Model UN is an extracurricular activity practiced by students all around the world. Therefore, as a Model UN delegate, you are often required to travel to different places to attend conferences. Although packing bags to go on a trip seems to be a task that almost everyone can complete, people often forget to pack the very essentials. For some delegates, traveling with their Model UN team might be their first time they travel alone without their parents. They will have to take care of things that were previously taken care of by their parents. In order to help you out with your pre-conference stress, we have compiled a simple packing list that will guide you through the process.
1. Important Documents
- Passport & Visa (if applicable)
- Government- issued ID (ex: driver’s license)
- Travel ticket
- Hotel reservation information
- Maps and directions
- Medical insurance card
- Emergency contact information
- Credit card contact information
- Letter of consent (Certain immigration services requires a written permission from the parents that establishes that the minor is has been allowed to travel with the responsible adult, in this case the Model UN adviser.)
- Copies of all of the previously mentioned documents and store them separately from your originals (in case you lose the original documents.)
- Credit card or debit card (Make sure your parents call the bank informing them that you will be using the cards outside the country in which you currently reside)
- Cash (Some stores or restaurant do not take credit or debit cards)
Conferences usually last three to four days. Girls you don’t need 6 different set of outfits for four days. As I have previously noted on my article: “A Beginner’s Guide to Female Model UN Fashion”, mixing and matching is the key. A blazer, a pair of black pants, a black pencil skirt, and two or three blouses can create a great number of outfit combinations. If you don’t want to wear skirts or pants, opt for a dress! Besides dresses definitely take up less packing space. Furthermore, you don’t need a different pair of shoes per outfit. Usually 2 pairs of shoes should suffice, a pair of heels and a pair of flats. Besides your conference clothing, remember to pack comfortable attire that you can wear outside conference hours and one to two cute outfits for delegate events.
One suit, four dress shirts, four different ties, and one to two pairs of shoes. Guys, that’s really all you have to pack. Your suit is the foundation for all your outfit combinations. Thereby, it is really important that your suit is well-fitted and made of quality material. Make sure that your suit is neither too tight that would make you feel really uncomfortable throughout the conference or too baggy. A well fitted suit makes a world of difference. Black, gray, or navy are good colors for suits. As for ties and dress shirts, feel free to be a bit creative with your color combinations. Wearing unique ties are a great way to make an impression or a fashion statement. However, always make sure that the patterns or writing on the ties are appropriate for a model UN conference. As for shoes, a pair of black shoes will go a long way, it basically matches with everything. Other than your conference attire, remember to pack comfortable clothing that you change into after the conference and bring one to two nice outfits for delegate events.
5. Materials for the Conference
- Research Binder (Try to print out all the information at home, printing in hotels tend to be expensive or inconvenient)
- Notebook (Although conferences usually provide delegates with note pads, bring your own notebook to take notes; it is much easier to keep your notes organized in your notebook than on a pad)
- Office Supplies (Pens, stapler, highlighter, paper clips, post-it notes, tabs, labels, and folders) (Keeping your information clean and organized makes looking through them in the future a much easier process)
- USB (For quick and easy information transfer)
- Laptop (Remember to charge it the night before the conference session)
- *Optional: Business Cards (Some delegates make business cards with their contact information for future reference. Business cards are not really necessary, you can always print out slips with your contact information or simply write it down for delegates that you will be working with.)
Always remember to inform your model UN adviser, if you are on a certain type of medication or you are allergic to certain foods or medications.
7. Travel Aids
Long flights or bus rides can be really draining. Here are a couple of things that you can bring along to help you through the journey.
- Earplugs/ eye mask
- Earphones and a music player
- Travel pillow and blanket
- Food/ snacks
- Water bottle
- A deck of cards or portable games
- Camera (You are going to a new place, new city; and you are going to have a lot of fun debating the weekend away with friends from your school and with friends you will meet at the conference. Make sure to take plenty of pictures and forever keep those memories with you!)
- Laptop bag
- Gifts (If you still have space in your suitcase, it is always nice to bring some presents from your home country to give to new friends you make.)
9. A couple of things to keep in mind:
- Safety First! do not go anywhere alone, you are in a new city and you do not know your way around. Always go with your adviser or with a friend. Do not easily trust people that you have just met. Always remember that your safety comes first. However, if you ever do get lost, don’t panic! Go to the closest police station, store, or restaurant and borrow their phone to call your adviser or the hotel you are staying at.
- Be careful and mindful of what you eat! Always make sure that the water and food that you consume is clean. A trip to the emergency room is definitely not fun.
- Do buy souvenirs! Remember, if you over pack, you won’t have space to buy souvenirs for yourself or for your loved ones!
- Be mindful of the local laws and regulations and customs.
- Bring a bare minimum of valuable and do not flash your money in public places.
- Have fun! Traveling with friends is a completely different experience!
Keep in mind that the articles listed in this post are not the only things that you should pack. If you have any suggestions feel free to write them on the comment section!