Here at OG headquarters, we get very excited in the lead-up to the annual international convention. It is always a thrilling time — but the flip side of that anticipation can, for some, quickly spiral into a sense of urgency. With any trip or big event, there seems to be that inescapable feeling of having to rush, or having to complete a seemingly never-ending list of last-minute, pre-trip errands. Making sure the dog-sitter is organized, or that the neighbors know to collect the mail and water the garden in your absence — there are a lot of things to remember that can cause unnecessary pre-trip stress.
Today, we’re going to help you with a list of simple tips that will help your pre-IGNITE convention preparations run a smoothly as a Caramel Vanilla K-Cup!
BEFORE YOU GO
“Tickets, money, passport!” was once the out-the-door catch-cry of any global traveler. But tickets today are all electronic. And depending on your country of origin, you may not need your passport. And money these days largely comes in a card or digital format.
But here are a few pre-trip tips for those of you making the journey to Los Angeles in August:
• The majority of stores and restaurants in the Downtown Los Angeles vicinity will take credit cards. But — to avoid wasting a lot of money on foreign transaction fees, ask your bank if they can issue a debit or credit card that you can pre-load with funds and use without racking up fees with each payment or every ATM cash withdrawal.
•While credit and debit cards are widely accepted, cash is still king when it comes to tipping valets, paying for parking in some lots, or tipping hotel staff and the like. So be sure to have some small bills on hand for tipping and parking purposes.
•Be sure to have your skin care and grooming essentials in travel-friendly sizes, or decant them into lightweight plastic bottles if they are packaged in heavy plastic or breakable glass. Stores like Muji, REI and the Container Store sell great travel-friendly kits.
•Take note or keep a list or a tally the week before you leave to help you calculate things such as how often you need to have the mail collected, the pets fed or the garden tended.
•If you park on the street, make sure your car will not incur any parking tickets in your absence due to weekly street cleaning or garbage collection.
•Check that all of your bills are paid up — nothing could be worse than having your cell phone plan cancelled during the all-important convention!
•Speaking of cell phones — check with your phone provider about roaming plans, fees and charges for downloading data or using your phone in other countries — these charges can really add up if you do not enroll in a roaming international plan, particularly on smart phones.
•Have a casual dinner party a few nights before you leave to use up any fresh fruit, vegetables or other food that may spoil while you are away, or cook up these ingredients with recipes that you can freeze and eat upon your return — soups and stews are great for this!
•Scribbling notes on a piece of paper is no way to pass on your contact information these days. Be prepared and have small business cards or note cards printed up, with the details you care to share already printed on them. Or, at the very least, have your information typed out in your phone or tablet so that passing it on to fellow convention attendees is as simple as a quick cut-and-paste.
Now we’ve got you all set with the preparations you need to handle before heading out to the glittering city of Los Angeles for IGNITE, the annual OG International Convention! We look forward to welcoming all convention ticket holders to beautiful Los Angeles August 29-30. So, secure your tickets and hotel accommodations today — then relax in the knowledge that your pre-trip days will be organized and stress-free.
Stay tuned for a future post on what to pack for the convention in Los Angeles, and its associated events and activities.