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Singleton93

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Also please Beware of the "I've lost my train Ticket" and similier scams.

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If you are traveling from NY to Baltimore, there is a new option starting in May for you. IT is called Baltimore Trails bus service. It picks up in the Heart of Manhattan and drops off at 1st Mariner ARena (a block from the convention center and hotels). It will only cost you $30 round trip. It runs Thursdays, Fridays, Sundays and Mondays. The website is http://www.baltimoretrails.com

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Also, you may have read on this thread and other threads, ordering (particularlly in the artist room) is really not recommended. Don't pay unless you have the item in your hand. :wink:

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If you are traveling from NY to Baltimore, there is a new option starting in May for you. IT is called Baltimore Trails bus service. It picks up in the Heart of Manhattan and drops off at 1st Mariner ARena (a block from the convention center and hotels). It will only cost you $30 round trip. It runs Thursdays, Fridays, Sundays and Mondays. The website is http://www.baltimoretrails.com

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DC Cell Phone Ban Begins Today

Be careful going through DC.

As reported in the March 2004 Maryland Motor Truck Association Bulletin, the District of Columbia has implemented a cell phone ban effective today (July 1, 2004). The ban also prohibits the use of other electronic devices including hand-held computers, pagers, PDAs and video games. The law applies only to drivers operating a moving motor vehicle. It does not apply to vehicles that are stopped on the side of the road. Devices equipped with a "hands-free" accessory may still be used. Please advise your drivers.

Maryland Motor Truck Association

My husband just recieved this through work, thought I would share it w/ Baltimore being so close. You never know what MD State Police may do. :wink: Besides, it's a safety issue.

(I'm still trying to figure out how people were playing video games and driving?! :shock: )

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Good to know.. I'll have to keep that in mind. I use the cell phone too much anyway. :?

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I know it's been said before, but it's importent, Drink lots of water!!!!!!!

But who cares? The Sith shall Rule the BBS.

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I found this thing over at a sporting goods store called a camel pack... it aparently is liek a backpack, except for water, and it has a tube that you can run over your shoulder when you need a drink, I was planning on getting that and putting one inside the backpack to my costume, but it looks inconspicuous enough you might be able to hide it under costuming or simply carry it with you.

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Oh, and out of curiosity, are there any spots that have boiling water, for things like coffee or something. I was thinking of bringing some Ramen for those inbetween meal periods...

Also, other good things to use would be those cold storage bags you can get at the grocery store... they work just about as good as coolers, but tend to take up les space...

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i feel bad that i haven't read every page, but here's my two cents:

FIRST AND FOREMOST: Have Fun. No matter what. You spent a lot of money to get there, you worked hard on costumes, etc. No sense in crying over spilt milk while you're there. Leave that for the post-con depression:p

If you cosplay, be prepared to stop for pictures. You worked hard on your costume, walking around in it is a way of showing it off. Think of it as a big compliment that people want a more permanent way to remember your hard work.

Along similar lines, if you take pictures of cosplayers, BE POLITE. Ask first, and nicely too, please don't grab someone and just snap a pic. Thank them too!

There's also a KILLER sushi restaurant a wee bit away from the con, called Matsura. It's definitely worth the 10 minutes walk (nicknamed "march of death" by my group over the past 4 years). They've always been good, the sushi has been been fabulous.

If sushi is too hard on your wallet, the food court at the mall adjoining the BCC will probably offer discounts to those in costume^_^

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If sushi is too hard on your wallet, the food court at the mall adjoining the BCC will probably offer discounts to those in costume^_^

XD That's a lie. Food is expensive in cities, and franchise owners don't care if you're in costume, ergo they will not give you a discount. Unless you're like the President or military in uniform.

(note: Gundam doesn't count, sorry)

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If sushi is too hard on your wallet, the food court at the mall adjoining the BCC will probably offer discounts to those in costume^_^

XD That's a lie. Food is expensive in cities, and franchise owners don't care if you're in costume, ergo they will not give you a discount. Unless you're like the President or military in uniform.

