I’d heard about this awesome conference all the The Next Web (TNW) Conference which was going to be held in Amsterdam. The line up of speakers looked brilliant and I’ve always loved going to conferences!! Great people, awesome atmosphere, the ability to learn new information and to network with people from all over the world!
Let’s just say I really wanted to go!!
However, my first challenge to face was that I didn’t have the money to pay for a conference pass which ranges from €500 to over €1000! This little issue of not having any money wasn’t going to stop me!!
I reached out to the conference organisers to see if they were looking for any volunteers and if I could exchange my time for a conference ticket! - They were!! I applied and boom!! I was now half way there, I had my ticket sorted, now I just needed to find cheap flights, and cheap accommodation.
With flights, if you’re flying to Europe and only take hand baggage, you can get seriously cheap flights. I managed to find a return flight from Manchester for £77 which is actually cheaper than getting myself down to London via train.
Generally after flights the next biggest expense is going to be accommodation. I started looking on Air BnB but it was actually really expensive and I was looking to be close to the venue. Ideally so I could walk there everyday and not have to pay for transport costs!
As much as I would love to stay in a glamorous Hotel, this time it was all about finding cheap/nice accommodation which generally don’t go hand in hand…. however, after a lot of research I found a really great Hostel…… close to the venue, amazing reviews and cheap as chips. At the end of the day I’m only going to be sleeping there, so as long as its clean I’m going to be happy!
Food, now I am really trying to save on costs. I’m pretty particular with what I eat, I also know when I go on “holiday” or away for work, its easy to slip into holiday mood and start treating myself at every opportunity, cakes, ice-cream, just popping out for lunch or dinner because its easier than cooking fro myself. Not this time, I’d spend so much on the MDS I really needed to control my costs. As I had Paleo Food meals still left over from the MDS they were going to come with me!!! So I’m actually bringing my own food, which is super tasty, super healthy and easy to cook, you just need to add hot water!!
There’s still going to be additional expenses, things which you don’t think about and need to pay for. I still had €100 euro left over from MDS. (You had to take over €200 euro as part of your mandatory kit) so there was my spending money for the week.
Pretty pleased to be honest, I get to spend a week in Amsterdam, I get to meet new people, explore a new city and have fun, all for virtually nothing.
I just wanted to share this, as so many people say, “I’d love to do what you do’ and they stop themselves at the first hurdle which is generally not having any money!!! I had no money for my conference ticket, but I’m happy to work shifts in order to get that ticket. I’m prepared to eat my own food. I’m prepared to stay in a hostel, I’m prepared to leave earlier and to walk to where I need to go.
What are you prepared to do, to make your dreams come true?
It's not always going to be easy and you’ll have to make sacrifices on the way. What are you prepared to sacrifice?