In June was the summer TNNA market. This year it was being held in Washington, DC. Summer market attendance, both by vendors and shop owners, has been declining in the past few years. I assume that is why TNNA selected Washington, DC, hoping to capitalize on attendees wanting to combine business with pleasure. I was slightly tempted since my home town is 90 miles north of Washington in Cecil County, MD. However, since most of my relatives are deceased or living elsewhere, I decided against the trip.
I am, however, attending the September Destination Dallas show. When attending markets, I always purchase my plane tickets with a personal Capital One account (even though it is a business expense). That account allows me to deduct the cost of the ticket by using the same number of miles as the monetary cost ($350 equals 35,000 miles). My business Capital One account has a set fee based on the cost of the ticket which always comes out higher. I purchased my ticket four months ago after I had made my hotel reservations (last year I waited too long for my hotel reservation and I had to stay at an ancillary hotel--bummer).
Then, last month I had an illuminating moment. I have been a Delta frequent flyer for over 30 years and have an American Express Skymiles credit card. With it I have financed 4 round-trip business class tickets to Europe, and I have been accumulating miles for another visit. Recently, I have realized that my usual pattern of traveling through European cities (on foot or by London underground), could be a problem since I have developed asthma along with some other bothersome ailments. I can't envisage taking taxis where I want to go, though I could afford it. I like experiencing the city by walking. ( and why did my font change?) Anyway, I decided to use my Delta miles as upgrades for the next few markets I attend. That's why last month, I called Delta, got a wonderful young man (I'm assuming this from the sound of his voice), and booked an upgrade to my ticket to Dallas. I really only wanted one from Atlanta to Dallas, Love Field and back to Atlanta, since the plane from Melbourne to Atlanta is smaller and only one cabin with no demarcation by class (or service?).
Now I am entitled to spending time in Delta's first class lounge (woo hoo!) while waiting for connections. I also get to check two bags free (luxury). Coming home I can use it for the cardboard box I always bring (broken down) to cash-and-carry markets, so I can ship things home (markets always have a shipping facility set up so non-exhibitors can ship home their purchases). This time I will be able to check them and they will arrive home with me. Bliss!
What this means is that I have eliminated an expense for travel from my market experience. What makes that nicer is that the show hotel has a shuttle so I only need tips for the driver. That's wonderful and means I now only need to pay for my transport to and from the Melbourne, FL, airport, my hotel room (Wyndham--I have no reward points, sigh) and my food and drink and the additional classes I might sign up for (one at Dallas is complimentary). I can't wait for the market!
As an afterthought, I realized I should show the apparatus that I carry with me to convert a cardboard box to a suitcase. I first saw one of these at Inge Wooley's house (Creative Needle) when she loaned me one that she had from Sweden. I took the concept to Italy on one of the trips when Trubey and I went to Florence. There I found a company that sold me a dozen chrome (I assume) handles. Not quite as nice as the leather handle that Inge had, but definitely serviceable. I had a friend in Vero make me the board with metal risers where I could insert straps for fastening. The whole package works magnificently. It adds a degree of elegance to having a cardboard box for your luggage! And adds new meaning to a matched set of luggage!