Attending Gaming Conventions Cheaply–By Will J

So this entry, comes actually from our local Venture-Lieutenant Will J. He is the Venture-Lieutant of the Central Valley which includes Fresno, Madera, and Bakersfield California areas, and all the small cities in between. As we here in the convention area are getting ready for the summer/fall convention scene, I wanted to share this email I received from him about how to travel to gaming conventions on a very limited budget. Note: Anything I wanted to add, is in black.

Andi asked me to write this and I sent it to her, but figured I’d share with everyone:
**Andi is the Venture-Lieutenant for the Stockton/Manteca/Lodi and Modesto, California areas!**

I have a few tricks to going to cons cheaply:

1. Don’t stay at the con’s hotel. You can usually find a decent hotel nearby for much cheaper — especially if you book early.

For Pacificon, I’m staying at the Good Night Inn in Fremont. This hotel is about 8 miles away. I was able to get my room for $40 a night back in April. Rooms are now going for $50 for 1 queen and $55 for two queen beds on Kayak.

2. GM to attend the con free. (If you staff, you get in for free with benefits!!)

3. Figure out how to eat well and cheaply. I find that a good breakfast at a restaurant like IHOP or Dennys means I can get by until dinner if I bring apples, granola bars, and similar snacks to the gaming table.

4. Bring a bottled water to the con. Refill it from the water pitchers throughout the convention. Hotels are very dry and talking also parch you. The hotels charge WAY too much for drinks. Stick to water. (If you are like me and get bored with water, consider buying some Mio, or Crystal Light to jazz your drink up a bit.)

5. If you are a coffee addict, get it on the way to the convention each morning. 7-11 charges $2 for a 24 ounce coffee. Hotels charge $6 for a smaller cup. (If you can stand Iced Coffee, or bring an electric hotpot, you can make your own for even cheaper. We may have one on site at PacifiCon for those coffee drinkers on a budget!)

6. This isn’t a cost-saving tip, but always bring Chapstick or Carmex and gum or mints. You’ll be talking a lot in close quarters and in a dry environment. (Ricola’s have helped me personally, especially after convention when I have to go back to work. If you get the Ricola’s with Vitamin C or immunity boosters, they help keep a cold away as well.)

7) One more of my own: After the day is done. Don’t reach for a beer, go instead for a cup of chamomile tea or hot water with lemon. It soothes the throat, and keeps your immunity up if you have a tendency to get sick at conventions. Also, take a shower or at least wash your hands regularly during the convention. The cleaner you are, the less likely you are to get sick!


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