As you can tell, we love to plan for San Diego Comic-Con. And plan, and plan, and plan. And while this list won’t tell you want to you’ll be able to see and get during the convention, this is the list of adult things that you need to settle before you head out for the con.
With the final days approaching before the big four days of Comic-Con, we’ve compiled a little checklist for you to go through before you leave for the Gaslamp! Don’t forget to keep a look out for our daily highlights of each day at Comic-Con and our other articles on things you can actually do over the weekend!
Stuff to Prep
☐ Space in your suitcase: The most vital part of packing is making sure you’ve got enough space for your stuff on the way home. Check your luggage guidelines for the flight, remember that you’ll be getting posters (which will have to go in tubes,) huge swag bags, lots of swag. Make sure you’ve got the space to spare or the money for some checked bags on your way back!
☐ Online activations: Some of the things happening around the con this year let you skip the line and set up an appointment time so you aren’t wasting your whole day. Make yourself aware of those and do as many as you can to avoid the wait.
☐ Print any necessary documents: Phones can sometimes be unreliable. Hotel reservations, train tickets, SuperShuttle reservations, if you can print them out ahead of time, do it!
☐ Snacks: Food inside the convention center is notoriously expensive and the lines are insane. Buy some dried fruit, some energy bars, some pretzels and Cheezits, or maybe homemade trail mix if you’re trying to be healthy. Don’t over pack, but make sure you’re prepared.
☐ Check the schedule: Another obvious one, but now that we’re so close to the actual start date of the convention, take another look at the schedules and offsites, make a note of things you want to do and make time for line standing and meals. I find it helpful to write it out in my phone, screenshot it, and then use that as my phone’s lock screen during the con to save battery life.
☐ Follow Twitter accounts: A lot of booths and offsites are utilizing social media as a way of announcing their swag giveaways, make sure you look up what you’re interested in, follow them on Twitter and turn on notifications so you can get updates when you need them the most!
☐ Withdraw cash: Skip service fees and bothersome exchange rates if you’re internationally traveling. Remember to withdraw enough for convention floor shopping!
Stuff to Pack
☐ Bring your badge: It’s painfully obvious, but sometimes it’s the most obvious things that you end up forgetting. Pack it early and make sure it’s in a safe place.
☐ External batteries and their chargers: More obvious stuff, but if you forgot, make sure to get yourself a good external battery to keep with you throughout the day!
☐ Extension cord: For the hotel room, when you and your friends inevitably take up all the plugs with your electronics, the extension cord is there to save the day.
☐ Comfy shoes: You’ll be walking… a lot.
☐ Sunscreen: I feel like every year I think I don’t need sunscreen and then every year I get a sunburn or some weird tan lines. Don’t chance it!
☐ Party clothes: Whatever that is for you, if you have room for a set of nicer clothes you could go out in, I’d pack some. You never know when your friend might get you guys into an exclusive party, or you win some awesome passes to a red carpet. You gotta look nice!
☐ Water bottle: Dehydration is the most likely problem
☐ Emergen-c & pain killers: Con crud is notorious and prolific, fight it off with tons of vitamins and hand sanitizer. On top of that, don’t forget to pack things like Aleve or Advil in your daily carry so that you don’t end up in a world of pain and having to uber to a drug store.
☐ Deodorant: And aim to shower every night. The smell just isn’t worth it.
☐ Dry shampoo: But you don’t need to wash your hair every night if you’ve got this. Keep a travel size with you in case you need to touch up through the day.
☐ Backpack: You’ll already be carrying some swag bags, a backpack makes sure that you’ll have your hands free for grabbing more swag and using your phone!
☐ Extra digital storage: Memory cards, Dropbox subscriptions, Google Drive subscriptions, anything to make sure that you save your memories and have room for more without freaking out.
☐ Minimize on electronics: This is less a stuff-to-pack and more a stuff-to-not-pack. If you’re not working for the weekend, leave your computers at home. You spend most of the time on the phone anyways, and the hotel’s got a tv. You’ve got enough to keep you entertained. Reduce the bulk!
☐ Everything else: Clothes, socks, toiletries, charging cords, wallet, collectibles that I want signed.
Stuff to Eat
☐ Generally: We’ve got a whole list of places to go that we made a year ago, it essentially is some of our favorite spots to hit during the con weekend, with food that we can trust.
☐ The hotel restaurant: Sometimes the easiest thing isn’t the cheapest, but it does just fine. Hotel restaurants and bars can be overpriced, but when you’re exhausted, sometimes it’s just what you need. Don’t spend all your time here, but if you do, we can’t really blame you because we did that exact thing a couple years ago.
☐ Happy hour & SDCC deals: A lot of the restaurants around the Gaslamp are capitalizing on San Diego’s yearly tourist attraction and offering great happy hour deals and discounts for badge holders. Don’t be afraid to wander around the Gaslamp for some dinner, it’s a quick way to guarantee some swag and of finding a good deal.
☐ Free food: Ah yes, well if you happen to get into some parties, they are often the best place to score some free food after a long day of fun, and most of them might come with a complimentary or discounted drink! Not to mention, the Interactive Zone adjacent to Petco Park will be hosting FANDOM fest and offering up free themed foods for attendees.
☐ Snacks: Same as when I mentioned it before. They can keep you going between meals and between panels when you just can’t leave your spot.
☐ Brown bag it: It’s not unheard of to buy some deli meat, some bread, and some cheese and pack yourself a sandwich for the day. Lunch is the hardest meal to work in when you’re busy running around during a con. If you’re trying to stay healthy or just not broke, hit up the Ralph’s at 101 G Street (or the closest grocery store to your hotel) and get yourself some stuff for the long haul.
And that’s our list! Is there anything that we missed that you think should have been at the top of the list? Sound off below in the comments!