Thinking Way Ahead!

It’s summer. We’ve had over thirty days of 100+ degree weather. And I have the travel bug! It’s so much fun to research and plan trips, so I just couldn’t resist getting a head start on travel plans for next year’s MTNA conference in New York City! Is anyone else making plans to attend?

One of the things I mentioned in the Frugal Tips for Travelers post I wrote following this year’s conference was: “Decide early to attend so that you can benefit from the early bird registration discount. Plus, you can start keeping your eyes open now for great deals instead of scrambling at the last minute to pull everything together.”

As I was searching around for lodging options, I came across a fabulous site – airbnb.com! This is a relatively new operation, but there are already almost 18,000 rentals available in 190 countries…including many right in New York City. 🙂 Each place that’s available is an actual residence of a real person. Isn’t that cool? For years, I’ve been doing the ground work on my own to track down hosts in destinations, but this site takes all the work out of it – and opens up the possibilities to include all sorts of unique homes and apartments. Of course, you have to pay (whereas I usually found people who were willing to host me at no cost), but many of the places rent for very reasonable rates, certainly less than you often pay for a hotel room. I was able to find an adorable place just a few blocks from Central Park for less than $200/night!

In addition to lodging, now is also the time to be booking transportation and setting up your schedule for the year to allow time off to attend the conference. For quite a few years I only took off the week of the conference as my spring break. But in my area the spring break for the school district always seems to fall the week prior to the conference. So, this past year I went ahead and took off both weeks and it worked marvelously! The students are able to keep up with their playing just fine for two weeks, and taking the week off beats having a scattered schedule due to all the students who are out of town or forget to show up for their lesson when they are on spring break. 🙂

I know there are lots of other things I need to be doing to plan for the start of the fall semester – which is just around the corner – but for now I’m having too much fun doing trip planning!

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