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Tips for First-Time Travel-Con Attendees

Travel con 2019 was without a doubt one of the best decisions I have made this year! Unfortunately for me I had some airplane mishaps but it wouldn’t be a good, well-rounded adventurous travel life without them, would it?

I had spent the previous weekend in New Orleans and planned to leave on Sunday to return the New Mexico, swap out the necessities, grab some extra bits, prepare and fly out to Boston on Wednesday but the flight Sunday night was canceled and rescheduled to Monday Morning. I decided to make the best of it and have one last night out in true New Orleans style, music, dancing, food, and drinks. However, I returned to my room with a text that the flight had been canceled on Monday and rescheduled for a full 24 hours later. Drunk me was less than happy, trying to get online and figure out what was going on and make some calls only to be met with 1.5 hour waiting time. Ooooh… I would have to deal with it in the morning. Morning came and the flight was rescheduled again for an additional 24 hours later, making it on Wednesday. I don’t know how American Airlines can do this as people have children and pets to get back to… I mean I don’t, lol but you know what I mean! Well, I decided to bite the bullet and just reschedule my Delta flight to take me directly from New Orleans to Boston for Travel Con a couple of days early. It was both relieving and stressful at the same time to realize, “Phew! I made it, but I am painfully underprepared.” That’s what lead me to write this post to share my thoughts and give some insight on how to be prepared for Travel Con 2020!

Business Cards.

No business cards are not dead or a thing of the past. Bring updated business cards and for an added bonus have a photo of your face on them. It helps people to remember you a bit easier. Bring them and bring plenty. Some people are more conservative with the cards and some people hand them out like trading cards! Just make sure to have them regardless. Side Note: If you are ready to meet with some of the businesses, bring a media kit. One page and just a few copies to hand out when absolutely ready for it. Make sure to have your digital version as well just in case.

Clothing. 

This was an interesting one as I had mixed feelings about this. In the facebook group, there were so so so many women asking about dress code and rarely did I see men asking about it. There were people dressed nicer in business casual and there were people in jeans and a t-shirt every day, aka me. Before arriving some people advised to dress for your brand and others simply said to be comfortable. I arrived from New Orleans with little to nothing in regards to business casual but to be honest I am a jeans and a t-shirt kinda girl. Whatever you want to wear, wear it, just be comfortable, respectful and remember the conference rooms get really chilly so maybe a small jacket if needed.

 My style icon, Gloria Atanmo, The Blog Abroad

My style icon, Gloria Atanmo, The Blog Abroad

Meeting other humans!

This was a big one if you are normally an introvert like me! Meeting other people all day, every day for 3 days straight! Ahhhhhhh! Yes, this is exactly what happens and at times it was almost panic-inducing but if you are anything like me maybe these tips will help. First, remember we are all human, your fellow attendees, the lovely people who work their booths, and yes, even the speakers. It might be nerve-racking but they are basically just like you and most of the attendees are probably feeling the same way at some point in the conference. Second, Find a corner or room to decompress even if it is only for a few minutes. Step away, breathe, recollect yourself and step back out there. One of the biggest opportunities about being there was just meeting people and connecting with like-minded individuals! Third, It’s okay if you are awkward when talking to people or asking what they do. We are all awkward and just like anything else that we want to be good at, this takes practice. Ask questions and genuinely listen. Listen. Listen. Listen. You will find your people in the crowd with a bit of time.

 The best conference buddies!

The best conference buddies!

Rooms, Hotels, Hostels or Otherwise

There is a level of noise and chatter that kind of envelopes the conference and I found that at the end of the very long and exhausting day, all I wanted to do was to try to quiet the buzzing in my head and get some good sleep. That was near impossible for me staying at the Hostel in Boston. So if you are one of those people who absolutely cannot function on little to no sleep, take that into consideration as you are choosing your accommodations for the conference. This is not like when you travel and just go around site-seeing for a few days so you can get by on little sleep. This conference will exhaust you emotionally and melt your brain! Sleep is non-negotiable for me and so I will be staying at the hotel with the comfy beds and fewer roommates next year.

Pace yourself at the parties.

If you can hang like a college kid and drink and party and then get up for early sessions the next morning, more freaking power to you, but some of us are 80 years old on the inside like me. I cannot hang like a college kid, not since my first year in college, lol. That is Okay, just pace yourself. Drink water, eat a good meal and then have some drinks and enjoy yourself. The first night everyone is pumped and excited and the last night everyone is letting off stress so use the second night to drink casually and connect in a more relaxed setting. Remember it’s not all about the “Business” connections. These people you meet now will probably come across your path in the future more than once so make friends. Just relax a bit and as a good friend said to me if you need to switch to a red bull then do it. Because you still only have a finite amount of time at this conference so you do still want to take advantage of it. Find a balance that works for you.

 That’s a muthaf**kin cheese wheel yall!

That’s a muthaf**kin cheese wheel yall!

Travel Con is a fantastic space to meet like-minded people, really get to know them, and have some fun. There is an overload of information that happens and I had to stop taking notes about mid-way through the second day as there was just no way I was able to wrap my mind around everything I was really learning and taking in but the bonus is that you have access to the digital videos of all the sessions which is super helpful later on. If you are trying to decide whether to just go or not, I can’t emphasize how much I enjoyed it enough. If you are struggling with your blog and traveling and feeling like you might be doing this alone, a conference or retreat is a fantastic way to remind you that you are absolutely not alone in this crazy travel cyber world and having a support system is so important along the way.

Coco Betty Travels About Me

Hi Friends!

My full name is Courtney Elizabeth and growing up some of my nicknames were Coco & Betty, thus the name Coco Betty. Feel free to call me Coco, I still answer to it. I empower women to love themselves through travel, one trip at a time.

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Coco Betty Travels About Me

Hi Friends!

My full name is Courtney Elizabeth and growing up some of my nicknames were Coco & Betty, thus the name Coco Betty. Feel free to call me Coco, I still answer to it. I empower women to love themselves through travel, one trip at a time.

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