Travel Hell

Today was pretty tedious. And expensive! Today was travel booking day for the upcoming show.

My first order of business was to figure out how I can get a cross-country flight from nowhere without paying an arm and a leg. Also, flying for less than 14 hours. It turns out this is a tricky prospect, as the only reliable airport to us is over 300km away.

Fortunately, after over an hour of bouncing between various travel and airline sites, and trying different cities, carriers, and times, I finally found a reasonable rate and schedule. By reasonable, I mean leaving the house at 5am and arriving at midnight.

Even with that solved, I'll have to see if I need to rent a car to drive the 300km to the airport and then pay to park it there for the entire trip, then drive it back when I return. I realize one can rent a car in one location, and drop off in another. However, that 300km drive involves a border-crossing, so no dice. And there aren't really any buses or trains from here to the airport. Ah, rural life.

My brother-in-law, who kindly volunteered to help me build and man the booth, is also flying in. Mercifully, he offered to book his own flight and have me reimburse him later.

On the other end of the trip, it was bonkers trying to find a decent rate for hotels/B&B. Unsurprisingly, every 2-bed room/AirB&B in a wide radius from the convention is already booked. (My fault for waiting.) There are some hold-outs in the $250+ per night range, but that's getting to be quite pricey.

So I spent pretty much the rest of the day poring over maps, hotel sites, AirB&B, and transit maps, trying to figure out where I could combine a reasonable rate, enough beds, short enough commute to the convention, and a neighborhood that's safe to walk in. And I think I finally did. Gonna cost me $209 per night, and it's 3 miles away.

But at least there's a transit station a block away, with pretty much a direct line to the con (~25-30 minutes ride). It appears to be in a pretty pedestrian-friendly neighborhood with a few eateries and cafes. And it's not $300 per night :)

And as a bonus, I stumbled across a shopping center relatively close to the con with a Home Depot, Office Max, and a Target. Emergency supply source found!

Despite the ravaging of my wallet and sanity, I'm feeling better about the trip now that a few things are pinned down. I've sent out some artwork for a promo piece, contacted a printer for banner quotes, and I'm pretty sure I've got all the answers I need to finish the booth application forms. Things are moving along!