(note: Gundam doesn't count, sorry)

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If sushi is too hard on your wallet, the food court at the mall adjoining the BCC will probably offer discounts to those in costume^_^

XD That's a lie. Food is expensive in cities, and franchise owners don't care if you're in costume, ergo they will not give you a discount. Unless you're like the President or military in uniform.

(note: Gundam doesn't count, sorry)

when i went to the food court on friday last year, my group and i were handed discount coupons for being in costume when we ordered our food. no kidding.

That's because one or two of the local restaurants wanted to encourage business from our con. There was originally a flyer, but it kept (ahem) disappearing from the tables.

It's not entirely unheard-of when you're one of the city's biggest annual events (and certainly one of the most attention-getting ones!) for places to try to get a piece of that action.

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Are there any restaraunts that are doing that this year? Or are they required to do their own advertising, thus you can't say...

Oh, and just something I came across. I was planning to buy these eventually anyway, but I figure they might come in very handy for the long days walking around at otakon in what would otherwise be uncomfortable shoes...

http://www.springbak.com/

Anyone else want to look into these?

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Are there any restaraunts that are doing that this year? Or are they required to do their own advertising, thus you can't say...

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I'm sure it's been said in at least one of the fifteen pages that have been written, but a SHOWER every night is always important, and even though it seems like a DUH to most people, you won't believe how many people really don't.

Also, have emergency money handy and if you are one of those people who likes to SPEND, keep it separate from your spending money. You never know when you might need it for an extra metro ride or something if your ride doesn't work out in the end, or any other emergencies.

Bring your own food -- it doesn't matter who says what, you canNOT live on pocky and "con high" and be healthy. You can buy food at the con, but it can be expensive and most likely you'll want to save all of it for spending.

Eh, that's it. It's all probably been said already but whatever ^^;;

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1. make sure you shower and put fresh DO on

2. dont forget to take pictures

3. dont lose your money, put it in a secure place.

3. bring backup sewing kit (if you cosplay)..you never know what might happen.

4. prepare to be amazed

5. HAVE FUN!

oh food and water is a total must and be carefull at night walking back to your hotel, these cab drivers are CRAZY!

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There is now a truely 24 hour place to get food near the convention Center. There is now a 7-Eleven at the corner of Baltimore and Howard Streets about three blocks from the convention center up Howard. There need to be warned about the Otaku hordes for Otakon weekend.

Another tip from the restaurant waiters, please tip when you eat at a sit down restaurant like Downtown Sports Exchange or ESPN Zone. If you are paying for a meal that is less than $10, give $2 in a tip. If it is over $10, give 15%-20% depending on the service you get. When I mentioned Otakon to staff at DSX, I got begged to mention this to all the people who have never eaten at a restaurant before about that.

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Another tip from the restaurant waiters, please tip when you eat at a sit down restaurant like Downtown Sports Exchange or ESPN Zone. If you are paying for a meal that is less than $10, give $2 in a tip. If it is over $10, give 15%-20% depending on the service you get. When I mentioned Otakon to staff at DSX, I got begged to mention this to all the people who have never eaten at a restaurant before about that.

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I just called the Inner Harbor Wyndham directly to confirm my reservation. They didn't have some of the details down, but they did have the reservation#. So it wasn't so bad. I do recommend a week (better do it now!) before you go to any event, you contact the hotel directly to confirm all information on your room.

...Take a moment, make a long distance call, and double check everything. As always, get the name of the person you are speaking with also.

And they did tell me too, since check in there isn't til 4pm, that I can drop off my luggage at the front desk, if a room isn't ready when we get there at 9am. You may want to verify that with your hotel as well if you find you are in a similar situation.

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There is a food guide for the surrounding area in the program book (which you get when you get your badge). It was there last year too.

