Hey guys! This tip is going to be on something pretty important when it comes to traveling to convention.
This is going to be a bit lengthy, but for good reasons and great details!
As Sakura Con has come this weekend (I am not attending but my friends are, and one of them mentioned how they managed to lose an item of their cosplay the day before they left) I thought this would be a great time to talk to you guys about packing, and to give you some tips and steps on how you guys can pack efficiently for a convention!
1. Plan Ahead
Planning ahead is crucial! If you are leaving somewhat later during the week, it still doesn't hurt to start packing even the Sunday before you leave. Try to give yourself a week to pack if you can. Sometimes (okay every time so far) I wouldn't pack until the day of/day before leaving for a convention. This proved to be quite a hassle, and I felt a bit overwhelmed. So planning ahead will definitely save you time as you start packing little by little here and there. Also give yourself an estimation of how big of luggage you will need for your convention. (I usually take my largest suitcase, as well as a smaller suitcase, and then a bag/backpack for my non-cosplay essentials). However, how big/much luggage you need depends on the sizes of your cosplays, how they need to be transported and how much room in your transportation you are allowed. Communicate with your ride to see how much space there is, and if they have a recommendation of how much you can bring with you. Some cars will be pretty spacious (such as mine, where I am able to fit all of my previous mentioned luggage, as well as 2-3 others'), but talking with your ride will clear up any questions you have. Trust me, you do not wanna be in that situation where everyone is staring at a full trunk, each with a bag in their hands still and thinking, "Hmm...how will this work?" Also, any smaller bags/suitcases that can fit at your feet or on your lap would be a good alternative too. Sometimes sacrificing a bit of your comfortableness is necessary, but make sure you do so safely. Do not over stuff a car, nor allow yourself to have a suitcase/bag in your face if you are uncomfortable with it. Safety comes before creativity of packing a car.
Also remember to find a purse or a smaller bag that you wouldn't mind carrying around the convention. You'll need this for carrying water, snacks, cameras, backup makeup supplies, phones and other requirements you need.
Planning ahead also includes making note of the location of your items. Try to keep all of your cosplay things in one area (especially makeup and contacts, and jewelry pieces as these are the most commonly misplaced items) so that you will be able to go to that area and immediately find all that you're looking for.
cosplay that you are bringing, list exactly what you need for that cosplay, even the small things. (Shirt, pants, tie, earrings, necklace, prop, contacts, wig, shoes, etc.) You can make this list on your phone, laptop, notebook, tablet, whatever would be easiest for you to go to. Go over the list a few times just to make sure you don't forget anything. Also make a list either at the top or the bottom of other essentials you need, such as bathroom things (toothbrush, brush, [for some, fem. hygiene products], shampoos, etc), as well as other things such as pajamas, an extra set of normal clothes, sleeping bags, blankets and pillows. Be completely prepared!
2: Make a List
Make a list of the kind of snacks you want to bring, as well as what you would like to bring into that smaller bag I mentioned earlier. Convention food can be pretty expensive, and unless you want to walk a few blocks to a restaurant/fast food place, snacks are a great and cheap way to keep yourself fed until you go find actual food for dinner/lunch, etc.
As a side note, if there is something that you are running out of (makeup powder, foundation, saline solution for contacts, etc) now you have plenty of time to go to the store and pick up the things that you need! Nothing is worse than having to run to the store the day before or the day of you leaving for a convention, especially when it's a bit of a drive to get to a store. This is also the time to grab any snacks or drinks that you would like to bring. Try to avoid some drinks (pops, energy drinks, etc).
These will not hydrate you as well as you would maybe hope, so try things like water, flavored water or even Gatorade/Powerade are good alternatives for a fruity drink and keeping hydrated! Bringing your own water bottle is a great idea as well, as usually there are plenty of places to fill them up around the convention center. Snacks I would suggest getting include things like trail mix, Goldfish, crackers, cookies, granola bars, etc.
3. Start Packing!
Once you have both of the previously-mentioned things completed, start packing! You don't need to pack everything right away, but start with things that you know you can pack. These things could be costumes you've already finished that you don't mind folding into a suitcase, cosplay makeup, wigs that can be stored in a bag, contacts, and shoes and props. Cosplays you are still working on obviously can't be packed up right away, so just pack up as you finish things. As you pack, cross these items off the list you made so you know that you have already packed them away! This way you won't be looking for them frantically around your house when you've forgotten you've already packed them all along! (This happens occasionally.
This is also the time to see what cannot go in a bag or suitcase. This includes large props that can't be broken down, costumes that can't be folded/need to be hung up, wig that are heavily styled, armor pieces, or other items and parts of a cosplay that are too big. Try to arrange with your ride as well as other passengers (if there are any) so work out possibilities of traveling these pieces. Most people don't mind helping out by holding a wig, or part of a prop, but make sure you ask ahead of time to make sure they don't have anything they need on their laps, or so they won't feel pressured to help you at the last minute. Try to keep things on your own lap if possible, just for mostly common courtesy, but if other arrangements need to be made, don't hesitate to talk with others going to the convention with you!
4. Plan Extra Space
This isn't necessary
but I highly suggest it. Usually, people will purchase things from artist's galleries and other booths, and then they won't have much room to bring it back! D: So if you want to bring some stuff back, which you most likely will, having a bit of extra space in your suitcases/bags is suggested so you won't have to over stuff them and possibly damage them.
Finally, after you think you have finished packing, then double check your list to see if you missed anything. If you haven't, then you are ready to go!!
Go ahead and meet your ride, and load 'em up! Travel safely to your convention, and have a great time!!
So here are the basic tips that I talked about in this journal: Planning ahead for packing will save you trouble of finding things later. Find out how much luggage you will need. Make a list to organize your packing!
Find a small bag to bring water and snacks with you during the convention. (Also your camera/phone.)
Start packing the things that are all ready to go.
Plan extra space for merchandise.
Discuss travelling spaces/arrangements with your ride and other passengers to make the trip as comfortable as possible.
Thanks for bearing with me throughout this long journal, and I hope that these tips help you out when you need to pack! If there are any questions you have that I didn't address in this journal, don't hesitate to comment or message me! I will be more than willing to answer!
Hopefully these tips gave you guys some advice on how you can pack and prepare for future convention travelling!
Thanks for reading, and good luck!