There’s only 4 days to go before I fly out to Boston this Saturday. I’ve spent my spare time over the last couple of weeks making final arrangements – hopefully I’m just about there now.
All travel arrangements have been made, ESTA application approved, travel money card topped up, final appointments confirmed and presentation written.
I’m using a great travel itinerary app called TripIt to put all of my meetings, travel tickets, maps, directions and accommodation details in one place. My flights and AirBnB details can sync to TripIt and it all syncs to my Google Calendar as well. This also means that my family can see where I am which is useful too.
Next I’m going to see if I can pack everything into a carry on case and small shoulder bag. Everybody seems to think this idea will be quite a challenge but I’m hoping it will be very practical as I have lots of different travel connections and changes of accommodation. To help with the downsizing I’m also taking mini tech in the form of an iPad mini and keyboard rather than my laptop, a Kindle, my iPhone and a pocket sized camera. Using a mini keyboard is a new learning experience but I’m hoping that I’ll improve at it. Importantly I’ve sorted some dual voltage straighteners – some things just can’t be left at home!
The planning side of my trip is really coming together now. I feel like I have spent days poring over hotel and B&B websites. In the end I have decided to go with Airbnb all the way. There are lots of choices but I have managed to find a whole variety of rooms in people’s homes with excellent reviews and all really central in the cities I am visiting. Hopefully I will be a short walk away from most of the main libraries. I’ve had very friendly emails from all of the hosts I’ll be staying with and they seem happy to give me tips and advice on where to go in any spare time. I think staying in people’s homes will really add to my experience and it is significantly cheaper than staying in impersonal hotels.
Some of the bedroom window views I can look forward to!
Interest in the study tour has also been building in the UK. In the last couple of weeks I have been asked to contribute to a blog article about the future of British Libraries for the Professional Associations Research Network (PARN). I have also been asked to deliver a lecture to University of West of England (UWE) MSc Information Management students later in the year covering the study tour and funding/sponsorship applications. Lastly CILIP Publicity and Public Relations Group (PPRG) have asked me to speak at their conference in November to share my experiences and findings. It’s all getting very exciting!
Finally today I wanted to share with you this morning’s post – the Royal Mail kind! These may well be my bedtime reading so I can make the most of any free time in evenings and at weekends.