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In a few short weeks women from all over the Blogosphere will descend on Nashville, TN for the 4th annual Blissdom Conference. I’ve had a long and storied history with this conference in that every year I have planned to attend, and every year I have had to cancel. Last year, literally the day before. Being a mom always comes ahead of getting your #bliss on, right?
Super excited to have a chance to finally attend, I will be there as a Travel Niche Community Leader.
Which leads me to my post today…
While I will be new to Blissdom I am certainly not new to travel or blog conferences. And when I travel alone, I tend to leave my brain at home. I am super organized when my family travels, but when it is just me, my chaos flag totally fly’s!
SO, here are some tips to avoid some of the situations that have either happened to me, or an unfortunate blogging friend as you get ready for #blissdom!
- Stop worrying about what you are going to wear. No one is going to care. I promise. They are more worried about if they look OK. Worry instead about your luggage! All the outfit planning in the world isn’t going to help if your bags get lost. My suggestion is to bring a carry on with a foldable travel bag inside, preferably a cheap duffel type. Something like this is perfect. You want all your clothes in a carry on heading there. Ask Carissa Rogers about how she ended up at Blissdom last year with nothing but pj’s she got from my house in Denver. That foldable bag is going to come in handy for bringing home any SWAG you collect. Even if you have to pay a baggage fee for it on the way home, it may be cheaper than shipping the stuff home.
- Take a picture of your drivers license if you don’t have a passport. If you do have a passport leave it in a safe place at home! One unlucky Snowmama last year (cough, @luxurytravelmom) lost her license on ski lift, leaving her to figure out what the process is to travel home without identification. Hint: it is possible, but it makes it a whole lot easier to have someone at home able to fax a copy of your identification to TSA.
- Get your travel documents on your phone! In addition to having several essential travel apps I carry all my reservations in the clouds. I take screen shots of all of my travel arrangements and store them in My Docs on the Apple cloud. Emailing them to yourself via gmail would accomplish the same thing. Basically, you want to be able to show that front desk person that indeed you do have a room reservation even though the confirmation number isn’t in their system. If you really aren’t tech savvy, print them out and carry them with you.
- Get cell phone numbers of people you want to meet up with. I have AT&T, which means my reception can be very spotty at conferences. Texts seem to make it through better. This is also a good time to plug promising your family texts over calls. Often times you get so busy at a conference that you realize you completely missed that after school check in call you were going to make to the kids. When my kids were younger, I would take a picture of some cool things on the Expo floor that I couldn’t wait to share with them when I got home.
- Get more business cards then you think you will need. You use a lot of them on the Expo floor. After watching my good friend @complicatedmama run out a few years ago and use slips of paper, I never bring less than 250. On that note, this post was one of my favorites for how to organize all the cards you will collect.
- Make sure you tuck a few of your own business cards behind your badge. You never know who you are going to meet in the elevator! I always bring a mini sharpie and attach it to my badge as well. I am sure you know the tip of writing a quick note on someones card you meet so you can remember who the heck they were a week after Blissdom when you have 200 of them in front of you. Believe it or not some people (me) still print their cards in glossy and a sharpie is the best thing to write on those.
Hopefully the above tips will help make your trip a bit more Blissful. If you need more, Traveling Mom will keep you busy for hours. See you in Nashville!