Hello again my lovelies! Welcome back to another So You Want To Go To BEA post! Last month we had fun discussing The Buddy System! I got a ton of awesome comments on the post and I love that you guys are just as excited about BEA as I am! 😀 But today I have a HUGE topic for us to go over:
Plan Your Heart Out!
This topic has so many sub categories that we seriously HAVE to go over but as always I’ll try my best to keep from overwhelming.
“But Octavia! What do you mean plan your heart out?”
I’m happy you asked! You see I’m a planner. It’s a sad and horrible truth but I must plan out all things; especially when it comes to trips and vacations. Just ask Nikki or Jessi! I need to know where I’m staying, how I”m getting there, when I’m getting there, what I’m doing once I get there and all things in between way before the trip actually happens. BEA is seriously my planner wet-dream because it is such a huge (to me) trip to plan for.
“What kind of things should I be planning then?”
Another fantastic question! Let’s start with the basics:
Where are you staying?
This is probably the hardest question when it comes to BEA because there are so many variables and options! Are you staying in a hotel? Maybe with friends/relatives? Maybe you already live near the city and will just take a bus/subway/car in and out each day? If you are staying at a hotel are you going to search and find one yourself or use a BEA affiliated one? How far/close to the convention center do you hope to be? And the most important question of all…WHAT’S YOUR BUDGET?
There is so much that goes into planning where to stay and for a lot of people this is usually the most stressful part of prepping for BEA. But I have a few tips for this one if you’re planning a hotel stay:
- Do your research.
- Most of us are book reviewers yes? So we understand the value of reviews yes? Then I have 1 word: TRIPADVISOR! There are so many “real people” reviews that can put a suite with pretty pictures into real life perspective.
- Check it once. Check it twice. Check it ALL THE TIME!
- Run the prices for your suite multiple times. Seriously. I run the numbers for Nikki and I’s suite twice a week, and I know a ton of you have officially labeled me crazy but think about it! Prices change yes? Availability changes yes? SO KEEP CHECKING! The price you were quoted and budgeted for in December could be a completely different price when you’re ready to reserve in March. And some hotels only let you quote 1 -2 months in advance. So yeah you have a rough idea of what the price could be but until you can put the real date in nothing is set in stone.
- Map it!
- How far of a walk is your hotel from the Javits center? You’ve been on your feet from 6am to 4pm with no rest. Standing in lines that feel like they will never end, toting books that weigh as much as my Kia Soul. Do you really want to walk 20 minutes to your hotel? Do you really want to take a 30 minute subway ride? The answer, my friends, is NO.
- Cross your t’s and dot your i’s.
- Does the unit you want require you to pay at check in or at booking? Is there a deposit required to hold the suite? Cancellation fees? Visa? Mastercard? Discover? AmEx? What time is check in? Check out? Do they offer shuttle services to/from the airport/Javits? Have you confirmed with your roommate(s)? Nikki and I have been searching for a 3rd roommate for ages and I tell you we never would have guessed it would be this hard to get a firm confirmation. But that’s part of the reason why we plan so far in advance!
The next subtopic is:
What mode of transportation will you use?
This one should be easier! But it encompasses more than you would think:
- Are you flying into NY? Taking a bus? Driving? A Train?
- For a lot of you, flying is your only option. Nikki is coming from Seattle so I totally understand not having any other option but to fly. But there are some of us who could drive (though I could not be behind the wheel in NY) or take the MegaBus (which is crazy cheap!). Then you have those that live in the city and can just commute! My point is, figure it out! And figure it out from ALL angles! A flight will cost more but it will be more comfortable and faster. Trains offer a cool adventure but are usually just as expensive as a plane ticket (sometimes more O_O). Which one will allow you to have your suitcases? What size suitcases? How many suitcases? Are you packing your books in one? If so is there a weight limit?
- Buy your tickets in advance but don’t get antsy.
- It’s January. I’ve been stalking ITA since November for flights. I know they are most expensive now and 2 weeks before the event but I like to budget high and be happily surprised when it comes in low later. I bought my tickets for BEA 2014 in mid-March and plan to do the same for BEA 2015.
- Traditional taxi? Uber? The Subway? how will you get around the city?!
- There are a ton of events running alongside the actual convention. HOW ARE YOU GOING TO GET THERE!? Nikki and I took a traditional text from the airport to our hostel in Times Square and you know what? I WILL NEVER DO THAT AGAIN! I was convinced he was trying to kill us the entire drive from NJ and it was expensive as hell! And Nikki agreed! So once we were in the city we used the Subway (or walked) during the day and used Uber (awesome car service can’t recommend them enough!) at night. I’ll actually touch more on Uber on the last So You Want To Go To BEA post in April.
What are you wearing?!
Ok I know this sounds very much like a first world high school problem but I’m serious….WHAT ARE YOU WEARING?! Obviously you should be comfortable in whatever you’re in but also keep in mind that this is a “professional” conference. You’re going to meet a ton of people in the publishing industry and trust me you don’t want to go up shaking hands looking like you just rolled out of bed. O_O
- Summer dresses are your friend…and mortal enemy.
- I went to Forever21’s plus size section and bought a handful of fit and flare comfy dresses at 18-25 bucks a piece. I felt appropriate yet comfy in my dresses too. The only thing I regret is I didn’t bring bike shorts to wear under the dress! Do you know how windy NYC is in May?! How many people I flashed while walking down the street? So rule of thumb for BEA 2015 for me is: dresses are awesome, but shorts underneath are better.
- Plan for the events!
- I know you keep hearing me talking about these “events” but I do so out of love! I forgot about the events happening and as such didn’t pack accordingly. 🙁 Brings a few pairs of jeans and a light sweater (it gets crazy chilly). These events usually happen at night or outdoors (BLOGGER PICNIC IS AWESOME!).
- I will only say this once… by the end of BEA YOUR FEET ARE GOING TO HATE YOU. I know you hear about this all the time but I seriously underestimated how bad my feet would hurt each day. And I really don’t think there is anyway around having feet you would rather cut off with a rusty saw than feel that level of pain after walking the floor. Nikki brought an extra of shoes and switched it up and said that helped a bit so maybe bring more than 1 pair? You’re feet will still hurt but not as bad.
Ok this post is long enough I do believe! O_O If you have questions put them in the comments below and be prepared for next months’ topic: