Feel free to use, pin & share my handy-dandy packing checklist. Or download the printer-friendly PDF version:
The guide below is probably more for the experienced con-goer rather than the first-timer. I say this because as we keep attending cons, we begin to know and define a bit better the things that we require for need and comfort. Mostly tools and alcohol. But.. read on, you'll see.
Sewing: Bring a tiny sewing machine. If you don't already have one this is the best $19.99 you will ever spend (click for Amazon link). In fact, I made my 3rd cosplay ever entirely using this machine. And I sewed through upholstery vynil, so this baby totally packs a punch! I would never haul around my sewing machine, but I always throw this thing in with a few spools of primary colors, pins, a seam ripper, and various sized safety pins for quick fixes.
All the glues and tapes. I usually end up taking my whole bin of glues just in case one of my friends may need something specific. This can include glue sticks and glue gun, wood glue, super glue (porous and non-porous), spray adhesive, Barge cement, a regular glue stick (but that usually goes in my makeup suitcase), packing tape, masking tape, electrical tape, and a lint roller.
Makeup, makeup, makeup! Typically I know what products I will be using for a specific costume, but again, I have to make sure I have things that my friends might need too (although they usually tell me ahead of time). I like to pack a lot of pencils, foundations, paints, and several palettes of eyeshadows, nail clippers and file. I have an old giant cosmetics case, and I'll typically dump as much of the makeup as I can. I've hoarded and inherited a lot of makeup over time, and some of it is really old and of poor quality, but you never know when you might need some purple glitter gel or glow in the dark eyeliner. With all the shit that we can put on our faces or bodies, I also make sure to pack some great moisturizers and makeup cleaners. I find that Baby Oil is the best remover, so I don't buy any fancy cleaners, I just stock up on cotton pads or balls.
Repair tools. Throw in a pair of sharp scissors, pliers with wire cutting function, screwdriver with different heads, X-acto knives, Sharpies, paint brushes and paints, measuring tape, heat gun, glue gun, industrial-strength velcro, and a couple of clamps.
Hair care: I'll bring my hairdryer, round brush, and some travel size Big Sexy Hair products if I use my actual hair for a costume. I'll bring my straighter and hair dryer just in case there isn't one available in the room. When there are wigs involved, bring plenty of bobby pins, hair elastics, and a few extra wig caps.
First Aid & Roadside Kit: You should keep one of each of these in your car at all times. Just in case your car needs to be jumped or you need to have nylon rope clasps to tie that giant prop to the top of your car to make sure it's secured and doesn't fly away. And in case you burn yourself with the glue gun. Again. If the first aid kit doesn't include pain relievers, buy a big batch of Advil to help you on those hungover mornings and your achy feet after walking around all day in a bulky costume. While you're at it, buy some foot support for your shoes. You will be walking around and standing up all day, and if you want to feel like a human being at the end of the night, invest in some foot support. I have arched feet and I have just discovered I feel 60% less achey after wearing my Bennoti Plantar Fasciitis Therapeutic Arched Gel Foot Support.
Toiletries: I'm not going to write what kinds of toiletries to bring because you should probably be familiar with what kinds of personal hygiene items you are going to need when traveling. But don't forget ear plugs. Especially if you're crammed in a room with a lot of friends!
Snacks & Drinks: Chips, protein bars and nuts, fruits, jerky, deli meats and cheeses and wraps, something chocolaty, energy drinks, a couple of coolers of beer, liquors and mixers, a couple of packs of bottled waters, and enough solo cups for the entirety of your stay. You will likely need a new one every time you make a drink because you forgot where you set your last one. AND COFFEE! Instant or Dunkin, I'm not judging. But know you're gonna need it. You will also need extra trash bags. Bring a whole pack. If we're feeling particularily fancy and we have any extra room we might throw in the SodaStream and/or Nutribullet for making our own carbonated mixers or martinis.
And there you have it.
What are some of the things you always bring that are more advanced than the "basic" kit?