Thursday, March 12, 2020

Update -- My Libertarian National Convention Plans

Hey, everyone ...

I hope you've noticed that I haven't hit you up for as much help, or done so as often, this year as I did in 2018 vis a vis serving on the Libertarian Party's platform committee and attending its national convention.

That doesn't mean I don't want your help, it just means I've been economizing as best possible and haven't HAD to ask yet. Here's an update:

- I purchased the lowest level of convention package this year ($79).

- The platform committee voted NOT to have a physical meeting before the convention, which would have entailed ~$500 in travel and lodging costs. Pursuant to my pledge to do so, I donated $100 to the Libertarian Party in lieu of said costs.

- I just booked my flights. Sort of. The devil is in the details.

- THE DETAILS: So far, I've spent $90.35 for the bare-bones round-trip flying experience. Flying out of Orlando to Austin on JetBlue the evening of May 20th (the platform committee meeting meets the morning of the 21st as the convention opens), flying back on American the morning of May 26th (the convention ends on the 25th, but no telling how late). That was the combination of "best timing for the lowest price" that I found.

- THE DEVIL: Because I booked through a third party site (Priceline), the fare didn't include any carry-on or checked baggage other than a "personal item." You're supposed to add that via the airline after booking. And oh, how I have tried. Apparently I'm going to have to wait until 24 hours before each flight and add bags when "checking in" via phone. And if that doesn't work, they'll presumably rape me for extra "adding a bag at the airport" fees. IF adding bags at check-in works (or if either airline replies to my "WTF, little help here" messages, the baggage total should be about $70 (one checked bag each way; I probably need more than a carry-on, but I don't need both). I would have flown Allegiant -- avoiding this aggravation AND getting my bags for free as a "veterans' benefit" -- but their flight days from Tampa to Austin just didn't fit the schedule.

- Once I get to Austin, I'll be winging it on lodging. I've been donating $25 a month to the Povertarian Caucus so that I won't feel like I'm taking advantage of anyone if I crash in the caucus suite because I don't run into any other roommmate opportunities.

By my reckoning, all of the above comes in at well under $500. Of course, I expect $100 in Uber/Lyft costs, and I intend to eat while I'm in Austin, and I may be forgetting a thing or two.

I think the whole shebang is going to run $600-$700, $800 if I really treat myself luxuriously (I've always wondered how much hotel room service would charge to fill a bathtub with ice cream and hot fudge ...),  quite a bit of which has already been covered by a generous cryptocurrency donor and by my decision to stop smoking. But I do appreciate any help you might want to sent my way -- see the sidebar for support links!

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