Somehow getting it all together before con...
Posted 4/25/15
So, I just went to my first convention earlier this year
and it was A. MA. ZING.
However, I definitely did not budget for *all* finances.

So, I'm going to another in September
and I actually want to cosplay, too.
But between the initial ticket, hotel costs, parking costs, cosplay costs, and whatever toys and junk you buy at the convention
what I'd like to know is
((tl;dr)) In what order/how do you allocate money?
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Posted 4/25/15
My advice is to set a budget for yourself. This is the maximum you want to spend on everything. Think about the price of hotel rooms, transportation, food, etc. Set aside a part of your monthly income for the con.

I always book my hotel room or depend on reliable friends to do that, and then we share the room. Sometimes I split the room by having two to three roommates, but usually it's just one other roommate, so the cost is split in half. I recommend not room stuffing. Sharing a room with ten people is not only not very sanitary, but it's cramp and a good way of getting the confunk. The most I've done is five other roommates for one night and that was horrible. If you can share a bed with a friend, that's always a plus. I've had roommates roll on top of me or hog the bed. I've never had a horrible, as in violent or crazy, roomie, but I did have a weird women who insisted on allowing her alarm to go off for an entire hour every morning before she would get up.

Start taking vitamins two weeks before the con, especially Viatmin c. Build up your immunity before you go to the con. Same with exercise - you want to be in reasonably good shape if you're going to walk all around the con center all day long. Try walking around in your costume with what you're planning on taking with you. You want to break in your shoes and see if you'll have a hard time walking in them.

Buy your ticket asap if you know you're going for sure. If not, wait until the end.

If you're driving and your room has a refrigerator, bring food. Having a supply of water bottles and healthy snacks is highly recommended. I usually travel with a Pur filter in lieu of bottled water as its too expensive for me to fly with it. Make sure you eat at least one solid, non-Top Ramen meal a day. Make sure to get a good amount of fruit and veggies into your system.
Posted 4/26/15

Akage-chan wrote:

My advice is to set a budget for yourself. This is ...(etc)


I have a quick question- if you've ever had to deal with it, that is.
Do you look up parking before you go to the convention? I went to Seattle and their road system is like a crayon drawing. Because of that, I REALLY just wanted to park somewhere reasonably nearby. However, my parking garage was like, $30 bucks each day. Which isn't horrible for the WHOLE day but I probably could have found like $15 or $20 parking instead.

Also, the next one I go to is 4 days. I'm prospectively going with 4-5 people including myself. I will most likely be the only driver. Usually the panels end late and begin early. Would you give everybody a "bedtime" where they have to go back to the hotel? I don't want to operate for 4 con days with 5 hours of sleep because the last panel ends at 1am and the first panel begins at 6am.

I'll probably do a "briefing" with my con-mates before to allocate finances (Last time I drove, I got $10 period for gas.) and see what they can afford and if they can't, how they'll make up for it other ways. I spent probably $100 more than I should have and I do not want that to happen again...

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Posted 4/27/15
Actually, I do. And then I see if it's feasible for me to drive or rent a car. For example, when I go to AX in Los Angeles, it's cheaper for me to fly than it is for me to drive. That's because parking at any of the nearby hotels is $40/day. It's much easier and cheaper to fly and, in the case of Seattle, take public transportation to/from the airport. I didn't know this the first time I went to SakuraCon and I rented a car. Mistake. Do yourself a favor and just get a hotel room close to the con. Since you won't have to pay for parking, it'll be a lot cheaper.

Second question - When I list a room, I tell prospective roommates that I go to bed around 10 every night. This keeps the partiers away. If people know you're not a drinker, smoker and like to go to bed early, you're more likely to get people who have similar habits. I don't advertise that I'll drive roommates around because I don't want them to expect it, nor do I want to promise it in the event that I can't stand them. I also list the roommate price (for those sleeping in the bed) at the cost of one night. The people looking for the $20/weekend deals are typically those that like to party. I typically swallow the cost of the taxes for the room in addition to one night's stay as I plan on also sleeping in the bed, but sometimes I can offset the room tax by making a roommate who opts to sleep on the floor for a cheaper price (usually 1/2-3/4 cost of the room for one night) by having this person pay for it. It sucks to have to absorb the cost but I look at is as the price I pay to know that, regardless, i have a guaranteed room.

Tl;dr - I never make a profit when sharing my room with others and am often out money.
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