Just promise me you will all read the program book. A lot of work goes into it, and it is well worth reading. At the con feedback panel last year a couple people complained about not being able to find info on this or that, and it was all in the program book, they just hadn't looked for it.

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Dont wait in line starting in the morning. There are thugs, bums, murders, and rapists that could be walking around.

Best place to meet up with people in the morning: The big fountains by the Charles Street Lobby.

If you're waiting in line on Thursday, dont wear your costume. Theres a possiblity it could get ruined, sweaty, smelly, rained on, and etc.

and... EAT MEALS!

:)

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Best place to meet up with people in the morning: The big fountains by the Charles Street Lobby.

As long as your group isn't too big; big groups should meet on the 400 level or in the big lobby behind the Starbucks.

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GeekNights started a multi-part series on "how to attend a con" this past thursday. It's full of useful info from a group that's fairly knee-deep into con culture.

(Yes, in the interest of full disclosure, I am the Rym from the show, and yes this is a shameless plug. Still, I think it's relevant and useful :P)

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In honor of rezzing a month-old thread...

The Hat's Tips on Con Attendance:

1. SHOWER. If you are staying in a hotel, it comes with a bathroom that 99.9% of the time has a working shower. I guarantee you that you will NOT have such an abundance of people in your room that you cannot take FIVE MINUTES to scrub soap on your body, put shampoo (and rinse it out) in your hair, and APPLY FRESH DEODORANT.

Note: For those of you unaware of this, deodorant does not kill you if you apply it more than once a day.

2. Bring a bag. Whether it be a messenger bag, a backpack, your Shonen Jump tote, or just a plain brown bag with handles, it WILL come in handy. If you're like me, you can just put together a drawstring or tote-style bag from leftover fabric that matches your costume. The Otakon Dance has a rule that says NO BAGS unless they are smaller than 12"x8". If you are planning to go to the dance in costume, please remember to have a smallish bag with you (even a beltbag) to keep your cell phone, wallet, room keys, camera, etc with you at ALL TIMES.

3. In addition to the above note, KEEP YOUR STUFF WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES. Not all Otakon congoers are immediately trustworthy; people WILL take things. Unless you KNOW the person WELL (ie, you're ROOMING WITH THEM/they're RELATED TO YOU), carry your own stuff.

4. BRING SNACKS. Don't eat in the dealers room/artists alley, etc, but do carry some sort of food with you. You WILL eat it, even if you think you won't. Your body needs food to survive; you can't live on manga.

5. DRINK PLENTY OF WATER. It's been said, it's been stressed, DO IT. Make a waterbottle pouch in matching fabric if you don't want to be seen with an "unsightly" water bottle. They are refillable, they will save you LOTS of money to just refill in the bathroom/at the water fountain, WATER IS ESSENTIAL for your body's well being, and is FAR better for you as far as hydration goes than Mt. Dew and other sugary sodas. Soda/coffee actually can make you more dehydrated.

6. Wal-Mart sells flip flops for under 2$/pair. They will SAVE YOUR FEET. On the note of kimono/"BLEACH" cosplay, you can just paint them brown and they WILL pass for geta/be FAR more comfortable. Your health is more important than accurate footwear.

7. BUDGET IN FOOD MONEY. McDonald's, Burger King and many other fast food places can run out of food by the end of the con. You will end up buying food/ordering pizza in your hotel room. Make sure you have enough money. Don't starve in order to afford that new manga that you can probably find online.

8. Hit and Run otaku: I, like many other cosplayers, spend HOURS on my costumes; I'd prefer to not be glomped without warning and have my costume destroyed. Politely ASK before glomping; we're mostly nice people under the costumes, we'll probably not deny a hug if ASKED.

9. Budget spending for the con. Don't blow all your money the first day and expect random con goers to give you money for "kisses, hugs, fanservice."

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Here's some more tips...

