We all know that San Diego Comic Con is just around the corner, July 19th through July 22. In just over a week, it will begin. There are a few tips that we’ve gathered through the years that we’d like to share with everyone.
Pro-Tip, bring two back packs one with items you get from Comic Con, that one you drop off at your hotel or car, taking out the just what you’ll need. Then you have one to carry just the bare essentials, this one you will bring with you back to the convention center, and have room for more goodies.. Now what exactly should you have in your backpack at all times? A refillable water bottle, a small med kit, with any medicines you require, lip balm, hand sanitizer, band-aids, and even a packet of moist towelettes will come in handy and fit in your zipper compartment.
Through the years I’ve found few things I bring from home can make life simpler from me, such as rubber bands for posters, zip lock sandwich bag, which will come in hand for all the small things you are given by vendors such as pins, coins etc. That way you won’t have them floating around your bag.
While we are on the subject of sandwich bags, don’t forget snacks. Protein bars, energy bars, and trail mix, are going to give you comfort while hanging out in a line. Don’t forget to keep your energy up and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
A couple items to keep in the back of your bag: bags and boards, people will give you comics whether you want the or not. The comic con quick guide, this will be the smaller of the two guides you receive, and you’ll be able to reference quickly. I suggest bringing a highlighter and a pen to make notes. There is an app, but the wifi isn’t the best sometimes and while much of this information is on the app, you may not be able to access it.
Sharpies, a couple different colors. I recommend, black, silver or gold. That way when you meet your favorite artist you have one on hand to get that special item signed.
Charged battery packs, and cell phone chargers should also be in your backpack, as they don’t let people sit on the ground and plug in like they used to, so bringing the best battery pack, charged, is highly recommended.
These are just a few things I’ve found that have made my life easier; simply by carrying them in my backpack.
A great pair of shoes is a must. At least 2 pair. While most will want to wear a brand new shoe, I recommend wearing a shoe that you have broken in and you are comfortable wearing. However you can never go wrong buying an insole.
In case I haven’t mentioned it, deodorant is a must. Frequent showers will make con pleasant for you and for everyone else with you, or, not with you.
Know before you go. Take a good look at the convention hall map, as well as the Gaslamp area map, which is easily accessible on google maps. Have an idea how far you are, and time it accordingly. There will be a lot of people in town. If your hotel is on a shuttle route, know the pick up spots, and times.
At some point you will want to eat. Prepare to retreat back into the Gaslamp. With the amount of people in town it won’t be so easy to grab food as you might think. Hence, a protein bar here might be quite helpful. If you want more than just the hot dogs and the usual unhealthy food, I suggest walking over to the Hilton or the Marriot Marquis. They both have a quick grab and go area with healthier selections.
Other restaurants in the immediate area are Mary Janes at the Hard Rock Cafe. They always have something fun going on. Further into the Gaslamp there is the Werewolf, bar and grill which have great sliders. There are a lot of food trucks, some offering free food, but here is my famous bonus tip: the Ralphs grocery store, thats is hidden in the middle the Gaslamp, seems to be the geekiest grocery store ever. They sell groceries and know things. For the week they have all kinds of hot and cold items ready to go, and much cheaper than dining in the Gaslamp.
Be Kind. Don’t forget to ask if you are a fan of a cosplayer, always ask if it is okay to take a picture. They will usually always say yes, but in the off chance they say no, they probably just did a 5 hour shoot and will be grateful that you asked.
Be polite and try not drink too much. Don’t waste your comic con and the people who are hanging out with you, by getting drunk most of the time. It’s hot, it’s humid. Don’t get sick, stay hydrated and have fun.
In my opinion this is the funnest event of the year. Anything you do will be the best thing you do all year. Have a back up to your back up. Or go into the convention and see what happens, what you can discover. At worst you’ll leave with great pictures and good friends. Keep an eye out for each other and have a good con.