Most years, I post a pic of our GenCon Loot. I didn't this year, because it was all Asmodee games which I've been talking about (and a few that I need to talk about) with one RPG exception and a couple of T-Shirts. And one piece of #PonyWar ammunition.
But my friends at home will sometimes ask me how I got all that stuff back home "in one suitcase." Because when we leave home, we only have one bag and a couple of carry-ons.
So let me de-mystify this for you.
I have a couple of advantages when it comes to getting things home. I travel as a couple and my GenCon employer provides me with a uniform.
When packing, I grab the bare minimum necessary to survive without smelling. I don't pack soap or shampoo (the hotel provides those). I don't pack razors (I can buy disposables in Indy and then leave them there). Having a Kindle means I don't have to pack books to keep me entertained on the trip (even though I make sure to have one or two).
Clothing-wise, I grab half as many shirts as I should plus one or two, just to be safe. Because I'm wearing an Asmodee shirt all day, it's not like I'm sweating into my shirts and I can get away with wearing them for two evenings. I actually make sure I have extra pairs of socks to reduce the number of blisters that I get (which is still excessive, but much better than it could be).
Stephanie does more-or-less the same with her packing.
We then take all of those clothes and put them into our big dufflebag. We then take another dufflebag, fold it up, and stick it inside the first dufflebag.
We also don't completely fill our carry-on bags. And, in fact, we're allowed one carry-one and one personal item by most airports. On the way out, Steph and I don't usually have one personal item. We just have our carry-on.
This means that - out of a possible four small bags and two larger ones, we ship out with two small and one large. But we return home with two large and three or four small (as needed).
Do our games get banged up in the boxes? Sometimes. But if a game is in regular play, the box will get banged up anyhow. I'd much rather the box were banged up than its contents. And books are tough. Crazy-tough. Realistically, we've only had one box banged up to the point of needing tape - and that was Abyss. This year.
But that's how we get home with a ton more stuff than we left with. We occasionally hit the weight limit with the big bag on the way home, but the airline's overweight fees are usually less than what it'd cost to ship the same stuff via UPS or FedEx.
Speaking of: UPS has a presence at the convention. Some of the hotels downtown have "business centers" which often ALSO include a presence for UPS or FedEx or even the USPS. Get a quote at the convention center. Then get a quote from your hotel. Sometimes a bit of extra walking can save you some money. Especially if you can get a written quote from them - UPS and FedEx are competitors, and sometimes they'll work to beat each others' quotes. Your employer may have a UPS or FedEx account you can use for shipping, too. Check with them and see if you can get permission to use it, because (depending on who your employer is), you may have access to a premium rate for shipping that is less than you'd be quoted as a member of the general public.
But that's how we manage to get all that stuff home while shipping out with "just one suitcase."