1. Bring an extra make-up kit in a small bag or something and stuff it in your totebag. If you're planning to wear make-up, it WILL smear after some time so don't forget to check on it every now and then in the bathroom, and just in case you need a touch-up :)

2. BE FRIENDLY. i don't know how many times this has been said throughout this whole thing. if you're friendly, then others are friendly. it doesn't take much to spoil a good time

3. Be prepared to be crowded downtown this year. Since the orioles and yankees are gonna be playing the same weekend that the Kon is happening, be sure you know where you're going, and get there early! parking is seriously going to be terrible with all the people in baltimore that weekend. it's already bad enough :roll: and at night, drunkard baseball fans wandering the streets! just be polite, and continue on your waii because hey, it's a ball game so you gotta expect drunkies to be there.

4. Alwaiis carry a map! i remember the first year my sister and i couldn't find anything because we didn't think the map was all that important. trust me, it's a life and time saver and you'll be so thankful for it.

5. HAVE FUN. it's a Kon, a one-time-per-year thing. It only lasts three daiis. That's not alot of time. So go have fun, meet new people, and remember to behave :wink:

6. BRING A BAG. i mean if it doesn't go with your outfit, just get a black totebag and add your own designs to it! it's no fun lugging around things all daii when you can just put the stuff in a bag, and that waii you can also keep track of your cellphone, money, etc. it's better to be safe and prepared than to lose everything you have in one weekend because you're afraid that it doesn't match your outfit. i've seen cosplayers wear Jansport backpacks with a Cloud outfit on, it doesn't bother them at all.

6. Make sure you know a waii to get home. Most buses run late in Baltimore anywaii (although it's super annoying to wait to them) so there's an option right there, but the lightrail stops running at around midnight i think. there's also taxis. and if you're carpooling with your friends to the Kon, make sure you all meet up and know everyone's present before you leave. im sure being left in downtown baltimore at 2 a.m. isn't fun.

i hope this helps a bit...

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Here's some more tips...

4. Alwaiis carry a map! i remember the first year my sister and i couldn't find anything because we didn't think the map was all that important. trust me, it's a life and time saver and you'll be so thankful for it.

+1 on the map. I don't know how many of the mini program books with maps of the con, event times and a map of the dealer room I gave out to people at the con last year. It's probably the most important packet of information for the entire con.

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Don't let any of the following scare you off from coming. I just wrote this based on my experiences last year, which was my first time at Otakon.

There are lots of homeless people on the streets of Baltimore. ALWAYS walk in a group. If you ever find yourself alone, look around for random gropus of otaku walking around (possibly in the same direction you need to go), and sort of, "blend in," with them. They shouldn't be hard to spot, as pretty much everyone wears their badges around the city. I noticed they tend to not be as direct or forceful/bothersom with large groups. A lot of them are actually kinda friendly, and will leave you alone of you say you don't have any money on you, but some can try to be quite forceful. Just say, "sorry, I don't have anything on me," and continue walking.

If you want to walk through a rather narrow/enclosed area, make sure there are no, "shady," people along the way. Last year, on Thursday, a friend and I decided to walk through the Waterfall thing in the pavilion, and we almost got our asses kicked by two guys for no reason (one of them said we were checking out his girl). If this happens, just appologize, say you didn't mean to offend anyone, and offer to leave. Don't try to be the hero. If you can, just go back the way you came and don't pass them.

Make friends! My biggest regret last year is that I talked to so many people, but was retarded and didn't get anyone's instant messenger names and such. Wear your badge wherever you go, too, since I'm sure all +20,000 of us could easily become friends, and it's nice to know who's there for the con. That, and it's cool. I don't think I encountered one con goer last year who wouldn't talk to me.

