Our themes for this issue are convention experiences and travel. Affiliates give their convention sneak previews in “Affiliate News.” Carla Ruschival talks about all the convention-related items available in the Mini Mall. Want to suggest an amendment to the constitution and bylaws? Find out how in John Huffman’s article. Got an idea for a resolution? Learn how to suggest it properly – and what the deadline is – by reading Mark Richert’s article.
If this will be your first convention, or your first in many years, take a look at Ardis Bazyn’s membership article, and remember to save time for the Keys to the Convention seminar when you pre-register. Also check out Paul Edwards’ article, “Conventional Wisdom;” it covers first-timer’s jitters and the differences between conventions of several decades ago and now. For tips on pre-registration, read Janet Dickelman’s article.
Do you enjoy participating in group activities? Are you athletic? Sign up for this year’s Brenda Dillon Memorial Walk. Find out how in Katie Frederick’s article.
From tips on packing medications to what to bring to a national convention, below are some tips for traveling.
Are you debating what to bring to convention? Not sure whether to bring heels, flats, or a good pair of walking shoes? After attending 25 conventions, I’ve learned a few things – including what to bring, and what to leave at home.
My first few conventions, I wore dresses with hose and a modest pair of heels. I did not know how much walking I would have to do at convention. By the end of the week, my feet were blistered and sore. My walking speed decreased significantly. The following years, I brought flats. The results were the same. Bring a dressy pair of shoes for the banquet – and a good pair of walking shoes for the rest of the week. And, for the occasional blister or cut, bring a box of Band-Aids.
Do you plan to spend time in the sun? Remember to bring a sun hat, sunscreen, and, if you tend to burn anyway, sunburn ointment. One convention near the end of the week, I’d gone to the pool for a little R&R. I forgot to apply sunscreen. I climbed out of the pool, plopped down into a chaise lounge, and dozed off in moments. The pool towel gave me no protection, and when I awoke about an hour and a half later, I was sunburnt beyond pink – more of a magenta shade. Thankfully, the hotel gift shop had sunburn ointment.
Most hotels provide shampoo and conditioner, as well as body lotion and soap. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to bring your own. Pack soap, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant and anything else that might melt or leak in a Ziploc bag, and make sure to zip it closed before putting it in your suitcase. Hotel laundry facilities can be expensive.
Summer weather can be unpredictable. Bring an umbrella and a windbreaker for sudden summer storms. The windbreaker will keep you warm in chilly meeting rooms.
When you arrive at the convention, be sure to check the information desk for the hotel description, local store and restaurant guides, and other useful information. Snacks from vending machines and gift shops tend to be a bit more expensive than if you go out to the neighborhood convenience store. The ACB Café will also be quicker and more affordable than many hotel restaurants. It does get busy during session breaks, at noon, and when it first opens, so plan your time accordingly.
Once you pick up your registration packet, take it back to your room. Then check the calendar of events to figure out what events you’d like to attend that will mesh with your schedule. And if you’re like me, you like to know where things are in the hotel. Walk around the meeting room floors, and check out where the rooms are, the exit doors from the rooms, where the nearest restrooms are, the tour bus pick-up site, and any other landmarks you’ll need for the week. Locate the vending and ice machines, and emergency exits, on your sleeping room floor.
If you’re taking a tour, be sure to be at the pick-up site 15 minutes early with ticket in hand. The bus won’t wait for you to race back to your room for the ticket. Not all tours include meals; be sure to read the tour descriptions carefully. Bring a sun hat, sunscreen, water bottle, and bug spray, as well as a small snack, and wear your walking shoes.
— Sharon Lovering
Pointers for Packing Pills
Most of us take medicine; many of us require multiple medications. Here are some pointers for packing and managing all these pills when you go on a trip such as the ACB national convention.
- Never pack your pills in checked luggage. If your suitcase is lost, your pills will be lost. Also, the medicine could be damaged by the extreme temperatures in the cargo bay of a plane.
- Pack your pills in a clear Ziploc bag in your carry-on. Keep them in their original bottles for inspection. It’s also helpful to keep a list of the medications and the contact information for your pharmacy in the bag with the pills and an accessible form of the list in a separate location in case your carry-on is lost.
- Once I have arrived at the hotel, I don’t want to carry several bottles of pills around with me all day. So, I have designed a creative method for organizing my pills that I will need for the day using a 7-day pill organizer that has one large compartment for each day. Every night, I organize the next day’s pills as follows: in the Sunday compartment, I put the pills that must be taken before breakfast. The Monday compartment is for the medications which I take with breakfast. The Tuesday compartment is for the tablets which are taken with lunch. The dinner pills go in the Wednesday compartment and the bedtime pills are placed in the Thursday compartment. The Friday and Saturday compartments can be used for extras such as aspirin or antacids. I then wrap the pill organizer in a Ziploc bag and put a rubber band around it, making it compact and secure. Carrying it around is much easier than handling all the individual pill bottles or making multiple trips to my hotel room to retrieve medication.
- When taking the pills, I open the pill compartments with the pill organizer inside the Ziploc bag, which prevents pills from falling on the floor and getting lost.
Hopefully, some of these tips will help you when you head to the ACB convention or elsewhere.
— Carla Hayes