My Easy Travel Conference Capsule Wardrobe

Last week, I had the opportunity to drive up to Atlantic City for a 3-day conference. The focus of the conference wasn’t in my wheelhouse, but it involved a few of our attorneys at work so I was basically just going to network, take a few photos, eat some yummy food at the group cocktail hours/meals, and work from my room.

Oh, and most importantly: enjoy my nice, quiet hotel room with HGTV and a king-sized bed.

Since my schedule was pretty easy, I thought it might be fun to do a quickie conference capsule wardrobe post.

Here’s what I took:

Just one backpack (the Asenlin 40L 17” Travel Backpack with three packing cubes that I previously raved about here: Travel Backpack Review: This one is the BEST for traveling) and my purse.

In that one bag was: 3 conference outfits, pajamas, comfy clothes for the hotel room, shower stuff, make up, my work stuff (laptop, day planner, notebook, charging cords), and 2 books.

Here’s what I brought for the conference:

Three dresses that don’t wrinkle, one blazer that goes with everything, one cardigan that goes with everything and a fun neutral sparkly pair of comfortable flats.

I kept everything in the same color scheme so it would all mix and match. Conference AC is notoriously freezing, so I wanted to make sure I had some layer options in case I was freezing my booty off.

Also, I wanted the option to be day-to-night Barbie by having a dress go with a blazer during the day and then being able to switch out to a more casual (but still professional-looking) cardigan option for the cocktail party and dinner that evening.

And here are the outfits:

And… my in-room LEWK as well:

For the drive there (4 hours) and back (5 hours), I wore a t-shirt, leggings, sneakers and my tie-dye hoodie.

And that’s it – a whole 3-day conference easily packed in a backpack.

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Travel Backpack Review: This one is the BEST for traveling!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a full product review and recommended something with flying colors, but YOU GUYS this travel backpack is magical. It’s like a Mary Poppins bag that fits on your back. It’s AMAZING. So, I had to share it with you all in case you were in the market for a magical backpack too.

We tend to do a bunch of little mini trips out and about, so when we can I prefer to just have us each pack a backpack with our stuff rather than big, bulky suitcases. I was looking to upgrade my backpack because it was rather small and we had a 3-day trip to Austin on the calendar. So I did a ton of research and found this one:

It is the Asenlin 40L 17” Travel Backpack with three packing cubes from Amazon and when I purchased it, it was just around $40 (the latest price will be automatically listed above by the photo). The packing cubes are made to fit the exact measurements of the backpack, so they are a perfect little bonus for keeping everything organized.

Source: Amazon.com

I’ve used the backpack three times so far – once for 4 days in Ocean City, once for an overnight at my friend’s house, and once for our 3-day trip to Austin. And It. Is. Awesome.

Some features I like:

  • I love, love, love the custom sized storage bags. I can’t tell you enough how satisfying it is that the big one fits exactly within the backpack’s dimensions.
  • It comfortably fits my back and feels like a ‘normal’ backpack even though it packs up like a suitcase.
  • It has an internal padded laptop sleeve, I used it for my Kindle but it could totally fit a standard laptop too.
  • It meets carry-on requirements and easily stowed in the overhead storage on the plane.
  • Other bonuses: There is a zippered pocket if you want to tuck the backpack straps away, and there is a strap on the back for you to stick it on an extendable suitcase handle if you have one.

And here is a little visual for you. This is everything I was packing for my trip to Ocean City:

And EVERYTHING fit in the backpack. But not Ollie. That would be weird.

To be honest, I could have even squished it down and fit a few more things in there. Including a laptop.

For $40 I am totally blown away and I wish I would have bought this years ago!

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A Family Weekend in Austin, Texas

Well, TECHNICALLY it was 72 hours… but ‘weekend’ sounds prettier for the blog post title. In reality, we left the house around 3am on Friday and returned home at 3am on Monday. But that’s not how we planned it. I’ll get to that though. First, let’s talk about our family trip to AUSTIN!

