CV Packing Tips

Discussion in 'FanForce: Star Wars Celebration Anaheim' started by MattDoc, Dec 13, 2009.

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  1. Padme501st Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2006
    star 1
    Was talking to my fiancee's uncle at xmas about the convention (he has been to this convention center several times for car shows since he builds and races cars) and he said there are some hotels walking distance from the center that are sketchy and to be careful. He said if it's possible to have something with you for protection then to do so especially if you are walking back to your hotel after a party at night cause some years it's pretty quiet down there and others it's really bad so you never know

    Just thought i'd throw that out
  2. MattDoc Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2009
    star 3
    Did he have any specifics of what hotels are "sketchy"? We have a lot of people here staying at a lot of different hotels so it would be nice to know specifics.

    Also, I think rather than recommending that people bring weapons to protect themselves while walking around at night (especially since flying with things like that is a bad idea these days), let's recommend the better option...don't walk around at night alone. To quote Col. Mustard: "There is safety in numbers, my dear."

    Last thought on this one...unless there are local gangs that hang around to prey on convention attendees, I wonder if your uncle's experience had anything to do with the shows he was attending...car guys vs Star Wars fans. Just a thought.
  3. Padme501st Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2006
    star 1
    ill get a list of hotels from him within the month for sure. depends when i see him. And i really meant pepper spray but definitely dont walk around by yourself.

    And he was talking about the drug dealers and stuff. apparently they tend to be big in that area and there's lots of crime in that area. Now he has been there several times over the years so it's from experience as a whole and he said if you stay in a hotel that is gated or where you have to go inside to access your room and not one where the room doors lead to outside you are cool. that's what he has been doing the last few years and he has had no problems whatsoever. But he has talked to the security guards at some of the hotels in the surrounding areas of the center and that's what they said

    But yeah, like i said, i'll try to get specific names asap for everyone. I have to see him anyways to be sure with the one i'm going to book
  4. MattDoc Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2009
    star 3
    Time for me to add to my ongoing packing list here:



    • First Aid - Not saying you need to bring a whole kit, but maybe some band-aids/bandages, sunburn cream (in case you fall asleep by the pool), tylenol/advil. Always better to have your own stuff rather than having to track down something when you are in pain.

    • Bubble Wrap - Plan on buying some breakable stuff? Don't count on the vendors to always be able to wrap it properly whether you are shipping it home or carrying it.

    • Small Flashlight/headlamp - Handy for emergencies if the power goes out (remember...storms in summer in Fla) but can also help if you are walking around between hotels at night and the sidewalks aren't well lit.

    • ALL paperwork and confirmation numbers - I already have a folder started that has all receipts and confirmation numbers for hotels, tickets, airfare, etc. The hotels will be very busy and there's a very good chance they will mess up someone's reservation at some point. You can help make sure you still have a room to sleep in if you have all of the proper paperwork with you.

    • Membership/Discount cards - Hotels, restaurants, stores, etc. all seem to have some sort of reward program. Have your cards with you so you can get those benefits.

    • Shopping Lists - Know ahead of time what collectibles and/or autographs you are looking for when you arrive. Sometimes just as important, especially for comic book collectors, have a list of what you already DO have so you don't buy duplicates.



    More to come soon. I'm working on my master list of photography packing and gear tips as well.
  5. hothie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 2004
    star 2
    One thing i like to bring is a trash bag. It works great for (stinky)clothes that have been worn, and lets you know what is and isn't clean in your clothes piles. It's also very lightweight and doesn't take up much room.

    Oh, and a towel is a must. ;)
  6. woppo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 30, 2004
    star 2
    All you need is a towel and the guide ;)
  7. Photo-Knight Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2007
    star 1
    and a thumb...
  8. Solo_Jaina Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Do NOT try and pack your lightsaber as a carry-on. I'm talking LED type replicas with removable blades or converted fx sabers, not regular FX sabers. It WILL look like a pipebomb. If you have to pack it put it in your checked luggage with a note tape on the outside of your luggage AND on the inside of your luggage that says 'Fragile: non-functional prop replicas' or something to that extent. Or if you really want the security and are worried about it, ship it to the hotel before you leave.

    If you are bringing costumes and are packed to the brim and THEN plan on buying a bunch of crap there, plan to ship back the stuff you buy. If you can't fit anything else in your luggage on the way there, it's not going to fit on the way back.

    Don't pack anything with metal in your carry-on or on your person if you can help it. I got patted down one airport on the way TO CIV because my metal studded belt beepeed, and then on the way BACK because I had boots with metal on them in my carry on. They actually made me unpack the entire bag because it looked 'suspicious' going through the scanner. >_<

    Roll your clothes....it takes up less space than folding them.

    Don't bring too many changes of clothes. I suck at this, I'm a costumer so I rarely wear normal clothes at conventions but I always bring a bunch. o_O

    If you're wearing a costume and trying to look the part with your normal hair, bring alot of hairspray or invest in a wig, florida is humid, and it rains alot.

