Remember you can get the best prices if you are willing to be flexible about your departure and arrival times. Consider flying into a smaller airport nearby if you were going to rent a car anyhow.
You can expect to pay $15 dollars for a first bag and $25 for a second bag (one way) at all major airlines except Southwest, which allows 2 pieces of checked baggage at no additional cost. Don't let your baggage weight exceed 50 lbs or you may be paying from $50 to $110 dollars excess baggage fees. Mail your conference books and freebees at the conference hotel.
Most airlines have eliminated snacks and meals on flights less than 3 1/2 hours. Several offer meals for a fee. Consider packing healthy pre-packaged and sealed snacks or buying meals to take on board after you pass security.
Remember, once you are in flight, cash is no longer an option. You must have a credit card or debit card for all in-flight amenities to include food, movies, alchoholic beverages.
Current TSA guidelines for liquids, gels aerosole sprays:
Customers are presently allowed to bring with them one clear, transparent, resealable, 1 quart (1 liter) size, plastic bag containing liquids, gels, and/or aerosols in containers of 3 oz. (90ml) capacity or less per container. (Most "travel size" items found in grocery and convenience stores are 3 oz. or less.) The contents of the plastic bag must fit comfortably within and be completely closed/sealed. These items will be subjected to x-ray inspection separate from the Customer’s carryon bag.
Additionally, Customers may have the following items, but must declare them to TSA at the security checkpoint if not contained in a clear, transparent, resealable, 1 quart (1 liter) size, plastic bag and/or are over 3 oz. (90ml):
- Baby formula/milk (to include breast milk) and baby food in containers if a baby or small child is traveling
- Medications (liquid, gel, and aerosol)
- Liquids (to include juice) or gels for diabetic or other medical needs
Customers are permitted to take onboard the aircraft liquids, gels, and/or aerosols purchased beyond the security checkpoint.
Just a few simple tips to make your hotel stay more pleasant:
- Avoid rooms near the elevator unless you want to stay awake all night.
- Remember to tip the housekeeping staff daily (a dollar per person at least).
- Never leave your bags unattended in the hotel.
- Mail items to the hotel ahead of time to make traveling easier and of course use the hotel business center to mail home.
- Don't leave anything you cannot replace (valuables, sentimental items, iPods charging) in the room when you leave for the day.
- Bring simple amenities to utilize with the in-room coffee pot to make your trip more comfortable (favorite tea, instant soup, hot chocolate, oatmeal).
- Talk to the concierge ahead of time about your departure arrangements.
- I personally never have my room cleaned if I am staying a short time and traveling alone. Instead I ask for towels to be delivered when I return each day. This avoids having my room open to the public.
- Find out ahead of time if the tip is included with the room service charge.
- It of course goes without saying: do not use the the major in-room rip offs, the phone and the mini bar. Make sure you know the rates before hooking up to the internet.
- Find out the location of the nearest drugstore or grocery store and buy items such as bottled water there instead of paying $3 to $5 at the hotel
- The simple truth is RWA National is huge. Plan everything ahead of time. Utilize your breakfasts to meet with your online pals. If you don't plan to specifically meet you may not find someone in the 2,000 + crowd even with GPS tracking.
- Peruse the schedule carefully. You can always get the CD later but once an untaped workshop is over. It is over.
- Publisher booksignings are a wonderful opportunity to get free books and meet your favorite authors but beware, the lines are very long and time consuming. So decide your priorities right away.
- Don't miss the Literacy Signing. The cause is great and there is a lot of fun going on.
- If you want to attend what you know will be a packed workshop, the best strategy is to get an upfront seat at whatever workshop is in the room the hour before. Then stay parked in your seat.
Conference insider has the following information from our unnamed inside source:
- Late Night Chat Update: LNCs have changed this year. The traditional editor and agent panel is gone and all of the LNCs will feature publishing houses or literary agencies and are being taught by agents and editors only. Friday's LNCs will spotlight literary agencies and Saturday's will spotlight publishing houses.
- Faculty Hosted Tables: Hosted by editors, agents and authors, these tables are free for the seating and offer an opportunity get close and personal. Inside sources say these will be available at three conference meals.
- Editor/Agent Appointments: Two things to remember. Scout out the location for your appointment ahead of time so you won't be late. Then if you want more than your allotted appointment/s--inside sources say keep checking the appointment area to be ready if more open up due to cancellations.
Darlings, it has always been my belief that a picture is worth a thousand fashion faux pas. So without further ado, I bring you Do and Don't (or I will have Clinton Kelly hunt you down)!
I'll be back later for your pressing wardrobe questions.