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Folks, when getting ready for an anime convention...
I cant stress enough the importance of giving yourself enough time to get all your affairs in order. Mode of transportation, pre-registering for weekend passes (assuming you're going all weekend), lodging arrangements, all that should be figured out first. Even before you think about getting the cosplay in order, make sure you first have a place to sleep, are able to attend the events, and be able to get back home safe and sound with no problems. Giving yourself enough time to prepare allows you enough room to start putting away money for those priorities, while still being able to deal with your personal priorities, like paying bills and eating. Giving yourself a month is simply not enough time! It may seem like a long way off, but its really not!

Plus, saving up early allows you to take advantage of convention early bird rates, maybe score a cheaper deal on a hotel room (just being able to easily find a hotel room instead of waiting and seeing everything is sold out) and mode of transportation (assuming you're not driving). This is really the first thing every seasoned con-goer should be aware of.

Why am I having a mini rant about this? Well for starters, Im set for my next con. My friend however, love him to death, but ONCE AGAIN, he leaves everything for the last minute with a con just a month away. He's trying to get a buddy along to help pay expenses for a hotel (they actually live in the general area and have access to public transportation, but nooooooooo it takes too long and doesnt want to leave the area as if he has a curfew) but his buddy called me in strictest confidence that i say nothing to him, that he has alot of bills that need paying which is going to leave him short for the con. Plus, he likes eating! We're both in agreement that if they cant attend the con for more than a day, then that's not the end of the world. Our friend however, LOVES cons and is treating this like the most important thing in the world. Oh sure he has been thinking about this for "months", but it really has been just recently when plans had actually been formulating which as Ive mentioned, is a bad way to go. Im siding with his buddy here, since his priorities are in check. The bills need to be taken cared of first. If he cant go for more than a day, he cant go. Its our other friend we're worried about.

They had a 3rd guy in their group, but he isnt all that reliable and backed out as they expected. His buddy doesnt want to back out on our friend here, but again he has priorities. Our friend is going to learn about this eventually and hopefully he has the maturity level to understand that not everyone has the free time to just up and go to a large event at any time. Conventions are fun and all, but real life matters have to be taken cared of first. Cant go this year? Well, there's next year. There's also other cons in the year to plan for.

When people ask me how to get ready for an anime convention (and this can be applied to alot of major events I think) the first thing I say is to just give yourself time. I say at least 6 months prior to your event is just perfect. Plenty of time to look for travel/lodging deals and save up money. A month is barely any time at all to get ready. It really isnt. It goes by so quickly. Another moral? I like conventions but I also like food. And cable. And being able to use my phone. And having heat. And a house. If bills need paying, pay them. The con expenses can wait. And if you feel you wont have enough for what you really want to do for your con, make necessary changes. Cant go all weekend? Go a for a day. Skip the hotel if public transportation is a usable option for you. I dont care if you live on the other side of town but you know the local transportation can get you home and back. Save yourself some money for what's necessary. If you can get yourself home, suck it up and deal!

Im grateful that my next con for the most part is taken cared of. No headaches, no last minute scrambling (which I HATE HATE HATE!), and really all I have to do is work on my cosplay. Its a great feeling knowing even though there's so much time left, the planning is taken cared of and going smoothly. I used to scramble and just barely get there, but I hate the feeling of "not-knowing". Now that my travel plans are assured and lodging, everything is dandy.

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