Build your Convention Hotel Grab Bag

After three years of waiting, I’m finally returning a real life convention. While this convention isn’t an anime convention or a j-fashion focused convention, it got me thinking about the chaotic fury of a convention weekend. I’ve written in the past about the small “prepared” bag I keep with me at most conventions so I can fix any clothing, make-up, or minor medical emergencies as they arise on the convention floor. But what about bigger problems that come up when you’re staying somewhere that’s not home? Obviously most people carry a well stocked toiletry bag and most hotels can help you with basic essentials, but what about the weirder stuff?

Because I am eternally the mom friend, I put together a “hotel room grab bag” to make the weekend go a little more smoothly. This bad boy will stay inside the hotel room, hopefully hanging on a door or a wall (don’t worry, I brought hooks and 3mm tape for that) and is available for whoever wants it. Everything is inside of a zipper jewelry container I got off Mercari for $5 which rolls up for easy transport. The idea here is that while hopefully everyone has all their own supplies, sometimes in the chaos of trying to get out the door you might not know where your hair brush/make-up sponges/chapstick/tip for the food delivery guy is. This grab bag is stocked with inexpensive, easily replaceable essentials for a weekend away from home. My shopping list is here. My packing list breaks down into four categories.


This is all the stuff that a cosplayer or j-fashionista is going to bring. This includes hair ties, wig caps, nail files, and more. There is no make-up in this section, but just about everything else is covered. Since we’re in a hotel, there’s also a focus on removing make-up without destroying hotel towels and pillow cases (see: black wash cloth).

Toiletries/first aid

This is all the stuff that most people could use, including tooth paste, bandaids, and a small medicine cabinet.

Creature comforts

This is stuff that isn’t strictly necessary but it will make your life a lot better if you have it. This includes ear plugs and eye masks, charging cables and wall bricks, and a small amount of cash.

Hobby supplies

My friends and I have certain been the people bringing a sewing machine into the hotel room, so we’re no strangers to last minute fixes. This includes super glue, safety pins, tide to go pens, and a sewing kit.

These supplies came from my home, Dollar Tree, and Target, and cost a little less than $50 to put together. I won’t mind if I don’t see any of these items again (hence the “grab bag”), but with any luck refilling this won’t cost as much, since I’ll just have to replace small items piece by piece.

Are you the “mom friend” in your group? What would you add to this collection?



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