Psychotherapy Articles

Psychotherapy Articles

Conference Survival Guide

Travel Edition

Between conference fees, travel, food, and lodging, costs for conferences can add up quickly. We’ve got some tips to keep costs as reasonable as possible.

1. Book in Advance

It’s (almost) never too early to start tracking hotel and flight cost. Sites like Kayak, and apps like Hopper will even send alerts to your phone or email when prices drop.

If time is not on your side, or you’re needing more direction on the hotels available, consider booking hotels through a travel site like Priceline.

When you book in advance, you can also usually sign up for hotel rewards and put those towards additional amenities (for example, Omni Hotels gives free newspapers and coffee after your second or third night), or free stays.

2. Crowdsource

If the conference is only a few hours drive away, consider buddying up with a colleague who shares similar music preferences, and y’all will be there in no time at all!

Cringing at the cost of hotels, and willing to share a room with a friend? Booking lodging with someone else, or taking advantage of group rates is sure to save you some cash.

Ask friends on social media and listservs (like if they want to share a room or split travel costs.

APA even offers a way to find other folks who are looking to share a room:

3. Consider the little travel costs and make sure your hotel has key amenities

The hotels close to the conference may be more expensive at first glance, but make sure to factor in the costs of taxis or rideshare apps when booking. A slightly cheaper hotel may not turn out to save you much if every day includes a $25 round trip.

Also consider the time factor. After spending a full day attending workshops and presentations, you may want to go back to your hotel to freshen up, but if it’s 30 minutes away, you’re adding in over an hour of travel time that may put a damper on plans.

Check what perks come with your hotel. Does your room reservation come with free wi-fi or a continental breakfast? Is there access to a little shop or convenience store for late night snacks/drinks? Even something like a gym can be a welcome amenity to practice self-care.

What about your particular room? Will it have a mini fridge to store leftovers? On site laundry facilities in case of a clothing emergency?

4. Membership has its benefits

As an APA member, you have access to discounts on rental cars and hotels. Many of these discounts apply to even last-minute bookings, so make sure to check before you book!

Most conferences offer conference registration discounts as well, so make sure your membership is up-to-date!

5. Consider alternative lodging

Cost of hotels got you down? Yearning for your own kitchen?

Many cities have many short rental options, with options for apartments, houses, or rented rooms (Check out sites like Airbnb and HomeAway). Make sure to check the site disclaimers and the host ratings.

Cite This Article

Kilmer, E. D., & Ellis, A. E. (2018, July). Conference survival guide: Travel edition. [Web article]. Retrieved from



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