A Guide for the Frugal Attendee to General Assembly
The General Assembly (GA) Office and Planning Committee are committed to the goal of making GA accessible to the maximum number of attendees possible. Recognizing that traveling to and participating in General Assembly can be a costly venture, we have prepared this guide to help potential attendees take advantage of the many available cost-saving opportunities.
General Assembly on a Budget
The GA Volunteer Committee funds full-time GA registrations in exchange for 18 hours of volunteer work at GA (10 hours for those eligible for reduced registration rates). Applications for volunteer positions must be submitted by March 31.
Secure a pledge of support from your congregation and apply for a GA Planning Committee scholarship. If your application is accepted, the Planning Committee may match your congregation’s pledge and also fund your full-time registration. Apply by March 31.
Scholarship funds are also available for youth and young adults (no congregational match required), for delegates from congregations that haven't recently been represented at GA, and for members of historically marginalized communities.
Register between November 1 and March 15, when rates are lowest. Registration rates increase March 16 and again on May 1.
The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Web Team provides extensive coverage of GA through our website so that those who are not able to join us in person may still participate. Many GA events are made available at no cost at UUA.org.
If you attend GA as a delegate from your congregation, your travel and registration expenses may be tax deductible. Consult the IRS or a tax professional.
General Assembly 2020 has been posted on the rideshare site RickyRides.com. Drivers and riders can post ride offers or requests with by location (zipcode). Congregations can create a post and put park-and-ride information in the description.
Read about other transportation options, including Greyhound, Amtrak, and regional rail in Providence.
Buying items such as fruit, bagels, granola bars, instant oatmeal, and carrying a refillable water bottle can eliminate the need to buy breakfast and lunch out.
Planning your schedule ahead of time and knowing when and how you will eat meals will keep you from spending impulsively on concessions or fast food.
Local Cheap Eats
Share the cost of housing by staying in a hotel with flat-rate pricing. For example, four people can share a room at a hotel with flat-rate pricing, split the cost up to four ways, and enjoy amenities such as parking, a refrigerator in the room, wi-fi internet access, and a pool and fitness center.
If you are looking for a roommate, we suggest first seeking other members of your congregation or district through local contacts.
The GA Forum is divided into separate discussions about housing, room-shares, ride-shares, first-timer questions, being a delegate, the election, and other topics. The GA Forum will reopen before next year's GA.
In 2020, dormitory-style housing will be available at two local universities.
Act quickly. The GA Housing Reservation System opens on March 2. Expect that inexpensive rooms, especially inexpensive rooms that are close to the convention center, will sell out.
All information is subject to change.