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....stupid "prestigious" conference that's going to cost me ridiculous amounts of money just to get to.

Background: My abstract was accepted at a conference in Vienna, Austria this coming August. Yay. Prestige.

The Incredible Expensiveness: Not only is airfare phenomenally outrageous for that time period, but since I'm from the US, I can't get any funding from the conference itself. (We're not a low-income country. Tsk, us.) And my department will only offer me $400 in travel expenses. That will cover approximately one third of one ticket, given the ticket prices I've been quoted. Since both Foxe and I are going, this makes the amount of coverage even more useless. Thank god we've been offered cheap/free lodging (depending on if my contact there has room in his flat that particular week) - but still. The money I'm making this summer from teaching for 6 weeks is probably going to have go straight towards airfare.

Irksomeness: So for the privilege of having my abstract accepted to this &@*!!% conference, I get to shell out ungodly amounts of money just to get to the damned place. And let's not even talk about food. Apparently, Vienna is a very expensive city.

I am so tempted to just say, "Fuck it. I can't afford you." But I get the feeling that this would generally be looked down upon.
I should probably talk to my advisor about the feasibility of either finding a good travel agent that can get me better airfare or just skipping out on this thing.



( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 17th, 2004 07:49 am (UTC)
Although of course it would not be ideal, could you just go by yourself? That would halve the costs and make it more feasible. I would have loved to take Cull with me to Australia this week, but it just wasn't possible with the state of our finances. And it would really suck to miss out on presenting there over money issues.

Have you flexible travel dates, or are you locked in? I've had pretty good luck with Greenbelt Travel and the Internet. If one can't get me decent enough fares, the other usually can, particularly if you emphasize that price is a big concern for you.
May. 17th, 2004 08:05 am (UTC)
Yeah - I have a rather strong aversion to going by myself, because of knowing approximately no one there and not having a very strong grasp of the language, to boot. But you're right that it would obviously cut travel expenses by half.

Unfortunately, I can't even be that flexible since the week of the conference is the week before classes start and I have a class on that Monday. I can get there early, but I absolutely have to leave on time.

Meanwhile, since the internet has failed me (nothing below ~$1000 per person), I've contacted a travel agent recommended by a scientist who travels to Europe lots. Hopefully, something less price-y will turn up.
May. 20th, 2004 11:17 pm (UTC)
Ireland was good for me like that... I found it really cool to be able to go to a foreign country, navigate, and have fun all by myself. Go me. So if that is what you have to end up doing, try looking at it like that. [hugs] Good luck with your travel agent.
May. 17th, 2004 08:45 am (UTC)

Try Flights.Com, they've been pretty good to me in the past....but you're right, Vienna is REALLY expensive area. If you're feeling adventurous, perhaps try Priceline.Com?
May. 17th, 2004 09:01 am (UTC)
Speaking as a reasonably frequent European traveler, if the cheapest you can find for Vienna (to where Austrian Air flies direct from Dulles) three months from now is $1200, you're looking at the wrong places.

Orbitz and the ilk are usually not that good at international fares.

Here are some numbers that can help, though: Istanbul Travel at 703 237 9040; Picasso Travel at 202 828 4448; Alp Travel at 1 800 688 1649, and three agencies that the ECE department here does business with: Globetrotter at (301)570 0800, Omega World at (301) 403 4282, Travel-on at (301)403 4278. I'm told that at least Globetrotter does price-matching.

Also-also, maybe your advisor has a grant that can help pay for another part that the department doesn't cover?

May. 17th, 2004 09:40 am (UTC)
Ah, splendid! - I'll try those numbers.

I'm not sure about my advisor having a grant that can offer some money, but it's certainly worth trying. Thanks. :)

(And yeah, I was appalled by the prices offered at most of the major websites that claim cheap flights.)
May. 17th, 2004 11:51 am (UTC)
If flying directly there is too expensive, is it possible to land somewhere close(ish) and take a train in or something? You mentioned that the days prior to the conference are flexible. It might end up being less expensive even though you'd have to fly out from Vienna.

Just a thought . . .
May. 17th, 2004 12:04 pm (UTC)
Indeed - that's definitely going to be plan B if none of the travel agents can work anything better than what I've already found. I just have to figure out what's close enough to train from...
May. 17th, 2004 01:13 pm (UTC)
You need to get those fundraising kits that they use in high school, where you get a box of chocolate bars, and sell them for $1 each :-)
May. 18th, 2004 01:40 pm (UTC)
Consider any cheap fare to a major city in Europe and then using one of the cheap European carriers -- Ryanair, Easyjet and Air Berlin -- to get to Vienna.
May. 25th, 2004 02:10 pm (UTC)
May. 29th, 2004 09:26 pm (UTC)
Yay, 'find random livejournal' feature
I, also, have had to deal with the costs of conferences and trying to decide if I should just not go. I ended up going; best experience ever. I'm going to keep reading your journal, if it's cool with you, and you don't think it's windowless van type creepy.
May. 31st, 2004 04:37 am (UTC)
Hello - I stumbled over your LJ through thewronghands. I live in Vienna, let me know if you need some help/info on getting around and stuff.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )


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Jalen Strix

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