With the mother of cons practically around the corner *coughComicConcough* along with additional offsite events *coughNerdHQcough* I thought I would share some Con advice with you.
At this point I am assuming you have already made hotel or other sleeping arrangements (sleeping on the sidewalk in front of Hall H does not count!) and you’ve booked your flight…if you haven’t you’d better get on that! Today I will not be focusing on the flight or hotel aspect of con-life, rather I will be providing you with packing necessities, and things that you should and should not do at the con.
- Preparing for your departure!
Make yourself a packing list…a very thorough one. I know they say not to over pack, and really you shouldn’t, but don’t skimp on the important stuff that can get you or others out of a bind. I have enclosed a sample packing list (Packing Checklist!) that you can download if you so choose. If you are cosplaying, make sure you’ve got every single piece of your cosplay together and packed. Make sure you don’t forget anything but if you do, try not to sweat it. There are convenience stores right? Ooh! How convenient! Also, consider the amount of stuff you might be bringing back with you and leave space for that stuff in your bag.
- Leaving on a jet plane…
Make sure you arrive at the airport when you are supposed to. Dress comfortable and don’t wear shoes that will be difficult to take off. You don’t want to be THAT person in the TSA line do you? Make sure that anything really important that you do not want to get lost in your luggage gets placed into your carry-on. You may even want to pack an extra outfit into your carry-on in case your luggage gets lost.
- Your hotel room!
This is going to be your haven when you’ve had a long day at the con so try to make it comfortable. If you don’t want maid service you can always leave the “do-not-disturb” sign on the door. If you’re cosplaying the next day, lay out everything that you will need, down to the makeup.
- Your con day bag
This is crucial…bring a bag that is plain and boring if you can. Nothing says “STEAL ME!!!” at a convention more than an awesome nerdy bag. Things you should pack in your day bag are:
- Water and snacks (avoid expensive con food as much as possible and DON’T FORGET TO EAT AND STAY HYDRATED!)
- A notepad and pen/Marker (you never know when you’re gonna need to take notes or whose autograph you might get)
- Band-aids (for the ouchies!)
- Hand Sanitizer (Cause everything is yucky!!!)
- Deodorant (for when you start feeling not so fresh)
- Baby Wipes (for when you’re feeling EXTRA not so fresh!)
- Ladies, bring extra lady things…(you could start unexpectedly, as could a fellow nerdette in need)
- If you are cosplaying consider bringing street clothes and comfy shoes (Refer back to my Cosplay Guide for Newbs article)
- Also if you are cosplaying bring your emergency repair kit (I will be covering this next week!)
- Camera and extra batteries
- Your phone charger (if you have room in your bag consider bringing a power strip…you’ll thank me)
- Money (preferably hidden)
- Gum/breath mints (for when yo breath be dank! Or you can offer to someone standing near you with dragon breath)
- Pain killers (for con headaches)
BONUS TIP: A rolling backpack could be your best friend. You can wear it as a backpack whenever you’d like but when you start collecting swag, or if you change out of your cosplay and store it you really don’t wanna be carrying all that on your back. It also makes it easier if you are cosplaying and people are constantly stopping you for pics.
Dos & Don’ts of the Con!
- Eat, drink (water), and be merry! (Don’t just live on caffeine!)
- Talk to people; make friends!
- Be nice
- Be aware of time management (Consider whether waiting in line for hours is really worth it)
- Get some sleep! (Time zones changes screw with us all and we wanna stay up all night at the parties!!! But we need sleep…)
- Be drunk and annoying (Seriously even at a party don’t get smashed…you will regret it. A few drinks to loosen up is fine)
- GLOMP! (Over-excited running tackle)
- Leave your stuff unattended
- Feel the need to critique or compare cosplays (Not even a compliment such as, “OMG you’re the best Daenarys here!”)
- Wait until the last minute to head to the con (Especially if you are taking public transportation. Try to get on your transport early and arrive early as there will likely be a line)
- Going back home
I know it sucks; it’s sad, but every amazing journey comes to an end. It’s time to return to everyday life. Before you leave do a sweep of your hotel room and make sure everything is packed, securely. I know you’re tired but if you pack your stuff haphazardly you will not be a happy nerd when you get home and open your luggage. Pack your carry-on with everything you need on your return flight. You hopefully accounted for the swag you would be taking back with you when you packed for your trip initially, cause if not things are going to get real interesting! Have a safe trip home!
That’s all for now nerds, until next week puddin’!