A simple guide to preparing yourself for convention season

Mass Effect 2 Crew Comic-Con 2010

When it comes to conventions, whether you’re cosplaying or not, we all struggle last minute to get everything organized and ready to go. Not only that, at conventions we tend to forget to do a lot of things that can affect our health in drastic ways. Since San Diego Comic-Con is coming up fairly quickly, I decided to post a few tips and reminders that we could all use at this con, and also for future ones. I’ve been going to conventions for five years and it’s still hard for me to keep up with everything. So we can both try out these methods together!

First of all, make lists. Lists, lists, and more lists. This is the one thing I always remember to do apart from everything else. Make lists of where you want to go, where you have to be at certain times, what you’re packing, what you’re cosplaying, what you want to buy, what you plan to eat, what parties you want to attend, literally everything. Even if you don’t end up using any of them, it feels so much better to get it all off your chest and feel somewhat organized. When I personally make lists, I always disregard them in the future. However, because I made that list, I know I have it saved mentally and it does make me feel a bit better about the whole situation.

Do nothing

Secondly, you should always stay hydrated. Before the convention, during, and after. Don’t go about drinking loads of soda or sugary drinks. If you know there is a convention coming up soon, drink lots and lots of water. It will not only prevent you from getting sick before or during, but if you continue to drink it after you can remain healthy and not feel run down. You always bring a water bottle with you to a con, just remember to drink it! This is the biggest thing you need to remember, yet people never do. You think it would be a bit more obvious, but I know most of us just toss the water bottle in our bags and forget we even have it.

Along with staying hydrated, make sure you eat. If you didn’t bring much money or don’t want to eat out a lot, remember to pack snacks and eat them throughout the day. Even if you don’t get around to eating huge meals or can only eat dinner. If you nibble on things like granola, fruit snacks, and other things, it will fill you up and is far better than not eating anything at all. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day as well. So even if you don’t have time or forget to eat at the convention or after, make sure you at least eat in the morning before going. It will carry you through the day.

Drink water!

Another thing people always do is forget things while they’re packing. Do you know what the best way to fix that is? Over-pack. You already have a shirt for one of the days? Cool, bring another one. It is always better to have more then to not have enough. If I go for three days, I only usually need three planned outfits. However, I bring a few others just to be safe. That doesn’t mean you have to bring more bags, either. Just be careful when you put things in your suitcase. Yes, that means FOLD the clothes, you goons!

Pack yourself a safety kit. Now, I once went to a wedding and the maid of honor made the bride a safety kit. She put it in a little lunch pale and decorated it to her liking. Inside, there were things like: band-aids, ibuprofen, tissues, Neosporin, q-tips, alcohol wipes, and basic things for emergencies. You don’t have to put it in a nicely decorated tin, but, this is something you should probably do even with a small travel bag. It’s always a good thing to carry these things with you just in case, and I feel as if making it cute and to your liking helps with remembering to bring these things.

Sewing Kit

To go with your safety kit, you should also have a cosplay emergency kit if you decide to dress up. For example, if something tears, no problem. You have an extra mini sewing kit in your tin/bag. Also you should brings things like: mini scissors, glue, pins, fabric, buttons, etc. I’m sure most cosplayers remember this now, but the point still stands. Don’t forget this stuff! And keeping it in a cute container may help you to not.

If you attend a convention far away, it may be nice to research what is in the area before you go and make yourself a nice little map. If you need to pick something up at the store, it’s better to know your way around then to just guess. Surely you could use your GPS, but it’s still nice to familiarize yourself with your surroundings so you’re not completely oblivious.

Remember your laptops, phones, chargers and electronic devices. If you go away to a convention that isn’t local to you, or may be semi far away, you should always make sure your phone is on you and charged. If you aren’t around anybody, or are in some trouble, you need to be able to call someone to reassure your safety. Laptops are more for if you’re doing some work or like to chill out in your hotel room late at night. But forgetting your phone or forgetting to charge it could be vital. Also, make sure it always with you.

Spidey Phone

Lastly, don’t forget your money! Make sure before you leave you count it all and put in a secure place. Throughout the weekend while you’re there, remember to check often to remind yourself how much you have so that you know no one took it or you didn’t drop it anywhere. Money is what will buy you food, extra goodies, or things you may need. So it is always vital to remember to bring it. On top of that, double check that your money is in a safe place where it can’t fall out or be misplaced. I have shoved my money into my pocket before and then lost twenty of it because of this. Trust me, it’s not a risk you want to take.

Most of these I agree are many common things that people should do when not only attending a convention, but going on holiday in general. However, most of these things are also vital information people forget due to stress or last minute planning. Remember to be prepared for events like this and it could help you a lot. Hell, I should probably take my own advice seeing as I forget sometimes. While you’re out there exploring geeks, stay safe. More importantly, stay healthy!

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