What to bring & what to leave: A BEA Packing Tips Post

bea packing tips
It is now about two months until Book Expo America 2013! Exciting!!

I’ve posted some BEA tips before, but I discovered that I have MORE TO GIVE. Especially after going to ALA Annual 2012 and living in hotels for four months. So here’s my first tips most– more to come as we get closer to Day 1!


  • a Turbie twist! That way you won’t hog two towels and annoy your roommates. They pack down small and they’re SUPER handy to have.
  • comfy bedtime things, like slippers or cozy socks. An extra bit of comfort is always appreciated after a long day of walking/talking/etc.
  • business cards. SERIOUSLY. You will meet all sorts of people and you’ll want them to remember you– have something to give them besides a confusing web address they’ll forget two seconds after you tell them it! I’ll be writing more about business cards next week, btw.
  • a backpack or a wheelie suitcase. Backpacks are good if you want to carry ALL your books around with you. All day. Or if you bring a wheelie suitcase (and a couple bucks) you can leave it in the luggage area and dump stuff off there periodically (which is my recommendation).
  • a refillable water bottle. Either aluminum or those fancy Brita water filter bottle. You can refill from the fountains and save money! Yaaay! (Don’t forget to stay hydrated, too. VERY IMPORTANT.)
  • walking socks, the kind with extra cush. Good shoes help, but pairing them with proper socks is AMAZING.


  • books, a Kindle/Nook/etc. If you REALLY need something to read (on the plane, maybe?) bring a small paperback or stick something on your phone. You’re going to a book convention– you won’t lack for reading material! Also, though you’ll be waiting in lines a lot, it’s much nicer to talk to people IN those lines. Make new friends!
  • tote bags, pens, post-it notes. They give you those things there.
  • a bad attitude. It’s good to have plans (more on that in the upcoming weeks) and it’s good to have a wishlist, but don’t let your focus be SO pinpoint accurate that you’re constantly complaining that you missed this galley drop, that author signing, that you need 50 more galleys to make your takeaway goal, etc. It’s depressing! And it makes everyone around you hate you, too, btw. (I know because I was standing next to you in line when you were saying those things, and I hated you.)

Do you have any packing tips for BEA? Leave ’em in the comments below!

10 thoughts on “What to bring & what to leave: A BEA Packing Tips Post”

  1. I love your tips! Especially the don’t do’s: I can imagine that there are some people that would prefer to have their noses in a book instead of socializing in a line. I’m looking forward to going, but I can definitely be a little type A when it comes to being on a mission at places; I am going to try very hard to make sure that I don’t fall into the pitfall!

    1. I’m not saying NEVER read anything in line, but I think part of the experience of a conference/convention is standing in lines talking to people. If you don’t do that, you miss out on some really fun conversations!

  2. You crazy woman. I am not going to BEA, because I am broke and also because I live here already, but if I were traveling anywhere, it would be impossible to dissuade me from bringing my Nook. I only have a Nook for travel purposes anyway! I must bring it with me always. I can’t face not having a book with me!

    1. Ebooks for travelling are GREAT, and I probably will actually be bringing my Kindle with me for the plane ride(s). But I will not be bringing it onto the exhibit floor! Because that’s silly.

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