    Thats all I got for now. ^_^
  9. JarJarJedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 6, 2001
    star 6
    Space Bags. Get the travel ones that you can roll to get the air out of. They do work. My mom has to take her pillow when we travel, and when we went to Disney World, she used one and gave her more room in her suitcase. My sister used one for my niece's costumes that she wore while down there; one was a flower girl type dress. They worked. You might need to use the iron in your room, but it will give you more room in your suitcase.

    I remember that one of the bottles of sunscreen that we took in our checked baggage seperated (no air pressure where the bags are stored on the plane). I have no idea what kind doesn't do this, for I didn't get to compare the two before my sister threw the one away. It might have been also because it was older.

    Also, in case any of you decide to buy a snow globe in Florida, I must remind you that you can not have it in your carry on. It must go in your checked luggage. Just make sure to wrap it fairly well. I did with mine and it survived.
  10. MattDoc Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2009
    star 3
    The space bags are a good idea, especially if you will need extra space in your back for things you've bought on the way back.

    The tips I've thrown out so far have been more focused on convention-specific needs. I guess there will be many people out there who have not done much traveling (by air at least) before so just some general tips there are good. We have some already with regard to dealing with the airlines and carry-on bags. Those are very handy.

    Back to the space bags, while I've never used them, I have what are sometimes called "packing cubes." They are really just nylon zippered pouches in various sizes. They do kind of the same thing as the space bags (compress your clothing down into smaller bundles and keep them from getting messed up in the suitcase) but without the vacuum part.

    For your toiletries, it was noted above to bring your own (don't rely on the hotel to have them..especially the Extended Stay type places...they rarely provide anything). But also put anything that could burst and make a mess out of your cloths in a ziploc bag. Don't want to get there to find your cloths/costume are covered in shaving cream/sunscreen/hair spray/etc. Ick.
  11. MattDoc Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2009
    star 3
    Just thought of another couple:

    - Carabiners - Great for hooking your keys, hat, waterbottle, umbrella, etc. to your bag

    - Solar Charger - I was lucky and got one as a free gift from Dell a while back. Great for a quick, emergency charge of an ipod or cell phone.

    - Questions for Celebs - In case you get star-struck if/when you get to meet a celebrity, plan ahead and jot down a few questions you want to remember to ask them. Don't turn it into an interview, but your meeting will be much more memorable if you get to ask them that question you always wanted to know about.
  12. --Azrael-- Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 8, 2005
    star 4
    the biggest tip I can suggest is a poster tube.

    you'll end up getting some freebies and there's a good chance there'll be a few things you won't want to have crushed/folded in your suitcase. a poster tube that you can fit diagonally in your suitcase works very well for items like this.

    Myself, I'm still deciding on if I bring a costume or not. I'd love to do a few hours in armour and be in the 501st photo. need to wait and see. As I'll be buying a few shirts at the con I'll only be taking a couple with me with the intention of picking up some there. no point bringing 8 shirts for the whole trip and buying another 3 or 4 and not wearing some.

    anything liquid or that could stain/damage clothes etc... should be in plastic bags especially if in checked baggage. the pressure change could cause things to burst.

    have all your paperwork on you as mentioned. copies in checked luggage but have the hotel information/booking confirmation with you for check in. it makes it so much faster. if you're coming from overseas like I am it makes things at immigration easier if you have the information on where you're staying and for how long with you.

    vacuum bags are good for space but they don't magically reduce weight and that's what a lot of the airlines go by. if you can do it use clothing as padding for things when packing fragile objects.

    and make sure the locks on your suitcase are the TSA approved ones. last thing you want is to have the locks cut so they can check your bag.

    If you're carrying prop weapons put them on top of the checked bag in a clear bag with clearly written note saying it's a prop, non-functioning, etc.... it does make a difference to the people who check the bags.

  13. Fistofury Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 27, 2002
    star 1
    Here are a few I would add:

    books/comics to be signed - plan out beforehand based on signer announcements, you can also buy the author's book at the show so you don't have to bring it along.

    lightsaber - to play with in line if you are really bored

    alarm clock - the Fig didn't have one in our room at C4 which threw us for a loop. We ended up getting awaken by our cell phone alarm every morning at 3:30 am. I really hate that ring tone now. [face_laugh] I-)

    caffeine - you will be tired, especially if you get up early and spends hours in line.

    cellphones or walkie-talkie - and make sure it's charged. They are a life saver if you get separated from your group and need to coordinate who's going to wait in what line or get what autograph. You can also use funny handles to communicate with others.

