We are only 3 months away from San Diego Comic-Con 2016, which kicks off with Preview Night on Wednesday, July 20, then continues with four full days of programming Thursday, July 21 through Sunday, July 24 at the San Diego Convention Center! What should you be doing to prepare? Check out our list of 10 things you should be doing now that we’re 3 months away from SDCC 2016!
Now that the General Badge Sale and the Hotel Sale have come and gone, the 3 month to-do list is a little different than the 6-month to-do list!
1. Put in your vacation request. This was also on our 6 month to-do list. Maybe you didn’t put in your request at that point because you weren’t sure if you’d be able to get a badge during the General Badge Sale. Well, now that you know you’re going, if you haven’t secured those days off yet, this should be at the top of your list!
2. Didn’t score a hotel during Hotelpocalypse? Research housing options. The Hotel Sale seemed to have left a lot of people on the “waitlist” (us included) or shut out entirely. While you wait to see if the waitlist opens up for you, and for the Hotel Sale to open back up (April 30 is the deadline for those with hotel rooms to cancel their reservation and get a full refund), it might be a good idea to book a refundable backup room, just in case those things don’t work out. If you try to search for a hotel, most of them have the dates surrounding SDCC blocked out, or are charging extremely high prices (over $1,000/night at Hilton Bayfront!), especially downtown hotels. While it’s unlikely that you’ll find a rate as low as the rates that were offered during the Hotel Sale, you can find some reasonable rates if you look further out. Do you want to stay in a condo? You can try searching on sites like airbnb.com or vrbo.com, though those can cost just as much or more than hotels, especially if they’re downtown. Another option is to check out the Friends of CC Forum, specifically the Room Sharing thread, where you can find a roommate, or the Hotel Exchange thread, where members offer up extra hotel reservations, though you must be an active member of the forum to access the latter.
3. Book your flight. If you’re traveling from far away, you should be looking at travel sites to get an idea of what a good price for your flight might be. Flight pricing does tend to fluctuate, and you’ll want to keep an eye on when a good deal pops up. Also factor in baggage costs, which vary from airline to airline.
4. Need a passport? Get one. If you’re traveling internationally, and don’t already have a passport, go ahead and start the process for getting one. Sometimes there can be delays with securing a passport, and you don’t want to wait till the last minute and get stuck in your home country due to your passport not coming through in time. Also check to see what international travel requirements apply to your country. For example, you may need to obtain a visa, or if your country is part of the Visa Waiver Program, then you’ll need to apply for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization).
5. Enter the Ace Parking lottery. If you have a downtown hotel within walking distance, or plan to take the shuttle or the trolley in from a hotel further out, then this does not apply to you. (Downtown hotels will have a designated place for their guests to park, though it will be expensive – $30+ per night.) However, if you’ll be driving in, you’ll need to enter the Ace Parking lottery if you want to get first dibs on a parking spot near the convention center. Entries will be accepted until April 24.
6. Update your shipping address. If you live in the U.S., your badge will be shipped to you – or more accurately, to the buyer, if the buyer has a U.S. shipping address. You’ll need to log into your member ID account if you need to update your shipping address. The deadline to do so is April 27. If someone else bought your badge for you, they are considered the buyer, and your badge will be shipped to the address in their member ID account. If you have more questions, check out the Badge Shipping FAQ on CCI’s website.
7. Start getting in shape now. As we mentioned in our SDCC Tips article on this subject last year, you might find yourself walking 5 miles per day while at San Diego Comic-Con! If you’re not used to walking such distances, you should start getting used to it while there’s still time. That way, by the time SDCC rolls around, 5 miles per day will be a breeze to you, and you won’t be so exhausted at the end of each day. Our friend Leonard Sultana addressed this very topic on the January 17 episode of Talkin’ Comic-Con: A Cup ‘O Tea with An Englishman in San Diego, so you should give that a watch or a listen for some good tips on getting healthy.
8. Get to work on that cosplay! Will you be cosplaying at SDCC this year? Do you want to have a different cosplay for each day? Start planning your outfits now! If you’re making your costumes, it could take a lot of work, and a lot of time. If you are ordering pieces from elsewhere, this could take some time as well. Get ahead of the game and get everything in order now, so that you’re not left scrambling at the last minute!
9. Keep an eye out for outside events. There’s always a ton of events going on outside of the convention center during Comic-Con. Some of them are free, but some of them cost money. Tickets for many events go on sale months in advance, and many sell out. For example, tickets for Chris Hardwick’s Id10t Tour and the 7pm and 10pm Nerdist Podcast Live shows, which take place on the Friday and Saturday nights during SDCC, went on presale today, April 21, and will go on general sale Friday, April 22. The SDCC Unofficial Blog and Outside Comic Con keep good calendars of offsite events.
10. Start saving money. After buying your badge and putting down a deposit for your hotel, your wallet is probably close to empty. Start building your savings back up if you can, especially if you’re planning on buying a lot on the Exhibit Hall floor!
Is there anything else you’re doing at the 3 month mark to get ready for San Diego Comic-Con 2016? Let us know in the comments below!