1. Pull out your best bag. See mine above? I’m still in love with it! My Radley is pretty much my security blanket and I feel as though if I have it, and everything I manage to fit into it, then all will be okay. Make sure yours is comfortable, big, and you aren’t ashamed to be seen with it. This is the only bag I have without crumbs in the lining, pen stains or sticky sweeties and toys.
2. Make sure you have somewhere to sleep if you’re staying. No curling up with your sleeping bag on the steps of the Brewery. I’m bunking in with the very lovely Debbie from An Organised Mess at the M by Montcalm, like last year. It’s halved the cost and now I have someone to taxi with.
3. If you haven’t made business cards, or you can’t justify the cost of a whole batch of new ones, here’s the cheapest way I’ve found – Square Snaps. Upload a your details as a graphic and print out 30 little cards for £5.99 – you’re going to be mainly sharing them with new blogging friends so don’t worry that they aren’t on the best cardstock ever.
4. Empty your suitcase. Throw everything in the corner if you have to. Just make sure you have it!
5. Book your train ticket if you’re commuting that way. South West trains now have a one day off-peak return for £16. Two of those cost way less than a normal return ticket.
6. Camera, Phone, charger. So long as you have those at Britmums Live, that’s all the technology you need. Do. Not. Forget. Your. Charger.
7. Taxi fare. Stop at the cashpoint on your way to London for some cash. Taxis, a drink afterwards – it always comes in handy and it’s so annoying when you’re caught out.
8. Paracetamol/ibuprofen. We all panic and headaches ruin the day. Pack some!
9. Tweet someone you know before you get there – or find someone tweeting about Britmums Live on the way there. Arrange to meet before you reach the doors of the Brewery. That way there’s going to be at least one person you can walk in with and chat to, calming your nerves – and you’ve made a new friend! This is how I met Debbie. It’s a very important tip.
10. Pull up the Britmums agenda – even on the train. Make a note of what, and who, you want to see in a list. Put it in your bag.
Now breathe. You – and I – can do this.