Con Items Guide
Everyone knows there's about 1,000,000 of these guides floating around on the internet on various websites and blogs. We're going to be 1,000,001...
Before even mentioning the items we have found useful, remember to bring all the usual vacation toiletries including Shampoo, Toothpaste, Deodorant etc.
Please shower. Shower every day. For the good of all attendees, con staff, employees, and the human race.
Why are we writing this? While most cons are easily within distance of convince stores or shopping centers, some cons are not. We are not saying you need to bring all the items were going to mention, but in our groups extensive con travel we have found several of these items useful (as a note our group travels by vehicle to most conventions, please follow all local travel rules and regulations when packing). We're going to provide background information with most of the items we bring, as some say the best way to learn is the hard way.
Bathroom + delivery food + soda = bad combination. Enough said.
Alkaline Batteries (AA, AAA)
Want to avoid losing an hour finding a Target/Wall-Mart, CVS/Walgreens, or 7-Eleven when your friend forgets to buy batteries? Pack some. Outlet store brands such as ACDelco, Eveready, or Rayovac will work (do not buy heavy duty batteries.)
Cables (HDMI, S-Video, or VGA)
Useful for hooking laptops or game consoles to the TV in your hotel room. Find out what cables they can use and possibly pack more than one type of cable due to variations among TVs. Pick cables up cheap when Slickdeals posts a sale.
Donner, party of 5? We recommend an 50-pack of 18 oz cups. Easily enough for the people you're staying with and extras for if the random room party breaks out. Remember to get them in college party red. Only con we usually run out of cups at is Otakon.
Garbage Bags (3+)
These extremely basic items are valuable for keeping your room at an convention livable. In our usual group of five people, it is easy to create 2 full bags of garbage at an 3-4 day con (delivery food creates a great amount of waste). Two events have caused us to appreciate this item, the most unpleasant being Setsucon 2009. The Chinese delivery in the area was quite bad, and it started to decompose in our room by the next day, stinking us out. At Otakon 2009 we had a mountain of plastic containers and bottles that took a half-hour to clean up (several Wal-Mart bags became trash bags).
Useful for cleaning up those random messes that can occur from spillages, etc. Better than paying a $250 fee for extra room cleaning. Yes, happened to our group at New York Comic Con/Anime Festival 2010.
Over the counter medications (Tylenol, Pepto-Bismol, Tums)
During an long anime convention weekend your more than likely to need at least one of the items above. Whether it's from the lack of sleep, the food, or the large amount of energy drinks and soda consumed. Travel sizes in pill form should work for most of these products. Check your expiration dates as these do not last forever. One of our members fell extremely ill at Otakon 2009 due to several poor combinations and Pepto allowed him to survive his Friday of con.
When ordering delivery Pizza (specifically), most Pizza establishments do not include plates. If you want to avoid a mess and you have some spare room, pack a few disposable plates (10-20 should be enough.)
Everyone has a few devices that require charging from laptops to cell phones to iPods. Most rooms have a handful of wall sockets (with some in inaccessible locations), but if you have several people staying in your room, they fill up quickly. Pick up a cheap two pack at Wal-Mart.
This is one of those items that will either be hero or zero. There is one button that you need...just one...the input button. Why? For your computer and game consoles that randomly show up at a convention. You will run into a wide array of televisions while staying in con hotels. Some will have no input button on the remote control to prevent customers from connecting external devices to the TV, and at older hotels, possibly no external hookups at all. RCA is a good brand to choose as they are in most outlet stores and cheap. Bring the instruction booklet as you will need the TV codes. Remember to get batteries.
Water, Gatorade, etc.
Save money, live better, bring your own stuff. It's cheaper to bring it from home, regardless if it's 100 degrees in the shade at Otakon or 20 degrees and snowing at Setsucon. I usually bring about 6-8 20 oz. bottles of whatever I'm drinking that weekend.
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