Housing and Travel
Housing and Travel
 
2012 AERA Annual Meeting
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International Travel Tips 

Passport Information

U.S. Citizens

To apply for a U.S. passport, please visit http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html.  Do not delay. The U.S. Department of State advises that it needs approximately 4–6 weeks of processing time, which does not include delivery. Please note: There is a fee to apply for a passport or renew your passport.

Entry Requirements/VISA Information

There are requirements you must meet to be allowed into Canada. This information will help you avoid problems that can affect your plans to attend the 2012 AERA Annual Meeting.

For information regarding visas and entry requirements for Canada, please call Immigration Canada at 888-242-2100 (in Canada) or visit the organization’s website at www.cic.gc.ca. From outside Canada, please contact the nearest Canadian embassy, high commission, or consulate in your region.

Upon entry to Canada, non-Canadian visitors will need to clear customs and immigration. The Vancouver Convention Bureau recommends that meeting attendees indicate the purpose of their visit to Canada as traveling to attend a conference/meeting. Reference to “work” or “working” may result in further questioning by immigration officers.

Personal Insurance

Individual travelers are advised to obtain their own personal health, luggage, or other travel insurance as desired; however, regardless of financial status or health care coverage, hospitals in British Columbia will not refuse treatment to those who require it.

Cellular Phone Plans

Most U.S. cellular phone companies offer an unlimited Canada plan for a monthly fee.   Please check with your carrier well in advance to identify options for voice and data plans. It may be advisable to enroll in an international plan in advance because international access and roaming rates can be extremely costly.

Phone Numbers:

You may want to keep the following phone numbers at hand:

•        Emergency: 911.

•        Vancouver Tourist Information Center:  604-683-2000      

•        Canada Customs:             604-666-0545      

•        Stein Medical Clinic:           604-688-5924  (walk-in service for tourists, no appointment necessary)

Time Zone

Vancouver is in the Pacific Time Zone. Daylight savings time is in effect from the second Sunday in March until the first Sunday in November.

Currency

It is recommended to use Canadian currency when traveling in Canada. Currency exchange services are available at points of entry and throughout the city at financial institutions. Most Greater Vancouver establishments also accept U.S. dollars and Japanese yen at a predefined exchange rate. For up-to-date information on exchange rates, visit www.oanda.com.

Traveler's Checks

Traveler’s checks in Canadian dollars are the safest and most convenient way to carry money. They are widely accepted and can be cashed at banks or foreign exchange brokers. Identification may be required when cashing traveler’s checks.

Taxes

There are three levels of taxation that affect visitors to Vancouver. There is a 10% tax charged on accommodations and liquor. For just about all other goods and services, there is a 7% provincial sales tax (PST) as well as the 5% federal goods and services tax (GST). There are a number of exemptions and complexities in the way those taxes are applied, particularly where food is involved. The PST, for instance, is not applied to food and children’s clothing, among other things.

Weather

Average daily high temperature in April is 14 degrees Celsius or 58 degrees Fahrenheit. Average low is 7 degrees Celsius or 44 degrees Fahrenheit.

What to Wear

Historically, April is a rainy month in Vancouver, so please keep that in mind when preparing for your visit. Most hotels have umbrellas in the rooms. Vancouver is a casual town with mild weather all year: Layers and smart casual clothing will see you through most situations. Pack light clothing along with a few sweaters for good measure. A raincoat and an umbrella are always a good idea.

Make a Hotel Reservation

Registration and housing must be done simultaneously. In addition, your AERA membership must be current through 2012 in order to receive the discounted AERA rate. Once you complete your registration, your registration summary will include a link to make an online hotel reservation. The link can be accessed from the online registration summary screen or the email registration confirmation. In the online registration Summary screen, select the button “Hotel Reservations” that appears in the upper left side of the screen. In the email confirmation, select the link “Hotel Reservations” in the upper right side of the email. 

Special meeting group rates have been negotiated with hotels near the Annual Meeting events. Register and request housing early as rooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Make your reservation by January 15, 2012 to take advantage of special early bird promotions at select hotels. Please reserve your hotel room through the AERA Housing Bureau to obtain the special group rates. Do not contact the hotels directly; the hotels will not accept reservations directly. 

Housing Information and Policies

AERA Housing Bureau Customer Service

For housing assistance or to modify your reservation, please contact Housing Customer Service at email: aera@connectionshousing.com or phone:  800-262-9974 or 404-842-0000.

If you are booking your reservation online and would like to make a reservation at a hotel you do not see listed in the available hotel options that appear as your choices, please contact the housing bureau for assistance.    

Deposits
Deposits for hotel rooms are used as a guarantee only. Your credit card will not be charged for the deposit amount until after March 22, 2012. The hotel at which you have placed a reservation, not the AERA Housing Bureau, will charge your credit card after March 22, 2012. Deposits for hotel reservations may be charged to American Express, MasterCard, or VISA. Purchase orders are not accepted as payment. If you wish to pay by check, you may hold the room with a credit card and then mail a check to Connections Housing/AERA, 820 Church Street, Decatur, GA 30030. Checks must be received by March 22, 2012. Make checks for housing payable to AERA Housing Bureau in U.S. dollars, drawn on a U.S. bank. No registration or housing will be processed without full payment of the deposit amount by credit card or check.

