Now that I’m no longer a professor, I have to pay for my own conference travel out of pocket. Of course, before they didn’t really pay for enough to cover even one conference, so this isn’t much different from when I was an employed academic.
In fact, dealing with conferences on my own is expensive and it sucks but it’s easier than dealing with our less-than-competent secretary! (Insert rant here on: it was enough for them to say they supported professional development and research, but not enough that they actually did. End Rant.)
Why am I conferencing, even though I’m not employed and I am not bringing in money? I thought it might help get a job, to network, because conferences are cool and fun, to learn about research, to see old friends. Why does anyone ever go?
But I’m not paying 100% out of pocket. I’m doing some things to save money on the trip.
To pay for the conference I’m using a mishmash of frequent flier miles, savings, and aggravation. I’m also sharing hotel rooms with colleagues/friends (SCORE!)
Now, I think the trips themselves are tax deductible since I’m using them for job seeking/networking purposes, but according to my partner’s accountant given that we’re renting etc. we won’t be over the standard deduction this year even with my travel and stuff. I’m saving the receipts anyway, just in case.
So that’s my story.
Do you pay for work-related conferences out of pocket? How do you save on travel? Is a conference your idea of a vacation?