Last week marked a tremendous occasion for me – it was my first trip to Comic-con international in sunny San Diego. Sure my friends and I have book-fair-678264_1280trolled the streets of the Gaslamp looking for celebs after the convention closed for the night, but we’d never sat in on a panel and listened to our favorite actors, or stood in line for hours with our nerd brethren waiting to get into the infamous Hall H.

This year we finally made it in, and these are the 10 take-aways from the convention:

10. Wear comfy clothing

It’s a blast to cosplay,  and dress up like your favorite characters but definitely lean towards the comfortable flight suit (Battle Star Galactica pilot, perhaps?) as opposed to the ornate and restrictive C3P0 suit. Comfortable shoes are a must, because walking the convention and the Gaslamp after hours ends up being 5+ miles if you’re doing it right! Plus, Cat Woman totally wore Nikes right?

9. Plan Ahead

When the schedule is announced make sure you plan out which panels you are willing to wait in line for, and what your contingency plan will be if you don’t get in. Many of the halls fill up quickly and you’re left at the door on your tippy toes trying to get a peek inside (not that I know that first hand or anything…) Hall H can take hours to get into, but it simultaneously has the best panels. Hard core fans have been known to camp out overnight to get into the morning panels! Keep in mind if you go with a group you may have different interests and will want to attend different panels – this is your opportunity to find more famous people and take pictures with them to make your friends jealous.

8. Take a Lyft, Uber or Cab to the conventiondrive-863123_1280

Best bet is to park your car outside of the city and have someone else drive you in. You’ll save time and probably money that way. Have them drop you walking distance from the convention so you can work your way through the hordes of people without getting stuck in gridlock.

Plus you can make a quick escape whenever you are ready to leave for the night. Some brave earthlings even take the Trolley to and from the event, and although it might be appealing to some to be sandwiched between Boba Fett and Professor Dumbledore, I think I’ll stick to a cab.

7. Couch surf or get a hotel well in advance

Hotels and Air BnBs sell out instantly as soon as the Comic-con days are announced. If you are a local San Diegan, best bet is to find a friend to crash with or get a hotel far enough out to still be able to take a affordable cab to.

6. Bring a camera AND a phone!

There are TONS of famous people walking in and outside the convention. Not only are they speaking at panels, they are MC’ing events and DJ’ing bars 10986640_10207024498312520_1545098250633400567_odowntown, they are walking the convention floor, or just checking out the town (We saw Seth Green and took a picture with Sean Astin AKA Same Wise Gamgee!)

In case of a dead battery you always want to have a back up for the once in a life time selfie with a star!

5. Battery charger!

comics-156434_1280To avoid the heart breaking dead battery mentioned above, bring a phone charger or a battery pack to refuel the juice while you stand in line! In Hall H there was a line to use the bathroom, and a line to use the wall charger!

4. Bring Snacks!

Personally I lined my pockets with energy bars and other healthy treats to keep the hangry away. Unless you are comfortable snacking on soda, hot dogs and chili nachos all day, I suggest you pack something to snack.

3.  Be Polite

superhero-712062_1280Although you’d think that any celebrity walking around the convention or downtown during the event is going to be willing and enthused to take a picture with their fans that is not always the case, don’t take it personally if they aren’t as friendly as you’d expect, they probably are having the longest day of their life and are even more overwhelmed than you are.

2. Prepare for Crowds

You’ll hear everyone say it, but it’s truly something you have to experience to understand. There are crowds and lines everywhere. People waiting in line for everything you could imagine. Or standing around and event that they think is going to take place, or just crowding an area to get away from the crowds. My friend warned me that day one will be overwhelming, but by day two the ninja skills will kick in and you’ll get better at ducking and weaving to get to your destination.

1. One or two days is not enough

This year we only purchased Friday and Saturday of the event. Since the schedule is released well after you buy the tickets we had wicked FOMO for the events that took place on Thursday and Sunday. Although the panels and events we attended were EPIC, we’ll definitely be trying for all four days next year.

So those are the 10 lessons I give to you and plan to incorporate into next years adventure. Be prepared to be awed by epic costumes, events, art, Brave Little Toasterpremiers and actors – and for the best night sleep of your life when your head finally hits the pillow.