As I travel the world, I’m often asked, “How do you pay for travel?” and “Do you have a sponsor?” I actually pay my own travel expenses, which is only possible because I make travel a priority and have become a savvy budget traveler. For example, I keep a spreadsheet with my frequent flyer account balances, research programs’ credit card and mileage partners and have acquired a detailed understanding of airline mile rewards. This often means I select routes between less visited cities in regions with low mileage requirements to allow stop-overs in new destinations. In 2013, I was fortunate to find flights into Ottawa and out of Quebec, so I could visit these beautiful cities and also save on airfare to the WPC in Montreal.
Despite my efforts, there is still a significant cost associated with travel - as those planning to attend WPC 2016 in Portland are well aware. Fortunately, there is some assistance available. When I planned Run-the-World 4 Parkinson’s I decided to try to raise funds for Parkinson’s-related projects and created the non-profit, 444 Parkinson’s Foundation. In January 2016, we were able to contribute $5000 to the WPC Travel Grants Program. Many other organizations and individuals have also submitted donations. In addition, you can purchase a Parky stuffed animal at the WPC Online Store and the proceeds will go to the WPC Travel Grants Program.
So what is the WPC Travel Grants Program? This program provides an opportunity for those that need some assistance to attend the WPC, with awards available for researchers, health care professionals, those with Parkinson’s and their care-givers. You can find out more about this program and apply for WPC travel funding by visiting the WPC 2016 Travel Grants page.
The following are some of the details regarding the program from the WPC:
- Travel grants to attend the WPC 2016 are available on a limited basis
- Scholarships will support one or more of the following expenses based on need: registration fees, lodging and travel expenses
- Travel grants will be offered to three groups
- those who reside outside Oregon/SW Washington
- those who reside in Oregon/SW Washington
- those who reside in British Columbia
- The application processes for these three groups are different