So I’ve seen my fair share of comic cons, enough so to know some of the dos and don’t brings to throw into your purse or backpack come SDCC. So here is my bare essentials version of what I always bring with me when I’m running around the floor or out in the Gaslamp. By the way, between purse and backpack, I normally go with a backpack. I used to do purse, because it was easy to access my phone that way, but a backpack ensured me quick movement which is what was important to me.
1. Eye drops. I don’t really bother with Visine, because Equate is good enough for a poor student like me, but I try to get the red-eye treatment one just to cover all my bases. I wear contacts and on a windy day, or a dusty one, my contacts can get screwed up pretty fast and when I’m running around San Diego, the last thing I want is for me to lose my vision. (Equate: Sterile Eye Allergy Relief Itching & Redness Reliever Eye Drops)
2. Card holder. Since conventions are when I make the most professional connections, I like to make sure I have my business cards with me. I used this old card holder as a wallet for many years and it served me well then. I like the hard cases just to protect all my cards. I leave one side for the cards I get, and the other side for my cards. (Stainless Steel Business Card Holder – The one I have was from Forever 21, but I got it over five years ago, and it’s clearly out of stock)
3. Wallet. Definitely the most important thing. I like this Marc Jacobs one because it has a nice slot for my phone if I need to just take the wallet when we go out at night to dinner or something. It also has a bunch of card space so I can put my credit cards and room key in a safe place. (Marc by Marc Jacobs Karma Chameleon Slim Zippy Wallet – Bought at an outlet, but there are many other phone+wallet duos out there on the market!)
4. Notebook. When I’m bored or at an interview, this little guy can come in handy. Any standard notebook will do, the important thing is to have one with you! You never know when you’ll need it! A nice pen is also useful. Forgot to include a Sharpie, but those are super helpful especially when passing by the odd celebrity on the street. (Fabriano Ecoqua Dot Notebook)
5. Glasses. Like I said, I wear contacts. And nine times out of ten I keep my contacts in my eye, but that one time I lost them I was basically blind in one eye the entire convention. The solution is to pack an extra set of contacts in your toiletries and carry around glasses in your go bag. If your visually challenged like me, remember to keep it in your bag, if you aren’t, I hate you.
6. Sunglasses. UV rays wait for no man, and I do not intend on damaging my eyes any more. Any sunglasses will do, but when you find yourself wandering around the Gaslamp, either for lunch or for play, put on a set of these babies to protect your peepers. Also, I have a nice little pouch to keep my glasses in while I’m inside so they don’t get scratched! (Chevron in Sight Sunglasses Case)
7. Nintendo 3DS Charger. If I’m carrying my 3DS around with me all day, there is a chance I’ll run out of batteries. Especially if I’m standing in line and playing with the DS, aka checking my StreetPass. On the odd chance I find a plug, I keep chargers with me for that exact reason. (Nintendo 3DS Power Adapter Charger)
8. USB Wall Charger. We all carry our phones with us, and while I have a portable battery, this is also important to keep with you when your battery runs out and so does your phone. I normally bring two or three with me on the trip so I can keep one in the hotel room and one in my purse. (Anker 1A USB Wall Charger)
9. Deodorant. BO meet your greatest enemy. If you’ve been to a convention, you know body odor is rife inside and outside the con. Deodorant tends to help with that. Plus, if you’ve got intense thigh chafe, slapping some on problem areas is a great solution. (Ban Antiperspirant Deodorant)
10. Portable Battery. I love these little guys, and this one is the perfect size. With a USB port, it is great for all devices, but I use it solely for my phone when I’m at SDCC. This is a great thing to have plugged in while you’re on the run, and then to charge whenever you can. (Anker Astro Mini)
11. 3DS. If I could count the times I’ve been bored to tears waiting hours in line at a convention, I’d cry myself to sleep nightly. It’s nice to have something to keep you occupied and if it keeps more battery life in my phone, all the better. Checking twitter is all good, but sometimes I have to check my StreetPass too! (Nintendo 3DS)
12. Sunblock. I’m pretty cautious when it comes to UV rays (see sunglasses) so sunblock is important! I keep some with me just in case, though the sun is normally not that bad in San Diego during July it never hurts to be cautious. A nice travel sized bottle is good to keep at hand, and plus this one has moisturizing lotion! (Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration SPF 30)
13. Lip Balm. I tend to neglect most grooming during SDCC, I put on the bare minimum of makeup and put my hair up. I know I’ll sweat through most of my makeup anyways, but my lips tend to get pretty chapped especially since I tend to be a little dehydrated. (EOS Lip Balm in Summer Fruit)
14. Phone. This is pretty obvious, but dear god do not forget it in the hotel room. Twitter, FourSquare, Facebook, Scan, Camera. All things you need to have equipped on your phone for the con to get all the nice little goodies and freebies people will be giving out electronically!
15. Band-Aids. I almost always injure my foot in some way when I do a ton of walking and running, so a good set of band-aids help me. That and even if I’m not injured, someone else might be and it never hurt to help. (Band-Aid Travel Pack)
Not Pictured: A good water bottle that is kept full, staying hydrated is the most important thing. A Blick poster tube for the goodies I accumulate on the way, it’s an awesome tube made of PVC and it has a strong strap that’s great to keep on hand. And of course, the badge! To get in and out of the convention hall!