Don’t visit the book exhibit. If you do, you will probably end up buying books. You know you can’t afford them, and you run the risk of weighing down your bags so much that you have to pay extra at the airport for the journey home.
Here are numbers 1 – 3. Wise words, although he should give grits a second chance. : )
1. Find a cheap flight. This has to begin pretty early, like a month or so ago. It’s a good idea to use an aggregator site like Kayak and to watch the prices daily. I have managed to find a $216 flight from Raleigh to New Orleans after having watched the site for the last few weeks, and I am feeling quite chuffed about it.
2. Room-share. The SBL hotels are all pretty posh and pretty expensive. The only way to stay in one of those hotels and keep the price down is to room-share. Of course you need to have a person or people that you can cope with for several days, but the lucky ones among us will actually enjoy the SBL a great deal more because of the company they keep.
3. Breakfast trough-out. The cost of food is a big problem, and four days of conference-attending can put the strain on your budget. What I suggest is to get to one of those great American breakfast buffets every morning and eat to your heart’s content. Don’t be put off by earnest looking professor types who only visit the buffet once. Keep going for as long as you can. Eat so much that you won’t want lunch. You can then make it through to the evening when you’ll be just peckish enough to enjoy something else.
Birmingham never gave me enough to travel, and so troughing my face at breakfast was my standard survival strategy. The American breakfast buffets are great, though for Brits it can be a little off-putting to see Americans putting their fruit on the same plate as their sausage and bacon, or worse, putting corn syrup on their scrambled egg. So Brits abroad may need to avert their eyes. There is also an unappetizing pastey coloured concoction called “grits”, which is to be avoided.