Countdown to Comic-Con: Packing and Arriving

In Features, Guides by Jeremy Rutz6 Comments

We’re counting down the weeks leading up to Comic-Con by reposting some of our important SDCC tips which have appeared on the blog over the years, updated with current information. You can find all of our guides under the main menu, or by clicking here.

Packing for Comic-Con

After months of scheduling, packing, and anticipating you finally get off the plane in San Diego and think “what now?” Do you rush out to get passes, relax in your hotel room? Eat? And what if you forgot something important? Let’s just relax and start at the beginning.

Packing For Your Trip

Though it seems simple, this is one place where many attendees make mistakes. Even if you’re planning to attend SDCC for only one day, you are going to need a lot of stuff. Sure, people will remember their clothes and toothbrushes (hopefully), but what makes Comic-Con packing different? Well here are some essential packing items that many attendees might forget about:

  • Poster Tube – Many free and exclusive posters are given out during the con and unless you plan to purchase a tube there or risk having to fold your new posters, bringing one of these tubes is a must.
  • Deodorant – Sure, the stereotype of every attendee being  a stinky mess is over-exaggerated. When you’re packed in a room with thousands of sweaty attendees though, you’re not going to come out smelling like flowers.
  • Good Shoes – Walking from panel to panel, out to get food, and through the exhibit hall can get mighty tiring without proper footwear.
  • Money – Unless you’re super short on cash, there’s probably something that you’ll just have to have. Be prepared for it.
  • Back Up Batteries for Every Gadget You Bring – Heck, even books need batteries these days (Paperbacks? Pshh. Try a Kindle).
  • Food – Planning to snack on the convention food? Bring some Tums. Or you can just save yourself trouble and money by bringing your own snacks.
  • Headache Medicine – Whether it’s the roar of Hall H or the ruckus on the event floor, you’re going to be grateful you packed this.
  • Sun-Screen – If you plan to walk around San Diego or wait in the Hall H line this is essential. People who plan to beat the heat and stay inside can probably skip it though.
  • Suitcase – We just listed a lot of stuff. Plus all the free swag you will probably get. Make it a big suitcase.

Arriving in San Diego for the First Time

Preview Night + 4-Day Attendees We would suggest arriving Wednesday afternoon/morning. This makes it super easy to head over to your hotel (most have an airport shuttle) and just kick back. Unpacking, a swim in the hotel pool, or a nice meal are all awesome ways to prepare you for the madness that is about to begin. Though Preview Night won’t begin until 6PM (generally they start to let folks in earlier), it’s good to be there at least a two or three hours before you want to get in line just in case badge pickup takes a long time. People who want to get a lot of free stuff or purchase a very limited item during preview night usually arrive hours in advance but if you just want to stroll around and don’t mind coming out somewhat empty-handed, feel free to not arrive so early.

1-Day Attendees or 4-Day Attendees Without Preview Night If you’re flying or driving to the con for only one day it is better to try and park somewhere not-too-close to the convention center and walk or take a taxi over. Unless you’ve purchased a parking pass in advance, the limited parking close the con is insane. Also, whether you’re there for a day or have all four days but no Preview Night, don’t forget to schedule in time to get over to Town & Country in Mission Valley. They typically start doing badge handouts around 1PM, though the shuttles won’t start running until closer to 3PM. There’s a mad rush to get over there around that time, so factor in both traffic and long lines.

Do you have any good suggestions for our readers? Please share them in the comments below.