Attending #NASPA2020 on a Budget
As your keeping an eye out on registration dates, check with your department or unit to see if there are funds available for professional development opportunities! If there are, make sure to ask when proposal submissions are accepted. Begin preparing your proposal so it’s ready for whenever a call for proposals is sent out! Even if you are already a NASPA member, having your department cover the costs of attending, hotel, and travel, is a huge help!
If your department is only able to cover part of the costs, check with your institution’s staff council (if you have one) to see if they may have funds allocated for professional development that you could apply for.
If you’re paying out-of-pocket, make sure to plan ahead. Get early bird rates by registering prior to December 20 and make sure you’re your dues and membership level stay current! Set aside a little bit of money on a weekly or monthly basis – or try using a savings app to get you started in preparation for your visit. Don’t forget to take advantage of the hotel block rates available – and keep in mind the distances to the conference center. Once downtown, everything is fairly within walking distance.
Getting Ready for Take-Off
You’ll also want to make sure you keep any eye on flight prices. Use flight tracking apps or websites and set alerts for when prices go down. As you start packing, create a list of essentials, but be mindful of what you’re taking – the lighter you travel, the less likely you are to have to pay that extra baggage fee!
Flying into the Austin airport is a breeze, and fortunately not too far from downtown Austin. Catch a rideshare service – there are plenty of companies that serve the area. If you have peers joining you, offer to split the ride! That bit of savings can go towards that delicious BBQ dinner!
Eat, Sleep, Conference!
Speaking of food… Austin’s list of eateries is extensive but eating out gets expensive quick! Bring your spending budget in cash, so you can monitor your expenses more closely. If you have time, take a quick trip to the grocery store before coming to Austin, or as soon as you arrive, to stock up some snacks, tea bags, or cold brew coffee pods. This way you can snack and caffeinate at a low cost during the conference. Don’t forget to bring your reusable water bottle and travel mug – this will not only help the environment, but you won’t need to spend on bottled drinks!
Plan ahead, set a budget, stick to it!