Most shows announce their dates sometimes up to a year in advance, so make a con calendar and list all the ones you want to attend and check for any conflicting events that have booked on the same weekend (which happens more often than you’d guess). When you’ve chosen the shows you’re going to attend, check for early bird ticket prices and see if the con has special hotel rates to save a little money. But in any case, if you are traveling for a show, always book your hotel in advance! Special rate rooms can sell out quickly and depending on the size of the con so can other area hotels, so its always best to secure a room stay early. Plan your travel route in advance! No harm in looking up your route in advance, check the miles, mark gas stations stops (Buc-ee’s is an adventure all its own), and of course always refer to your GPS once you’re on the road in case of accidents that could slow you down (looking at you i-4). Most importantly of all, schedule in advance some time with friends to meet up and have fun!
It is very important on road trips to pack smart! Some important things to make sure to bring with you are device chargers for your phone or tablet. When you’re running dangerously low on battery life and far from your car or hotel room its always good to have a plug-in charger as most venues have wall outlets you can sneak a quick charge if they don’t have any charging stations. Stack up on water and snacks! Make a stop at a big box store and grab some water and snacks for the hotel room and backpack (if you’re allowed to bring in outside food, always check the con rules ahead of time!). Bring some cash and a little change. Sometimes parking or entry is cash only, and it never hurts to have a couple dollars in change just in case you accidentally get stuck on a turnpike (not that’s ever happened to us), or sometimes vendors can’t take cards if their device is down or they can’t get wifi. If you’re going to multi day shows or festivals pack plenty of comfortable clothes and shoes! It also doesn’t hurt to always have a spare lanyard.
When you’re in a new city, take some time away from the con to explore some local flavor by visiting some local shops, restaurants, clubs, museums, and attractions that you don’t have back home.
CON LIFE IS EXPENSIVE! Try and save a little by shopping around on sites like Groupon for ticket deals, and flight and hotel booking sites for discounts.
CON-FIRM EVERYTHING TWICE!
Confirm your tickets. Confirm your hotel room stay. Confirm your schedule with friends. Now, do all that again.