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We Asked, You Answered: What’s Your Best Summer Conference Travel Tip?

Numerous associations hold conferences this time of year. With many folks out of practice traveling due to the pandemic, our faithful readers offered up their best tips for making travel and the events we’re heading to go smoothly.

Travel to summer association meetings is already underway, and our readers offered a bevy of useful tips to make the process easier.

Ideas focused both on practical things people need to do to make it work—like cash for tipping and the right charging cords for devices—to self-care practices that carve out quiet time during the event and post-conference rest and relaxation.

Read on for the suggestions.

Jennifer Wroniewicz

Director, Annual Conference, APIC— Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology

Pace yourself. Returning to travel and in-person meetings can take a toll, mentally and physically. There’s a lot more to think about. Fully engaging face-to-face, while amazing, can be draining—even for the biggest extroverts. I am making sure to allow space within my schedule to check in with myself, rest, or just be still and quiet. Oh, and Vionic shoes.

Steven Humphrey

Senior Director of Conferences, Meetings, and Technology Services, Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine

Double-check all your travel tech supplies. Do you still have the right plugs for your devices that have changed during the pandemic? Is your portable charger still charged? Do you need a new travel case to keep it all organized?

Sarah Link, CAE

Executive Director, Mississippi Optometric Association

I have two tips. One, if you are flying and checking your bag, remember to pack essentials in a small carry-on: travel-size toiletries, makeup, glasses/contacts. Include, at the very least, a change of undergarments, if not a full change of clothes. This will save you some grief if your bag doesn’t arrive at your destination at the same time as you. Two, allow time to decompress after you return home. Do not head right back to the office the next day. Sleep in, check your emails if you must, but allow a day to recover—especially if this is the first in-person trip or conference you’ve attended since 2020. You’ll be surprised how much your body will appreciate the recovery time.

Kelly McKown King

Director of Communications and Creative Services, National Association of State Procurement Officials

If it’s a large conference space, wear tennis shoes. It’s 2022; no one cares what’s on your feet. They care about what you have to contribute.

Joyce Paschall, CAE

Associate Executive Director of Education and Engagement, American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine

Bring cash with you, especially small bills for tipping. Expect no one to be able to break a 20, possibly not even the hotel front desk or bell stand, bar, or store. Bring it with you in the denominations you expect to use. Realize that others probably are not [bringing cash], which means service staff—especially housekeepers—are getting less, on top of fewer opportunities due to reduced room cleaning.

Chris Locke

Director of Marketing, Membership, and Education, Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering

Tuck a few wet naps into your carry-on for a quick, cooling swipe of refreshment. I also keep a few in my computer bag for moments when the heat is just too much to bear.

Bill Cotterall

General Counsel, Florida Justice Association

Add a couple days to your stay after your event and take some personal leave time. Often the venue hotels extend the conference room rate to be available before and after the event dates. Depending on your venue, this can be a significant discounted room rate. Take advantage of the opportunity and spend some personal time to explore the area or recharge yourself at the resort.

(jacoblund/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Rasheeda Childress

By Rasheeda Childress

Rasheeda Childress is a senior editor at Associations Now. She covers money and business. Email her with story ideas or news tips. MORE

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