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How to Survive TravCon as A Newbie

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Big thanks to Dylan Callier, DPT for another wonderful contribution to The Traveling Traveler

Travcon is a conference with a plethora of lectures for traveling healthcare professionals. There is a mass of vagabonds and vendors for meet-and-greets and new-found relationships. However, it is a conference that can resemble The Hangover if not prepared.

Traveler's posing at Travcon2017
Photo Credit: Some guy making money at the picture booth.

Pack light.

I saw a lady bring 7 different pairs of shoes to this event. Don’t be that lady.

As a dude, I got away with 1 carry-on and a small draw string bag for freebies from the vendors. I understand others may need a little more luggage room, but should be condensed to 1 check-in suitcase. This will provide quicker pack times at the end of the trip, when you are sneaking around in a dark room attempting not to wake your roommate.

Pace yourself

The recruitment companies want you to work for them. In order to persuade you, the companies will fully fund extracurricular activities to woo your alliance. Free alcohol. Vegas. You get the idea.

Know your limits and have a drink count prepared for the evenings. It is going to be a long 5 day weekend, and you DO NOT want to be sick!

Water, caffeine, notes

Hydration is key. Treat this like a nephew’s birthday party and have a water for every drink. During the conference, drink plenty of water in the day along with your preferred caffeinated beverage. If you plan on taking advantage on all of the events offered during the conference, don’t expect to catch up on sleep until the return home. During lectures, record and take notes. Some are detailed and hard to grasp even with 8 hours of sleep the night before. You’ll want to review these later to implement into your travel career.

Make friends

Relationships are easy to build here! Everyone is open to meeting new travelers. Find your new friends waiting in line for registration, in the exhibit hall, at a booth, sitting next to you in a lecture, during a social hour… the list goes on. Bring your friendly face and be ready to mingle!

Man sleeping at TravCon is Las Vegas
Photo credit: Dr. Kelli Berg, DPT, CSCS, Sneaky Friend

Crash from social interaction.

The introvert in me was screaming by day 3. Find sneaky ways to re-fresh and re-load. A 5 minute walk around the hotel, chill at a lone table, attempt to “just rest the eyes” without the person next to you noticing. Fail miserably. Prepare for the night.

Rally at the last event.

At the end of TravCon, the conference organizers host a big bash. More free drinks, a private venue… I’ve never felt like a rock star before. You will be tired and looking forward to bed, but the social event is worth it! Bring your A-game, get ready for photos, and one more night of dancing and fun!

The unpleasant return to reality.

The conference ended on a Tuesday. I returned home on a Wednesday. Back to work that Thursday. The two work days were rough, and finally caught up on sleep that weekend. TravCon did not disappoint. I will be returning next year and hope to see you all there!

Photo Credit: Dylan Callier, DPT

About the Author: Dylan Callier is a Doctor of Physical Therapy preparing for his journey as a medical traveler. Follow The New Medical Nomads Podcast as he shares his experiences and interviews others in the traveling field. Contact:  dylan.callier@gmail.com  

FB: https://www.facebook.com/dylan.callier, IG: @dylancallier , Twitter: @dylancallier

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