But I'm probably even more frazzled than I usually am... Why? This year I have so much planned for the 4.5 days away.
- 4 pitches
- 6 sessions
- 1 cocktail party
- 1 formal dinner
- catching up with CP's, writing friends, the Erotic Writers of Australia & those from the same publishers.
Looks like a lot? Well, I'm also going onto the Committee of the Romance Writers of Australia so at some point I also have to get some paperwork that's heading my way. All in all, makes for a huge trip. Not to mention I'm leaving at 5am tomorrow morning to drive to Brisbane and catch a 10.30am flight.
So yes, my packing has been more than a little frantic. But I was chatting with a friend yesterday who's in even more of a tizzy and I thought, "Likely I'm not the only one trying to get organised." So here is my list of Must Packs and Must Do's before leaving.
- Organise for someone to care for pets/children/mail/papers and anything else that may be delivered or in need of care. Thankfully DD#1 drives and works, so we've arranged for her to work 1 day out of the local office, take one day as an RDO (Rostered Day Off) and DD#2 gets the Ekka Holiday on Monday. That means someone is here in the vicinity the whole time. Makes it easier for DD#2 to do her after school hours shift at work, have someone get the mail from the Post Office and walk the dog.
- As silly as it sounds, with teens at home, I find preparing a Jobs/To Do list helps. Saves those "I didn't know" arguments afterwards.
- Frozen dinners. Now, I know not everyone does this - it's something I do because then I know exactly what my daughters are eating (and one has a bigggggg problem with sugar) so I prepare frozen dinners in a variety of options. This trip they have lamb chop dinners, roast chicken dinners and sausages and mashed potato. I know they will probably treat themselves to dinner one night, but this means, if something happens, all they need to do is reheat and eat. Saves a lot of hassle in the long run.
- Print out paperwork. It's my experience that if you don't have it, something will go wrong. So, remember flights details, hotel details, transfers from airport to hotel, conference confirmation, pitch details and anything else that you have signed up for/paid for on the trip. It's better to have it and not need it than get caught with nothing to refer to.
- Check you have phone (and double check your data allowance if you are using it for internet), laptop and ALL the power cords. Nothing worse than trying to hire/borrow/buy a replacement in a town you don't know!
- Organise your promo packs way in advance. This means less stress for you. Trust me. Been there, done that, got the tshirt! Remember business cards, flyers, bookmarks and something different that stands out. This year I have ... Lipstick Pens! Last time it was sleep masks. I like to mix it up and keep it different!
- Clothing. I limited myself to 3 pairs of shoes (one to wear & 2 to pack) Long pants - seriously they take up very little space but look sensational when teamed with nice tops. A wrap or coat... Never leave home without one :) Dresses - yep, at least one. Trust me... If you have any costume events, arrange them in advance so you aren't running around at the end trying to put something together.
- Pitch sheets - sure most people don't use them in Australia. I do. I like to hand them to the person who's taking my pitch. I also have a print out of my elevator pitch to pop in my pocket.
- Bags are nice, but honestly? This time I have a backpack, an evening bag and nothing else. You get a little bag on registration, which I use, so you probably don't need a handbag.
- Lip Balm. Important. Trust me!
- Camera. Lots of photographic occasions will arise. I also add a couple of spare memory cards.
- Cosmetics. After a night of partying I don't want to look like the old hag from the west!
- Toiletries... ditto :) Oh! and don't forget some Berocca and Panadol if you plan to swing the night away!
- A book to read. I find traveling includes long periods of nothing.
- Notepad... For me, this is where the iPad kicks into gear.
Have I missed something? I hope not, but if you can think of anything, just leave me a comment.
Looking forward to RWAus2014! Hopefully I'll see you there.