Changes or Cancellations in Hotel Reservation
All changes and cancellations must be made through the AERA Housing Bureau by March 29, 2012. After this date, contact the hotel directly for changes and cancellations. Reservations cancelled within 72 hours of arrival will forfeit all deposits or be charged applicable cancellation fees.

Reservation changes can be made online or by phone, e-mail, or fax. Cancellations must be made in writing to the AERA Housing Bureau by fax  at 404-393-8910 or by e-mail to aera@connectionshousing.com.

Please be aware that AERA registration and AERA housing are operated by two separate entities. For registration changes or cancellations, please call 800-893-7950 or 484-625-4356.

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Airline Discounts

Uniglobe Vision Travel

In an effort to provide attendees with additional assistance in making travel arrangements, AERA has identified Uniglobe Vision Travel as an option for consideration.  Staff at Uniglobe Vision Travel are familiar with airlines’ discounted conference programs for Canada. In addition, Uniglobe has secured special private contracts with the airlines, designed specifically for the purpose of bringing attendees to Vancouver.

If you wish to use a travel agent you can call Uniglobe Vision Travel at 888-221-5221 (from within North America) or 604-688-5835 from elsewhere or emailairdesk@uniglobevision.com. The hours of operation are Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time. These agents will offer the lowest guaranteed airfares available online. There may be a onetime service fee of $25.00, which can be charged to your credit card when purchasing your ticket. There is no charge to call for a price quote.

Conference Code/Promotion Code

Canada’s principal national airline is Air Canada (Continental and United Airlines included)

AERA has negotiated a 10-12% discount on coach fare with Air Canada. To book a flight with AERA’s promotion code NC9VYZW1, you may call Air Canada at (open 24/7) or go to www.aircanada.com and enter the promotion code in the search panel.

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Hotel Listing, Rates, and Map

Headquarter Hotels
For the 2012 Annual Meeting, the primary site of the Annual Meeting is the Vancouver Convention Center. The headquarter hotels where sessions will be held are the Fairmont Waterfront, Marriott Pinnacle, Pan Pacific and Sheraton Wall Centre. In addition to the headquarter hotels, affiliated events may be held at the Renaissance Vancouver Harbourside and the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. The Hyatt Regency is the headquarter hotel for NCME.

Hotel Map, Rates, Amenity Chart

View the Map of Official HotelsHotel List and Rates Early Bird Hotel Booking Promotion Details, and the Hotel Amenity Chart.

Hotel Descriptions

View the Hotel Descriptions.

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Accessibility Shuttle Service  

AERA will be providing a shuttle service for persons with disabilities. Shuttles will travel between the Vancouver Convention Center and the hotels that will have sessions. The hotels include the Fairmont Waterfront, the Hyatt Regency, the Marriott Pinnacle, the Pan Pacific, and the Sheraton Wall Centre. Shuttles will depart approximately every thirty minutes and will loop continuously throughout the day. AERA signs will be posted at all boarding sites identifying the location as an AERA Access Shuttle pick-up and drop-off site.

Ground Transportation 

The Vancouver International Airport is located approximately 20 miles from downtown Vancouver. Transport time is approximately 30 minutes depending on traffic. Convenient options include the Skytrain public transportation, the Aeroshuttle, and taxis. For ground transportation information please visit the Vancouver International Airport website: http://www.yvr.ca/en/getting-to-from-yvr.aspx.

Skytrain

The airport Skytrain is a convenient and affordable public transportation option from the Vancouver airport to downtown Vancouver. For more information about Skytrain, which is part of the Translink system, contact TransLink at 604-953-3333 or visit www.translink.bc.ca.

To access the Skytrain from international arrivals (flights arriving from the U.S. and other countries outside Canada) go up to Level 3 and then go outside where you will see the covered walkway across the street to the Canada Line Station. The Skytrain operates Monday to Friday, early morning to 6:30 p.m. From the airport to the downtown hotels is a two-zone ticket fare for $8.75 (two-zone fare of $3.75 plus airport fee of $5.00). The cost is slightly less after 6:30 p.m. and on weekends.

Aeroshuttle 

Aeroshuttle provides exclusive shuttle service at the Vancouver International Airport to downtown hotels for as little as $14.00 per adult (one way) or $24.64 per adult (round trip).  Rates include tax calculated at 12%, and driver gratuity is discretionary.

No reservation is required for service from the airport. The service is conveniently located in the Ground Transportation area at both the international and domestic terminal buildings on arrivals Level 2.

Return reservations must be made 12 hours in advance. For more information about rates and scheduled stops, visit the Aeroshuttle website http://aeroshuttleyvr.ca/ or call 877-921-9021.

Taxis

Taxis at the Vancouver Airport are readily available. Vancouver Taxi stands are located just outside the exit doors in both the domestic and International terminal buildings. Watch for the green signs indicating taxi pick up location.  Airport taxi cabs are safe and reliable, and use fare meters to determine exact cost. The cost for a cab between the Vancouver Airport and downtown is about $25.00–$30.00. Travel time is about 30 minutes. If you arrive at the airport between the rush-hour times of 7:00 a.m.–9:00 a.m. or 3:00 pm–6:00 p.m., the rate and travel times will be slightly higher (45 minutes, and approximately $30.00–$40.00). No reservations are required for minivans or wheelchair-accessible taxis.

 

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