In a few days I will be traveling to Atlanta, Georgia for a food blog extravaganza, Blogher Food. It will be the second food blog event that I will attend and I am so excited! I’ve been thinking about the trip a lot lately and what I need to do in order to prepare.
So I decided that while I’m going through checklists in my head, I might as well share what I consider travel tips. And I’m sure a lot of you are planning vacations this summer so these tips may come in handy. You may have heard some of these before and I will reiterate them and some may be completely new.
Allie’s Travel Tips.
1.) Do your research when planning a trip. Check as many travel sites and compare dates on different sites. My favorite sites for checking flights are Bing, Kayak and Fly. When researching whole trips I like Expedia and Travelocity. And when booking just hotels I love bidding on rooms on Priceline.
2.) Plan! Create a rough list of what you are doing each day so that organizing your schedule, clothing and eating is easier to figure out.
3.) Check the weather. Obviously the weather is not always 100% accurate, but it will give you an estimate of what to pack.
4.) Follow the 1+ rule. If you are going on vacation for 5 days, pack 6 outfits. It allows you to have a “just in case” outfit, but you won’t over pack. Also pack staple items that you can mix and match such as jeans, solid skirts, tank tops and shirts.
5.) Shoes. Pack no more than 3 pairs of shoes. 1 sensible pair, such as running shoes for walking long distances, which will also come in handy if you plan on working out. 1 casual pair, for when you will not be walking far distances but want to look cute. 1 dressy pair if you have any formal events to attend. (I always carry the casual pair in my purse in case the dressy shoes start to hurt.) And the 1 exception to this rule is 1 light pair of cheap flip flops that you can wear in the shower. Because hotel showers=sharing shower with strangers=you need to wear them.
6.) Pack snacks. Snacks are great to have in case you are flying before anything opens in the airport, you need fuel while flying or in the hotel and in between meals.
7.) Leave extra room in your suitcase. This will allow you to have room for souvenirs and dirty laundry. I also recommend bringing a plastic bag to separate dirty and clean clothes.
8.) Leave all unnecessary toiletries at home. This would include shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, and body wash. Hotels carry these items so you don’t have to. And don’t forget that hotels have hair dryers!
9.) Things to remember! Toothpaste, a toothbrush, a contact case, glasses, hair styling products, and any medication. Always remember to pack liquid items in a checked bag , buy small versions or pour into small containers.
10.) Carry “just in case” items on your carry on. Always pack a pair of underwear, 1 outfit, medication and contacts/glasses in your carry on in case your luggage is lost.
Allies Food Blog Event Tips.
As I mentioned, I have only been to 1 food blog gathering so this is just from my experience.
1.) Do as much research as possible ahead of time. Make sure you know what the event will be like, what it will cost, who will attend and what types of events will occur. I suggest looking into previous years’ conventions to see what others said and view photos.
2.) Try to talk to those attending! Try your best to tweet, comment or message some fellow attendees to make some contacts before attending.
3.) Be open, willing and friendly. When meeting new people it is best to just be yourself and realize that everyone is there for the same reason. Especially at FOOD conventions.
4.) Bring your gadgets. Bring your camera, phone, computer…you will definitely fit in!
5.) Bring your appetite. Obviously there is going to be a ton of food at a food blog gathering, so I suggest taking small bites to fit it all in. And if you haven’t tried something before, give it a try!
6.) If possible, bring business cards. I had mine made on busniesscards.com but there are a lot of sites that make them inexpensively too. This way you can spread the word about your blog and help others remember your link. When others give you their card sometimes it helps to write a brief statement on the back to remember who they are/what was said.
7.) Visit sites outside of the organized events. Make sure you get a feel of the city you are visiting and the foods that are offered!
8.) Bring an extra bag. I brought a reusable bag and this worked great. You will receive a good amount of giveaways and samples so you might not have room in your bag. (Though I do warn you that security spent a good amount of time looking and asking what the whisk, meat thermometer, and random gadgets were!)
9.) Share with others who cannot attend. Tweet, blog, share on Facebook!
10.) Have fun! This is an experience of a lifetime and you are a part of an amazing community. Soak it up and enjoy yourself.
So as you prepare for your next trip, I hope you’ll keep my tips in mind. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask! Happy traveling and if you are going to Blogher Food don’t hesitate to leave a comment and say hi this weekend! 🙂
Allie’s Trips for Traveling Alone.
1.) Take advantage of last minute deals. Because there is often one random seat on a plane, you can get flights for great rates.
2.) Email/handout your itinerary. Make sure that your family and friends know where you will be and check back often so that they know your whereabouts.
3.) Don’t tell anyone that you meet that you are alone. (unless it is a fellow blogger friend) This seems obvious but sometimes it can slip when having conversations. Sometimes I even talk about my friends, family, boyfriend that is at the hotel or meeting up with me later to throw people off.
4.) Pack as light as possible because you are the only one that will be able to carry your belongings.
5.) Don’t be afraid! Be confident and smile, you are on an adventure. Traveling alone means you can do things on your own agenda and you really can have fun! Just make sure to be safe.