You’re packed and ready for the con, time to smash the piggy bank! How much should you be bringing to the con?
If you have been to the convention before, you probably know what is in the area and the prices of food. If you haven’t been to the area, use your google-fu to scope out what’s in the area so you can decide where you might be eating and plan accordingly.
When I first started congoing my food budget was roughly $60 dollars. I didn’t stay at the convention overnight, so $20 covered lunch for each day. Anything left over went to my spending budget! Now I stay overnight, but my food isn’t counted in the “con budget” since I pay for food with my debit card.
You can save money by bringing food with you. One year we had a hotel room and my friend brought a cooler full of sandwiches, salads and other foods which was stored in the hotel room. This is a great way to make sure you’re eating healthy, saving money, and not waiting in line at the busy restaurants! Another option is to bring small snacks to eat throughout the day, such as granola bars!
If you’re staying overnight at the con you’re probably paying for a hotel room and that’s going to take a bite out of your wallet!
If you are in charge of a hotel group (you booked the room, other people will be paying you their portion) try to get the money ahead of time to avoid any issues at the convention. If you don’t get the money ahead of time, be prepared to cover the entire cost of the hotel room in case something happens and you don’t get your money.
Hotels will usually ask for a deposit, especially if you are paying in cash, to be held in case of damages. The amount requested will depend on the hotel so call ahead to confirm! If you don’t damage the room your deposit will be returned at checkout.
If you aren’t in charge of the room, make sure that you have set aside the amount for the hotel room, and ask to see if the person in charge is also requesting people chip in for the deposit.
There may be other fees for the hotel, so check the hotel’s website before the convention. These fees could be for internet access, use of the pool, or for renting movies.
Getting Home / Emergency
Always have cash set aside as “emergency” money. In case you lose your wallet, keep this money separately.
Emergency money can cover a variety of things: if you lose your wallet, if your ride home leaves without you and you have to find your own way, if you get sick and need to purchase something at the drugstore.
I suggest calculating what you need for your other expenses first, before deciding on your spending budget. That way if you are on a limited budget, you can make sure you have everything important covered and then use the rest for spending.
To get an idea of how much to bring, have an idea of what you are looking for. If you can make a “shopping list” then you have an idea of how much you will need to purchase it. The internet is a great way to get price ranges! For example if my shopping list is a tiger kigurumi (approx.$65) and a couple plushies ($15-30 each) then I would want to bring at least $125 to cover those, but probably more in case something else catches my eye.
If you don’t have a shopping list, bring the amount of money you feel okay spending in the dealers room.
Debit + Credit
Debit and credit cards are great for things like emergency funds, hotel and food money, because they generally are accepted outside of the convention.
At the convention, few (if any) vendors have machines to accept payment from cards and the con itself might not accept electronic payment for tickets and other paid events. ATMs also empty very fast, even on the first day of the convention, so don’t rely on ATMs to be a source of backup cash!
Bring enough cash to cover what you want from the con itself, and use the debit/credit card to cover stuff outside of the con.
» Getting Convention Ready: Rewearing a Costume Multiple Times
» Getting Convention Ready: Last Minute Cosplay Details
» Getting Convention Ready: Weapons Check
There are a lot of reasons to re-wear a costume multiple times during the same convention! You may be a new cosplayer with only one costume to wear, or a seasoned cosplayer who knows that re-wearing an outfit makes it easier to find photos later. Whatever the reason, you should take some steps to make sure that your costume isn’t going to get ruined, smelly or dirty over the weekend!
Do this every day to help make sure your costume stays clean, and you stay smelling good! These preventative measures can be used even if you aren’t re-wearing the costume.
- Make sure the costume is clean before wearing it (wash it if necessary)
- Wear clean underclothes, and pack clean underclothes for each day
- Wear a slip or lightweight breathable undershirt, to keep sweat from getting to your costume
- Wear an antiperspirant deodorant, and reapply throughout the day as needed
- Shower before wearing the costume
- If you are wearing the costume and applying makeup, use a towel to prevent powdered makeup from falling onto your clothes.
- If you are wearing full body makeup, make sure that your makeup is sealed to prevent it from rubbing off on your costume - and the rest of the convention!
During the Day
While you are wearing the costume, there are some steps you can take to prevent it from getting overly dirty or smelly.
- If you are eating, be careful to not spill it on your costume.
- If you plan to sit outside, avoid sitting in areas where you may dirty or stain your costume. Bringing a blanket/towel to sit on can help you avoid dirty and grass stains.
- As Preventative Measures mentioned, reapply deodorant throughout the day as needed.
- If you stain your costume, use tide-to-go or another stain remover to help get it out quickly.
If you plan to be up all night, give your costume a break. It’s also good to change out of the costume if you plan to attend the rave/dance parties for various reasons.
It’s pretty common for people to hang out in pajamas, kigurumi, regular clothes, or stripped down versions of costumes for late night events!
If you don’t want to ditch the costume, just make sure you take it off at some point so you can do the steps in “Overnight”
When you do take your costume off, here is what you can do to get it ready for the next day:
- Wash the costume in the sink or bathtub. Just spot clean any stains, or sweaty areas as needed.
- Spray the costume down with Febreeze or another anti-odor spray, to keep it smelling fresh
- Hang your costume by a open window, to help air it out. Separate the pieces so any sweat doesn’t get trapped.
- Prepare new underclothes, shirt or slip, socks, and anything else that can be changed for the next day.
- Have a shower! Even if you don’t smell, cons can be a dirty environment (remember there are hundreds of people, some who did not wash their hands) and often a hot enviroment (you’re probably going to sweat a little during a con) and a shower will keep you clean
- Inspect your costume for damages, and use your fix-kit to fix them.
Just in Case
Sometimes the worst happens: your costume gets extremely dirty, it rips and can’t be fixed, or you find out it’s just extremely uncomfortable. Just in case, pack an extra costume, change of clothes, or both! You don’t want your con to be ruined because the cosplay didn’t work out!
More Merida wig WIP
Stilll more work to be done but it’s coming along.
Anyone else working on Cosplay today?
[almost] finished project!
Admin feels like talking cosplay this afternoon.
More Merida wig WIP.
I’ve only really done the bangs and they still need work but
I LIKE IT SO FAR.
To every girl who has ever said, or even thought, “I’m not pretty enough to cosplay”
I want you to take a look at these photos. Side by side. One is fresh out of the shower and ready for bed. The other is wearing makeup, a wig, and having her picture taken by a photographer. This is the same girl.
It’s amazing how much you DON’T see of all those great cosplayers who are idolized. You see their cosplay pictures and are envious that you aren’t that pretty. But reality is, when we go out in cosplay there is a lot of makeup and wig work involved. I have friends that don’t recognize me outside of cosplay.
I don’t want young girls to look at cosplayers and think, “I can never look at that.” Because cosplay is what made me feel beautiful. I want you to look at yourself and say, “They’re just like me when they aren’t in costume. We’re all human, and I am just as beautiful as such and such is.”
When I go out to the grocery store, not wearing makeup, probably wearing old cut up jeans that have paint on them, I don’t get hit on. No one tells me I’m beautiful. But I step outside of my hotel room and suddenly I have young teenage girls telling me how they wish they looked like me and how they don’t feel pretty enough to cosplay.
I’m telling the truth when I say, “I’m wearing a lot of makeup.”