The Chicago Seminar

Chicago Chicago the toddlin’ town.  That’s right…I’m here in Chicago to attend the Chicago Seminar put on by Howie from The Frugal Traveler and supported by many of the big time bloggers whose blogs many of you read.  This is my third time attending this conference.

It’s true, generally they have the same speakers who go over some of the same topics and yet I always come away with a few morsels of knowledge that I didn’t know before.  Whether it is that something finally “clicked” or it indeed is new it doesn’t matter.

The “classes” begin on Friday night.  We go to more classes on Saturday with a cocktail reception in the evening and then again continue on Sunday till about 4 PM.  There are two education rooms side by side so you do have a choice of which topics you want to attend and this is done at registration time earlier in the year.

What I also like about these conferences is the interaction with other participants who love to share and help in between sessions, over a meal or drink.

It is always held at the Holiday Inn at Elk Grove Village, close to O’Hare Airport.  We get a great group rate which includes two breakfast for those staying at the hotel, and two lunch at the hotel for all conference attendees.  We also get our points which if why I always do the IHG promotion in the fall knowing that I’ll have a few nights at this Holiday Inn.  I believe the conference was about $100 for the entire weekend.  The hotel price was probably very similar in price.

To cut down on the expense of flying into Chicago, this year I tried something different.  I flew Southwest into Midway since they had a great sale fare of $99 however, the conference is near O”Hare.  I was able to take the train (did a transfer at Clark/Lake) at a cost of three dollars.  It was very easy as the train stop was at Midway.  However, it took about 90 minutes to get to O’Hare.  Unfortunately I am flying out of Midway on Monday morning so I’ll have to do this in reverse including getting a shuttle from the hotel to O’Hare.  I’ll probably leave very early from the hotel as my flight is about 10:30 AM. When I arrived at Midway I noticed that the TSA and security line was extremely long.  I did not see any TSA pre-check but that is not saying it wasn’t there – I just didn’t see it.  Will I do it again – perhaps in flying to Chicago and to the conference since I have extra time in the beginning (I got here a day early because of the sale) but I will not do it flying home.

Look forward to some great reports from the conference in the next week or so.

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