bought a very cool selfie stick from Amazon. Also doubles as a monopod, and I love the Bluetooth remote. :-)