Roommates not only help cut down costs and make traveling to events doable, but they add so much more to the event experience. This week on Welcome Wagon it’s my job to ensure that you and your roommates start the weekend and END that weekend as FRIENDS.
How to Find a Roommate:
- Many event newbies start traveling with a friend/friends from their local studio or swing dance club. This is a good way to travel with people who have either had event experience before or for you and a friend to experience a new event together.
- Facebook, aka the social media hub for Westies, is always a good place to start your roomie search. Post a status requesting roommates from your group of friends. If you’re adventurous and are looking to make new friends, you can post on the Facebook event page of the convention and specify what your roommate needs are (i.e. non-smokers, male or female roommates, etc.). Many events even create separate Roomies, Rides and Strictly Partners Facebook pages to make the process easier.
- Contact the event staff. The event’s website or Facebook page usually contains contact information for the event coordinators and directors. If you send a brief message with your roommate request, they should be able to help you out.
The Roomies’ Code of Conduct:
Surprises are fun in regards to parties and really cool unexpected life experiences. When it comes to sharing a room, however, it’s best to keep the surprises to a minimum. Set up a “Roomie Code of Conduct” before the craziness of the weekend begins. Keep reading for my thoughts on the code
They say money can break up romantic relationships, but it can also put a strain on friendships if you’re not careful. Set up an agreement of what the financial situation is going to look like. If you share Ubers, do you split the fares or alternate each ride. Do you split the check on food? How’s the final room bill going to be taken care of? Determine all aspects of your code upfront. The less money is on your mind, the more carefree you and your roommate will feel.
Since eating out every meal can be super-expensive, chances are you’re going to either make a snack run somewhere close or pack snacks. Let your roomie know if you’re alright with sharing or if you’ve personally reserved food for yourself.
When eating out make sure you both get a say on where to eat. Either you both really like a certain type of food, and agree on one restaurant, or alternate choices when dining out. Making room for choices gives everyone a voice.
This is a subject that can be kinda touchy for many. Most come to Westie events not only to dance but to rest and rejuvenate. Let your roomie know your sleeping habits. Are you a light sleeper? Do you snore? If you’re sharing a bed, do you kick/move around a lot?
Give a heads up if late night dancing might be on your docket for the weekend. Sometimes, one roomie will bow out of the ballroom sooner than the other, so it’s best to make sure you a) have a key to get back into the room and b) respect and reduce the amount of noise you make when reentering the room.
Good morning, good morning!
Morning routines are another big part of the sleep game. At my first event, I made the mistake of opening up the blinds/turning on lights when my roommate’s first alarm went off. Little did I know she’s one of those people that set multiple alarms to eventually wake up. In short, she was not a happy camper, haha. Determine the morning people and the not-so-morning people in advance to so you and your roommates are all on the same page. Also make each other aware of your plans for the day, whether you’re planning on attending workshops, competing, etc. That way if you wanted to use the room for a specific purpose (i.e. napping, eating break, etc.) there won’t be any conflicts.
Tidiness: Whether you’re a Nancy Neat Freak or a Sloppy Joe, be respectful of the fact that the hotel room is not your own house. No matter how lax you both are about the cleanliness of the room, I say be respectful, not only to hotel staff but to each other. Clearing walkways and not leaving the bathroom floor wet after showers are Roomie Common Sense 101 material. I always think of hotels like my temporary apartment for the weekend. The way I present my space is a reflection of my character, so be considerate when it comes to the tidiness of your room.
PARTY! Bringing guests into the room:
I kind of have a soft spot for this topic. 🙂 Catching up with friends is a HUGE part of convention life. Occasionally someone will message me and ask if it’s ok if they can chill in my room to kill time (especially if the ballroom isn’t setup yet or if their room isn’t ready). I’m pretty laid back when it comes to one or two people paying me a quick visit, but party situations are a totally different animal. Check with your roommate first to see if they’re ok hosting a mini (or sometimes big) shindig/ get together in your room. Parties are always a pain to clean up afterwards, so it’s best to make sure everyone’s ok with bringing people back to the room for company.
The BILL! – I mentioned this topic already, but it’s worth bringing up again. Make sure to do your part as a responsible roommate and settle your part of the bill. It (for the lack of a better term) SUCKS to be stuck with the bill. Set up a plan of payment BEFORE the event. Make sure you’re a credible roomie who others want to share rooms with at events, so DO YOUR PART!
You can also ask the hotel front desk to split the room charges in order to pay for your portion and have that be one less thing to worry about.
That wraps up the roomie hacks and westie wisdom! Join me next time for more Welcome Wagon guides, tips, and advice on convention life. For Wandering Westie blog, I’m Stephanie Pham. Keep dancing!