Carry cash. There's nothing more devastating/embarrasing than waiting in line to buy stuff, only to get to the person completing transactions and be told you can't use plastic (aka: credit/debit card). This happened to me at the MegaTokyo booth last year, and it was kind of embarrasing (for me anyway). Then when I went to get cash from the bank accross the street, I got to wait in line for 20 minutes as others also withdrew cash. Yeah, not fun. I still got my mousepad and hack naked shirt, though! :)

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I have a suggestion for those who are going to pick up their badges at pre-reg on 08/03. If possible wait until the evening when the sun goes down to wait in line.The lines will be moving and the heat won't be as intense. However, if your like me and you must be one of the first people into the BCC, then hear are some helpful tips:

1). Wear light colored, lose fitting clothing

2). Make sure to wear sunblock

3). And most important of all, bring lots of water to drink.

I'm giving this advice based on experience. Last year while waiting in line for pre-reg to open, my fiancee's friend passed out due to the heat. She thought it was smart to wear dark blue, skin tight jeans and a black t-shirt. In conclusion, use common sense ladies and gentlemen. You'll be glad you did.

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I'd say save money on food and KNOW that you have something to eat by bringing a cooler full of food and drink if you're not coming from too far away. A lot of hotel rooms have mini refrigerators (sometimes only at request but hey) that you can stock with lunch meats, water, or even stuff like Lunchables (hahah) that are quick, easy to assemble, and will provide you with the bare minimum of sustenance.

Last year everyone in my hotel room was from a different part of the country (well actually 3 of them were from Canada XD) and we each brought a regional food to share. I brought Tastykakes and Birch beer (lol Philadelphia). This was a good idea as we each got to try new foods and we all knew there was something to snack on in the hotel room if we were hungry but the lines at the various restaurants were too long.

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My advice is going to sound like a silly otaku thing, but it really, really works: bring pocky! I'm not saying, like, a gazillion boxes, and certainly don't give it out to every fankid that walks by, but keeping a packet of pocky on you is a good way to have a quick burst of energy if you've forgotten to eat all day. It's small, portable, loaded with sugars and carbohydrates, and really easy to eat in line or on your way from here to there. Personally, I like Pretz for this, since I can get the salt needed to balance out any sweating I'm doing, as well as not getting a sugar high at an inconvenient time, but it's all up to you.

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Not sure if all these have been mentioned.... these are based on mistakes my friend and I made at our first con.

- In a lot of cases, you can use cotton jersey knit fabric (aka t-shirt fabric) instead of fabric that doesn't stretch or breathe. Jersey still looks great (i use it a lot now!) and your body will really thank you!

- Keep a couple safety pins on you because accidents happen to costumes. If you know anyone with a serger, ask them to use it... serging your costume will help keep it from falling apart on you.

- Try to avoid temporary "hair dye" that comes in a spray can. It can easily wipe off and ruin your costume or somebody elses. :cry: :cry:

And don't even try that stuff on a wig, it'll take a month to dry.

- Your eyes are bigger than your wallet! Before going to the dealer room, think about things you want and how much they generally cost online/at a store. You'll need that extra $$ for food later.

- When picking events you want to go to, make sure you have enough time in between to get there! And leave yourself some free time in the day to give your feet a break and talk to people.

- Keep a pen with you. Its many uses include writing down screennames of people you meet and making changes to your schedule.

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Everyone,

We appreciate many tips you have given eachother in this thread, but please read though the topic and see if your suggestion has already been placed.

Thanks :)

~Topic

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Along the lines of the Catholic Church conversation a few pages back does anyone know of a Buddhist Sangha (Preferably Mahayana/Zen) within moderate distance of the BCC?

Also, anyone else vegan/vegetarian?

If so, I recommend packing food more than eating out. I've found that there are few places to grab vegan eats near the BCC. The Paper Moon has a good pasta dish and a great wrap that are vegan, but that is a bit far even to drive.

Things I'm definately going to pack:

-Soymilk

-Some sort of foodbar type thing to pack in my bags

-Nuts and fruit, possibly trail mix

-Some sort of vegan jerky

-lollypops. Mmm.

