We are only 3 months away from San Diego Comic-Con 2017, which kicks off with Preview Night on Wednesday, July 19, then continues with four full days of programming Thursday, July 20 through Sunday, July 23 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 2017!
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 Open Registration. 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. Research housing options. Decide where you would like to stay during SDCC. Do you want to stay in the heart of downtown, near the convention center, where all the action is? Or would you rather save a little money and stay a little further away? If the latter, take a look at the Early Bird Hotel Sale, which is going on through May 1, though note that it is non-refundable. Otherwise, you’ll need to wait for the upcoming Hotel Sale (also known as Hotelpocalypse), the date of which has yet to be announced, but usually occurs immediately after the Early Bird Hotel Sale has concluded. While you wait, it might be a good idea to book a refundable backup room, just in case things don’t work out during Hotelpocalypse. However, note that if you try to search for a hotel, most of them have the dates surrounding SDCC blocked out (because you have to book them through the Hotel Sale), or are charging extremely high prices (over $1,400/night at Hilton Bayfront!), especially downtown hotels. While it’s unlikely that you’ll find a rate as low as the rates that are being offered in the non-refundable Early Bird Hotel Sale, or that will be offered during the upcoming Hotel Sale (click here for a list of last year’s Hotel Sale prices, since this year’s list hasn’t been released as of the publication date of this article), you can find some reasonable refundable rates if you look further out. Would you rather 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 roommates with whom you can split the cost of a room. [UPDATE] Comic-Con has announced that the Hotel Sale will take place on Wednesday, April 26 at 9:00am PT.
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’ll be staying at 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 run you $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. Note that overnight parking is not allowed at the Ace Parking lots. Entries will be accepted until April 24.
6. Update your shipping address. Your badge will be shipped to the address you have on file in your Member ID account, but only if it is a U.S. shipping address. If you need to update your shipping address, the deadline is May 18.
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.
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. The SDCC Unofficial Blog and Outside Comic Con keep good calendars of offsite events.
10. Start saving money. After buying your badge and booking your flight, your wallet is probably getting close to empty. Start building your savings back up if you can, especially with Hotelpocalypse coming up, and 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 2017? Let us know in the comments below!