In honor of SDCC, we asked our commenters to give us their tried and true tips on how to survive Comic-Con. They delivered.
1. Map out your day, but be willing to compromise.
Use the SDCC app to map out your day, scope out the line early and revisit your list. Don’t be disappointed if you miss something, with the growing popularity you will most likely have to forfeit a whole con day to watch a mainstream panel.
2. And know what your personal biggest goal for the day is.
Always pick the one thing you want to see most and plan around that. Nothing worse than missing out on what you really wanted to see. Get in lines early and make a plan!
—Anjali Talia Warland, Facebook
3. Basically remember to bathe, eat, and stay well-hydrated.
Please follow the 6-2-1 rule: 6 hours of sleep, 2 meals, 1 shower.
4. Please take care of yourself.
Don’t spend all of your money in the dealers room or artist ally. If you want to take a picture of someone, ask. Take your own food if you can!
5. Save bulky purchases for the end of the day.
Take a refillable water bottle and refill from water dispensers in panel rooms. Take fruit or veggie snacks (for the water content) and avoid salty snacks. Pre-plan but have a plan B and C (flexibility is key). See the floor on Wednesday if possible. Make purchases toward the end of the day. Take a portable cell charger or an extra batter, because it’s a pain to waste time charging at a plug with everyone else.
— Lainie Guerra Hardman, Facebook
6. Be as kind to your wallet as possible.
Budget yoursefl! Budget, budget, budget! Each day last year I went to the ATM right before I left and only allowed myself to bring $60 each day.
7. Come prepared for lines.
8. The waiting can pay off big-time.
Don’t be afraid of waiting in line! You could miss the coolest panels just because you think the line might be too long.
—Meriam Soltan, Facebook
9. But you really should bring your own entertainment.
Have a movie downloaded on your phone for the longer waits. And to see everything you want to see, make sure you get in line for whatever panels you want to see at least a couple hours before it starts so you make sure you get in.
If you own any kind of handheld gaming console, bring it. Lines are so much easier to wait in with video games. The con experience is largely what you make it, including dealing with horrendously long lines. Setting up an impromptu Super Smash Bros competition while waiting to get into a panel or a meet and greet will save your sanity.
Bring a fully charge tablet with you, and you may want to invest in a portable power supply. It’s also good to remember that most areas of the con have free wifi.
10. Hall H is a beast all its own.
11. Camping out takes commitment.
If you’re camping out, bring as little as you can, while also bringing as much as you can. I brought a small little blanket with me, and a neck pillow I could easily attach to my backpack. Bring a water bottle, and some snacks, because you will not be leaving your seat in Hall H unless you have a buddy to watch your seat. Bring bars that will keep you full. Also, have fun. Talk with people. I met so many people while camping out. It’s crazy how close you can get to a group of people in such a small amount of time. You’ll make friends. And remember, don’t be afraid to push your way through. Once you’re in the hall, run as fast as you can to the best seats. Good luck.
12. Though preferred strategy is still being debated.
BRING A BLANKET! If you’re trying to get into Hall H, you’ll probably have to spend the night in line. It is San Diego, but it still gets cold at night.
For Hall H you could get a wristband the night before, go sleep, and come back in the morning.
13. And Hall H is not always a monster waiting to be defeated.
Hall H and Ballroom 27 lines aren’t ridiculously long at all times. They host a lot of great, yet less publicized panels. . You’ll get to see a variety of stars and exclusive movie footage. Camping out in line is not for everyone, and keep in mind that it’s not always necessary, nor is it the only way in to the big halls. Once you make it in, you can stay as long as you like. Don’t let line waits and stereotypes about crowds scare you out of trying your luck at the big halls! There’s always a great experience waiting for you at SDCC whether you’re looking for it or not!
—Meriam Soltan, Facebook
14. Cosplay is also a beast all its own.
Don’t take yourself so seriously. Cosplay is supposed to be fun. Give yourself a chance to marvel at other’s creativity and allow that to inspire you.
—Joules Duncan, Facebook
15. Cosplay may also have its own priorities.
Choose a costume with a backpack or create a backpack to go with your costume. You’re out there all day. You need water and snacks, sure. But you also need safety pins, a needle and thread, duct tape, sharpies, spray paint, hair pins, eye drops for those dry-ass contacts, etc. You need to be able to repair your costume in the event of, well, anything.
16. But TAKE. CARE. OF. YOURSELF.
To keep cool in cosplay what I do is keep hydrated — which is very important at cons. In the world’s hottest, stuffiest place I managed to stay cool with my bottle of icy water — you should be able to stay the duration of the con doing this with proper food. Also: Practice your poses.
17. One piece of wisdom to hold near and dear: CHARGE YOUR PHONE, CHARGE YOUR PHONE, CHARGE YOUR GODDAMN PHONE.
Keeping your phone alive is vital! Make sure your phone is fully charged before going to the convention center. If it’s not possible to bring a portable charger then bring a power strip in your backpack so that when you do get lucky and find an available outlet, you can plug in your power strip and share your source of energy with friends!
18. And, finally, don’t forget your MANNERS.
Be courteous! No one likes assholes and you’re all there to have fun and enjoy the geekiness. Giving people judgy looks, standing in the middle of a walkway, holding up lines, making comments, not reciprocating kind small talk to vendors: It’s not nice! The nicer and more courteous you are, the more friends you’ll make and the more people will be likely to offer you deals, give you the best info, and make the event special for you!
—Catie Garland, Facebook
Share more tips and talk about your Comic-Con experiences in the comments!
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.
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