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4) If your legs and ankles tend to get over-tired - bring a couple of ace bandages to wrap your ankles. It may seem odd, but it can really help.

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Since most people carry a cell phone on them at all times, designate a person who can be called in case of an emergency. List this in your cell phone as "ICE -- name of person". Which stands for In Case of Emergency. This can be a parent, family member, friend or someone you trust to be notified should something happen to you. If you have more than one contact list them as "ICE1", "ICE2", "ICE3", etc. Not all personnel in all areas use this, but it never hurts to have it listed.

For some information regarding the ICE initiative try this article:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/07/26/...ain711715.shtml

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The person you list as ICE should be contactable at all hours of the day - whether this means a landline or a cellphone that someone never turns off. The point of ICE is being able to contact them no matter what the situation or time of day is.

:D Great hint, gamergirl.

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Just to let all you Catholics out there know, the Basilica is still closed for refurbishing and will be until November.

So for those you who need a church, Holy Rosary Church ( http://www.holyrosarypl.org/ )

has a 4pm mass on Sunday (after the con is over), is about 5-10 minutes from the BCC by car or $6 by cab and the 4pm mass is in A/C( a lot of the churches in Baltimore are to old to have a/c).

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Regarding Vegan/Vegetarian:

Liquid Earth on Alice Anna street in fells point is a great place for vegan/vegi lunch. It's moderately priced and they have GREAT juice and smoothie selections. Thairish is another that is located on Charles Street, but has weird hours sometimes.

Jus an FYI--although the Booger king in the B of A building closed, a Cosi opened up. Down Pratt street, a Panerea just opened next to PF Changs and Fogo de Chao (both can be a little pricey for Con Goers who don't have deep pockets)

If people really want some good mexican off the beaten path--I reccomend the Tortilliria on eastern Ave in fells. Tacos are 2.75 with everything and they are over stuffed! Two will fill you up for less then 6 bucks.

as a city dweller I always encourage PM's if people need more info on places around Baltimore.

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If people really want some good mexican off the beaten path--I reccomend the Tortilliria on eastern Ave in fells. Tacos are 2.75 with everything and they are over stuffed! Two will fill you up for less then 6 bucks.

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1.) SHOWER. it gets hot and i'm sure the person sitting next to you won't want to smell your otafunk

2.) if you're thinking of ordering pizza, even in the middle of the night expect it to take a while. you won't be the only otaku who had the same idea.

3.) also if you're sharing a hotel with many others, keep in mind that the hotel bathing supplies probubly won't be nough for everyone. before every con i buy a bottle of 3-in-one shampoo, conditioner, and body wash and take that with me. but if you forget i beliee there's a CVS near by.

4.) make sure you EAT, SLEEP, and DRINK plenty of fluids. if you wanna skip a meal so you can wait in line try thinking ahead and graab food in advance, or eat some snacks in between

5.) if you carry a water bottle there are lots of places for you to reload it at the con (i know some staff who have taken to carrying Hydration Pack, the kind that cyclists use)

6.) this one might be a bit gross so (i won't be offended if it's cut) but i'm blanking it as a precaution: i you go to the bathroom and your urine is very yellow that means that you don't have enough fluids in you. it's lie a big hint from your body to hydrate yourself

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Hey everybody,

A friendly mod reminder to keep in mind that, as this thread gets longer and longer, it's important to check the earlier pages to make sure that your tip or hint has not already been mentioned.

While it's good to keep in mind things like eating, drinking, sleeping, and showering, those have already been brought up a few times - here and elsewhere. There's no need to keep re-posting those tips. ^_^

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It may be time to consolidate the best of these into "Tips from our members", credit the first person to post a tip (and maybe anyone who added to it significantly), and close this thread. We can start another, but long threads get longer largely because people dont' want to read the first 48 pages before they jump in.

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