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Frequently Asked Questions
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Do We Accept Novice Beachcombers?
Yes! The more people we can introduce to and engage in this fun hobby, the better! At IBC ’24, skills level is of no consequence as long as you're fit, adventurous and game. In fact, IBC ’24 offers novice combers an ideal opportunity to learn more about beachcomb tips, techniques and beach treasures, with special emphasis on sea glass, pottery shards and shell identification. 

Do You Need to be Physically Fit?
Beachcombing is a physical activity, so yes, you need to be ambulatory and able to walk at least two miles and up and down some fairly steep inclines. Some field trips will be relatively easy, and others challenging, so being fit and having good balance is important especially as we will comb rocky as well as sandy shorelines, and hike on cliffside trails. 

If you aren't physically up to the more challenging field trips, but still want to join us, we're happy to have you but you will be excluded from participating in the difficult hikes.

Advice: Now is the time to start getting into shape. If you aren't already doing so, work on core exercises, squats, stair climbing and daily mile or more walks. Add arm weight exercises and you should be good to go. 

Are there Refunds?
Because many IBC activities are booked and paid for in advance, we don’t offer refunds. Registrants do have the option, however, of substituting someone in their stead if we are given at least two weeks’ notice prior to conference outset.

If you become ill before the conference and cannot attend, we still do not offer refunds unless there is a waitlist.

If you arrive sick or become sick during the conference with a cold, fever, flu, Covid or RSV or any other virus, etc. you will be excluded from all group activities as a courtesy to other participants and staff. We understand there will be disappointment if any of this happens, but our job is to protect everyone.

  For these reasons, we suggest you:
  • obtain all necessary vaccines (Covid, Flu, RSV, Tetanus) well before the outset of the conference
  • mask-up and/or if possible, keep your distance from people at least a week prior to departing for IBC; 
  • wear a mask at the airport and on the plane enroute to Hawai’i; and
  • consider purchasing travel insurance. 

NOTE: If Covid rears its ugly head in the Big Island community during IBC, participants will be required to wear a mask during inside gatherings. 

What do I bring? 
Almost everything you need can be purchased on island. The local CVS can fill medications if necessary and there are an array of retail and thrift shops for inexpensive clothes, aloha wear and island mementoes.

Reminders to Pack:
  • Medical insurance cards and license
  • Medications and masks
  • Charging cords
  • Walking stick (optional though they are useful on cobbly beaches)
  •  Hat
  • Thick-soled walking shoes
  • Sunblock
  • Water bottle
  • Raincoat or wind breaker
  • Sweater or sweatshirt for layering; a pair of socks
  • A decent casual outfit for resort buffet A treasure collecting bag or light backpack
  • A National Park senior pass (if you have one)