With the summer winding down and a 3-day weekend for Labor Day, we decided to do an impromptu trip to Austin, Texas.

Why Austin? Well, I went to Austin 8 years ago for a work conference (you can read about it here: All about Austin) and thought at the time that it would be a great place to visit with the family. It’s super walk-able, has lots to do and delicious food. What’s not to love?!

Where We Stayed: Austin Hilton

When we got the itch to travel, knew I wanted to stay in the same area as my business trip and I checked out a bunch of hotels and Airbnb options. After much googling, I decided to stay at the same hotel I visited previously: the Austin Hilton. The price was reasonable (actually cheaper than the Airbnb’s), it was convenient to get to, unlike an Airbnb a hotel had an option of early check-in, and it had a fantastic rooftop pool.

Our room was a 2-queen bed room on the 19th floor and it was clean, air conditioned and comfortable. We arrived at the hotel around 9am and they were able to accommodate us by letting us check in to our room to drop our stuff off.

And did I mention the pool?! It was on the roof of the 8th floor and every day only had maybe a handful of people out there. We visited the pool each day of our stay for a nice relaxing cool down. Also, on our last day, we packed our stuff up, checked out of our room, and then hung out at the pool for a few hours before showering in the locker rooms and heading to the airport.

What We Ate: Café Crepe, Iron Works BBQ, Snooze, Austin Taco Project, Gus’s Word Famous Fried Chicken, Amy’s Ice Cream, Big Top Soda Fountain

As I mentioned, we ate lots of food while out and about in Austin. However, our favorite spot was Snooze and we actually went there for breakfast two days in a row because it was so good! The ambiance was downright adorable and the food was magical. I highly recommend making time for breakfast at Snooze if you’re in the area and OHMYGOD the maple bacon with pepper was transcendent.

Where We Shopped: South Congress Avenue, 2nd Street, and everywhere else. Favorite stores: Paperwork Art & Gifts, Big Top, Allen’s Boots, Toy Joy and the Austin Visitor Center

We only packed carry-on backpacks, which means we had to be really careful about any purchases. However, we did buy a few things that were small and easily packed.

Jack bought a small video game toy, a harmonica and a tiny music box. I found these amazing earrings by local designer Rebekah Vinyard at Paperwork Art & Gifts and some fun stickers from Big Top. Oh and I also bought a super soft Austin t-shirt to wear on the way home.

Our Favorite Activity: YourBikerGang E-Bike Tour

You guys. We had SO MUCH FUN on the YourBikerGang E-Bike Tour! Our tour guide, Joker, took the three of us all around Austin on e-bikes for 2 hours of sightseeing and fun. Kids under 14 are free to ride on the back of the bike and both Travis and I loved the e-bikes and wish we had a reason to buy one for home!

The afternoon of our tour, it was raining buckets and then suddenly completely stopped about 5 minutes before our tour. So much luck! Also, some additional luck… we were the only people booked for our particular tour time, so we had a private tour around the city.

Here are a few more photos from our e-bike adventures:

Fun Around Town: All the adorable photos

Okay, this part is just a photo dump of all the gorgeous photos we took around town. We LOVED all the street art, so we made it a point to take photos as we passed by!

The only drawback of the whole trip was coming home. I had purposely scheduled our flight back for Sunday night, so that if we got bumped or delayed we’d still have Monday to recuperate before heading to school and work on Tuesday. Well, that’s exactly what happened.

They were short staffed and we couldn’t fly out until they found a pilot and flight attendants… which took hours. Finally, we were able to board and fly out around 9pm, which means by time we got back to Maryland, made our way to our vehicle and drove home… it was 3am. Luckily, we were able to sleep in the next day.

All in all, it was an absolutely wonderful little getaway for our family and I highly recommend Austin for a fun, family-friendly weekend away!

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