What’s In Your Go Trainer Bag?

Have you arrived to your meeting or training site and the AV equipment is nowhere to be found? How about your supply box sent by PRA? Didn’t arrive due to freak storm? Discovered the walls are painted in gold? No markers allowed!! How about only 5 wrinkled Flip Chart pages? LCD projector bulb out?  Clicker batteries dead?  Can’t reach wall outlet with power cords?  We’ve all experienced these snafus at one time or another, so I created an Emergency Go Trainer Bag for these purposes. The problem is – I have not always been consistent with refilling it, or making sure all necessary items are in my luggage, leaving me high and dry several times!!

Ideally, I keep a separate tote bag which fits in my luggage so it’s ready for checking if needed or under 50lbs for carry on.  If I am neat with wrapping power cords, I usually pass TSA inspection without my Go bag needing to be manually checked. Remember, batteries cannot be checked so be sure to pack them in your carry-on bag.

The purpose of my blog post is to describe what is in my Go Trainer Bag and to hear from others about what is in your Go Trainer Bag!  More importantly, what you do you do after each technical assistance (TA) visit to remind yourselves to replenish your bag and make sure it leaves with you on your next TA trip?  Most of these items are TSA friendly, but some items you may want to leave out if you’re not checking bags (i.e. scissors, paper cutter, etc.).

Must-Have Items

  1. Extension cord
  2. Masking tape
  3. Blue painters tape (for those uppity walls)
  4. Batteries (AA, AAA)
  5. Mr. Sketch Markers (they don’t bleed)
  6. Bright colored post-its for flipchart and other uses.
  7. Extra name tags
  8. Candy (for brainstorming, I have to admit – not replenished after my first trip!)
  9. Pencils (for pre-lining Flip Charts, so participants think you are an artist or good speller under pressure and remember all your websites…)
  10. Small scissors, stapler and staple remover
  11. My own slide changer/clicker (w/fresh batteries)
  12. My own old speakers from the early 2000s (After having poor luck w/wireless, pulled out my old desktop speakers. Love ‘em!!)
  13. Flash drives w/ presentations and folder contents (Yes, I’ve learned the hard way.)
  14. HDMI power cord (on my new list)
  15. Business AmEx (Priceless!! Wrong company I know.)
  16. $5 and $1 dollar bills to tip hotel van driver for trips to FedEx/Kinkos or Walmart (cheaper than hotel copying)
  17. LCD bulb that burned out? Not sure how to handle this one…any suggestions out there?

Wish List:

  1. Portable LCD projector (not sure how to replace bulbs)
  2. Flip Chart paper (doesn’t travel well though)

What’s in your GO Trainer Bag? Please add to my list since I’ve more than likely overlooked important stuff.

Happy TA Visits!

Training & Technical Assistance     Travel

The views expressed by the blog post author are their own and do not necessarily represent the official views of Policy Research Associates, Inc.

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