    Shopping Lists - I second this, there are a lot of booths in the exhibit hall where you can find good deals or fill holes in your collection. You need to know what you are missing though or you will end up with doubles. You can also look for friend's lists as well.

    plan out your limits - it is easy to go overboard in the store or exhibit hall if you don't plan ahead. It's usually pretty easy about a month or so beforehand when the exclusives are announced to help you decide what you will try for or and wont.

    walmart sacks for dirty clothes - I usually bring 6 or 7 because it is easy to separate clothes and your purchases. I usually have one for all of the loose handouts and freebies that won't fit in my convention folder so they won't fly around my luggage.

    clamshell cases and poster tubes - if you are packing them in your luggage, cases are a must to keep your figures from getting crushed.

    you could bring less clothes and wear some that you buy at the convention (especially if your hotel has a washer and dryer)

    plan ahead and print out maps and schedules to make a plan of where you are going to go when. I've learned the hard way that sometimes you won't be able to go to 2 panels or shows back to back if they are in separate ends of the convention center and you have to get in line beforehand. It works best for me if I find the shows I want to go to most and check their location to see how to get from A to B. Also leave yourself windows of time to check out exhibits and revolving shows. I love to sit in the fan films or collector panels when I need a break.

    If you can, get on the forums sometime during the convention because you'll pick up tidbits from other convention goers that could be helpful to you the next day.
  14. Bowen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 6, 1999
    star 4
    There are drug dealers hanging around the convention center area? Well, guess I don't have to bring those then. Did your uncle say whether they're reasonably priced or not? Haha, just joking ;)

    I'm sure it'll be pretty secure when we are there, nobody wants to mess with a bunch of guys with lightsabers, come on. hehe
  15. EnviousSerious-Rue Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2009
    star 1
    plan ahead and print out maps and schedules to make a plan of where you are going to go when. I've learned the hard way that sometimes you won't be able to go to 2 panels or shows back to back if they are in separate ends of the convention center and you have to get in line beforehand. It works best for me if I find the shows I want to go to most and check their location to see how to get from A to B. Also leave yourself windows of time to check out exhibits and revolving shows. I love to sit in the fan films or collector panels when I need a break

    Plan, plan, plan!
    Went to San Diego Comic Con for the first time last year and went through the scheduling. It was all on-line prior to the event. I'm pretty anal when it comes to planning. I intentionally "over-planned" everything making sure I also had a plan B, C and E, just in case something else popped up. I was covered to make adjustments so easily because every panel/event was highlighted after I got my SDCC program book.
    We've all been there. The excitement of flight/driving to a convention, checking into the hotel, finding friends and waiting for the doors to open to begin the journey. Being overwhelmed is an under statement! As a Behavioral Therapist, I've seen people literally shut-down.[face_hypnotized]
    Planning is essential.:)
  16. wookieesrus Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 6, 2009
    star 1
    Just curious if anyone has run across this before, or knows of anyone that has run into problems with this...

    My wife is a diabetic and will be carrying a backpack that will have her needles, insulin, and other diabetic stuff in it. Will they be searching bags and say..."Oh man...this lady's got syringes in here, sorry can't let you through".

    I would just hate for us to be standing in line for quite a while to get in and then have a problem with this.
  17. MattDoc Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2009
    star 3
    I had to deal with this in Egypt of all places and it wasn't easy. I think you should be able to carry that stuff, but I would check with TSA and your airline about how to handle it. http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/specialneeds/index.shtm

    At a minimum I'm sure you'll need info/prescription details from your doctor. But be up front about it at security. Don't think you'll be able to sneak it through. They don't like that. :)
  18. Obi Anne FF admin Celebrations, Europe

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 1998
    star 7
    I'm a diabetic and I've never had any problems with my syringes and insulin. I have a letter from my doctors with my passport, but to be honest I take it out because I've realised that if they see a paper they stop and read it and it can take a long time, if I just send my things through safety without saying anything it goes quicker. I also recommend having a printout from your pharmacist about all your medicins and medical equpiment, just in case. As I said though I've never had a problem flying in Europe, Asia or North America.
  19. wookieesrus Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 6, 2009
    star 1
    Thanks to both of you.
  20. Zepherous Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2010
    star 1
    Im trying to figure out how to get all the collectibles back in one piece. Maybe take an empty suitcase?
  21. MattDoc Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2009
    star 3
    You may be able to ship them home from the show. If not, yes, an extra bag is good for this. One of the tips above talks about packing a bag in a bag to get there so you have an extra bag to fill with your goodies when you leave.
  22. Obi Anne FF admin Celebrations, Europe

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 1998
    star 7
    Just remember that you will very likely have to pay extra for the bag on the flight, it might be worth checking what costs less; shipping or the luggage fee.
  23. Zepherous Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2010
    star 1
    Yea, I think they will charge between 50-75$ for an extra suitcase. I was thinking about taking all my clothes on the carry on, and then send my suitcase empty. They may not like that though, Im not sure.
  24. Dark Lady Mara Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 1999
    star 7
    I think you're better off shipping the collectibles home with you. If you pack them in your luggage, even with an extra bag, you'll have limited space and you might not be able to pack them very securely. If you wait until you're at the con to buy shipping supplies and mail them home, at least you can make sure you get the right size boxes and packing materials for whatever you ended up buying.
  25. MattDoc Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2009
    star 3
    I've done this before (internationally, actually) and the airline had no problem with it. You might want to check with yours though, just to be sure.
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