Anyone excited for SLC’s FanX? These ComicCon conventions are over the top. Celebrities and fans are able to come together to get their geek on, and it’s quite the spectacle! People spend months putting their costumes together. They dress up from their favorite shows and movies, and they really go all out! If you’ve never been to one of these conventions, you’re seriously missing out. Look for one in your area, it’s worth it!
Since SLC’s FanX is coming up, my mind is on preparing for that long weekend. Here’s a list of must-haves that I’ve learned to take with me to survive the experience. I realize some of these tips are very basic, but you’d be surprised at how many people forget them or had so many other things on their minds – like meeting celebrities and their costumes – that they just didn’t think of them. So, check out this list and I hope it helps you prepare for the con near you.
1- Backpack or rolling suitcase
First things first: If you are going to take this stuff I’ve suggested below, you’ll need a practical means of taking it with you. Once you get into a con, you won’t want to go back to your car until you’re leaving for the day. You will also be buying all kinds of merchandise at a con like this, and you’ll want something to carry all of your purchases in.
There’s pros and cons to both a backpack or a rolling suitcase. A backpack is easier to get through a big crowd and it won’t trip others when you try to circumvent everyone around you. The downside is that it will hurt your back and shoulders after a while.
The rolling suitcase doesn’t need to be very large. It’s nice to have something to pull along with you so your back and shoulders aren’t dying by the end of your awesome con weekend. This is my favorite option for rolling suitcase to bring to a con.
You can purchase a hybrid – one that you can carry as a backpack or switch to roll on the floor. Best of both worlds. This is my preferred method.
*Note that most cons reserve the right to search your bags when you enter, for security purposes.
2- Snacks and water bottles
Yes, cons will have lots of food vendors around, but you don’t want to have to be stuck in long lines when you’re starving. Plus, with all the walking you’ll be doing, you’ll likely be hungry for snacks in between meals. You want something that isn’t too heavy and doesn’t need to be refrigerated. You also need something that will satisfy your hunger for a good while. The following are my recommendations.
*Note: these are gluten free~
Water is a huge deal. You’re going to be inside all day with thousands of other bodies breathing in the same recycled air. You’ll need lots of water to sustain you through the whole weekend. Bring a big water bottle. You can refill it at drinking fountains throughout the day. This is the one thing that will seriously weigh down your pack, but it’s necessary. Here’s a link to a great quality one.
If you want something extra to keep you hydrated, I suggest getting Eco drink packets. These are filled with nutrients and vitamins that will keep you extra hydrated and will even help prevent headaches. I take them to any con I make an author appearance at.
Gum or mints are highly recommended since you’ll be meeting celebrities and don’t want to have bad breath when you’re getting your picture taken with them!
3- Protective covers for pics or signatures with celebrities
Speaking of meeting celebrities, if you have purchased a photo op with them, you’ll have to pay extra for any photo covering to protect it. And even then, the photo could still bend! Not something you want when you just payed $100+ for a once-in-a-lifetime picture. The following links to the perfect photo covers that will keep those pictures from bending or scratching while you’re enjoying the rest of your day.
4- Tylenol, Advil, or essential oils
I don’t know if it’s raising your voice over the noise all day, being around a bunch of people, or the recycled air, but headaches are very common for people attending a con – especially if it’s your first one. Whatever your preference for pain killers, make sure you bring it with you! Here are my favorite brands for staving off those unwanted headaches:
Headache Relief Gel
5- Good walking shoes
Yes, I know you’re dressing up in your favorite cosplay, or you want to look fabulous/sexy when you meet that one celebrity you’ve been a fan of since Jr. High. But seriously, wear comfy shoes. No dressy heels, no amazing boots that complete your costume. Wear walking shoes that have good arch support and that won’t make your feet sweat. You’ll be standing and walking for a very long time. Take care of those feet so that you’re not hating life by the time you get to the last day of your con.
If you insist on wearing your “pretty shoes”, try these inserts or arch supports.
6- Set amount of cash (plan a budget before going)
Whether you’re going for one day or three, plan how much you’ll be spending each of those days. While most vendors take cards, you’ll stick to your budget better if you only use cash. Also, with so many people on the same wi-fi, their swipers may not be the most reliable. Keep your money on your person at all times and don’t make yourself an easy target by tucking it into your back pocket for thieves. Also be aware that in a crowded place like these cons, RFID often occurs. Here’s something you can use to store your cash and keep your credit cards protected from identity theft.
7- Hand Sanitizer
With so many people walking around, germs will be all over the place. Lots of people come home from a con and get sick soon after. You should use hand sanitizer all throughout the day. After using the restroom (Yes, even though you washed your hands), before eating, and after you’ve socialized and shook lots of hands.