Helpful tips for Magfest and traveling in general.

It's not a Con, it's a Festival! Except when it's a Stock! Or a Gen!

  • Helpful tips for Magfest and traveling in general.

    I did this a couple years ago so I think I will do it again now. Here is a list of things you should bring and Ill explain why too.

    Garbage bags. No one likes to be awake and out of the room when the maids come by (9am – 11 am). So the garbage bags are helpful for cleaning up your trash. Also if you get the stronger garbage bags you could use one of them as an ice bag to keep your drinks in. It could literally chill on the floor.

    A small bottle of dish soap. (the oxy kind works pretty good and can be found at the dollar store usually). Drinking games are great for those who like them. No one likes sticky shot glasses. Also when you make ramen in the coffee maker you would be able to clean the cup part for the next person to use it that might actually want coffee (ramen is kinda greasy so the oxy will help with that) Also the Palmolive oxy soap can be used to wash your socks in the bathtub and it takes the smell out (I did it at a past Magfest)

    A power strip. Yes hotel rooms have several outlets but everyone seems to want to plug in at the desk. Putting a power strip there makes it easy for everyone to plug in their phones or other devices with out them having to worry about the device getting stepped on.

    A roll of tape. You never know when you might need to tape something so its handy to have around.

    A couple microfiber cloths. I have cleaned things ranging from laptop screens to keyboards. They are a great way to remove fingerprints from touch screens. Also they tend to dry somewhat quickly compared to traditional rags. Also they tend to be lint free.

    A sleep mask. They are helpful for when people want to turn on the lights but you want to keep sleeping.

    Some aa and aaa batteries.
    Its useful to have them just in case.

    A spare flash drive and a spare sd card. You never know if you might want some cool data or pictures.

    A water bottle. Just makes things more convenient. I have a Nalgene canteen. Its clear plastic and it collapses as you drink water out of it. It weighs less than a traditional water bottle. You can roll it up and put it in your pocket.

    A permanent marker. They are useful to mark your stuff that you buy from the dealer's booths.

    Cash. Those atms at the Gaylord will get hit pretty hard so they might actually be out of cash after awhile (it has happened before and will happen again).

    These are just some of the things. Im sure I am forgetting some stuff. Feel free to add to this thread.
    rod
     
    Posts: 94
    Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:42 pm
    Location: Wyoming (the state)


  • Really awesome tips! I'll share some stuff that I like to bring every year; hopefully it will help someone!

    Food/Snacks - I always go to Costco before MAGFest (or any con, really) and stock up on some snacks. I like to pick up chewy bars (I like the Sweet & Salty Peanut Butter bars by Nature's Valley) and throw a few in my bag for snacking in between meals. I got an electric kettle a few years back (also Costco) for about $20 and bring that to the con as well. I bring ramen (the kind already in bowls; fave is the Nong Shim (?) one; spicey!) and instant coffee because let's face it, I don't want to spend $4 on coffee :P I've had some friends bring bread and peanut butter and jelly to make sandwhiches, too. I almost always go out to eat for dinner each night, but having some easy access snacks and such on hand can really make life easier on you (and your wallet). Sometimes you just want to go play games or see a concert, so having some grab-and-go food is great.

    Medicine/General Health - People can debate the helpfulness of things like Emergen-C/Airborne, but I just feel better having it on me at conventions. I have some of the chewy tablets and the effervescent tabs to put in water in the mornings and do my best to drink water throughout the day (I like to bring a Camelback water bottle; easy to open and doesn't spill all over my bag). I like to think this is how I've kept from getting con crud the past few years. I know MAGFest is 24/7, but getting enough sleep (or sleeping at all) is really, really important to not getting sick. If you really want to keep going all day, at least spread your sleep across the entire day. Maybe every few hours go take a 1-1.5 hour nap. You'll feel refreshed and recharged. I also like to carry a few kinds of pain medication (specifically Ibuprofen) when I'm at conventions.

    Money - I always like to carry cash, and I NEVER keep it all on myself at all times. I will carry a fraction of my cash on me when I leave the room, and I can always run back upstairs if I find something I REALLY want. I do also carry my cards just in case I see a big-ticket item, but I typically save my card for buying dinner/food.

    Blankets/Pillows - I always like to bring my own pillow from home. Usually hotel pillows are super stiff and it kills my neck! I also tend to get cold really easily, so I like to bring my own blankets (I feel like the spare blankets the hotels give you are just giant pieces of felt...). We tend to keep the room colder since, as you drink/carry on with merriment, your body heats up more.

    Party gear - For those that are of the drinking persuasion, I like to bring different things that just make life easier. I always like to carry a flask and a funnel (typically, though, there is always a vendor at MAGFest that has nerdy-themed flasks and you can buy the funnel for another $2 or so). I usually have my mixer in the plastic bottle it came in and I carry the flask to pour into it when I need some more go juice :P I'm sure this is common-sense to some, but DON'T PUT YOUR SODA/BOOZE MIX DRINK IN A FLASK. It makes the flask expand and it will make a nice loud pop when it IS opened.
    Kuri
     
    Posts: 22
    Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:57 am


  • Here's a tip if you're gonna pay for your room in cash:

    Don't.

    My group almost got burned last year, here's what happened:
    I called the Gaylord a week before we left if you can pay for your stay in cash, they said yes, and that you can "change your payment option before you leave". When we got there, I offered them the cash up front, and the guy said they can't accept it yet, and had me give them my Visa card info. Later the next day I get a text from a friend saying there's an emergency and I need to come to the desk immediately. When I get there I find out they tried charging my card but it got declined because it didn't have enough money on it. I told them I had the cash ready but they couldn't accept it for whatever reason.

    Luckily my friend had enough on his card to cover the rest of the event, if it weren't for him we'd would've had to leave that day. Why they said I could change my payment option later when they were gonna charge me after each night makes absolutely zero sense.

    Tl:dr: Pay with credit or debit, you don't have to be the one who booked the room to pay for it
    Captdeadman
     
    Posts: 17
    Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 1:39 am


  • Captdeadman wrote:Here's a tip if you're gonna pay for your room in cash:

    Don't.

    My group almost got burned last year, here's what happened:
    I called the Gaylord a week before we left if you can pay for your stay in cash, they said yes, and that you can "change your payment option before you leave". When we got there, I offered them the cash up front, and the guy said they can't accept it yet, and had me give them my Visa card info. Later the next day I get a text from a friend saying there's an emergency and I need to come to the desk immediately. When I get there I find out they tried charging my card but it got declined because it didn't have enough money on it. I told them I had the cash ready but they couldn't accept it for whatever reason.

    Luckily my friend had enough on his card to cover the rest of the event, if it weren't for him we'd would've had to leave that day. Why they said I could change my payment option later when they were gonna charge me after each night makes absolutely zero sense.

    Tl:dr: Pay with credit or debit, you don't have to be the one who booked the room to pay for it


    In my experience this is the case at any hotel. They CANNOT take the cash until AFTER your stay is over. The credit card on file ALWAYS has at least one night's stay put on hold for incidentals, in case you break anything or cost the hotel money. AFTER your stay is over and they have determined that they don't need to charge you anything else, THEN you may pay by cash. But in all the years I've gone to cons they have NEVER allowed cash up front.
    Kuri
     
    Posts: 22
    Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:57 am


  • Thanks for these tips! This will be my first time attending, I'd never heard of Magfest prior to a couple months ago so I want to learn as much as I can. As far as these types of things go I've only been to a Comicon before.

    Speaking of the cash thing do most of the vendors accept credit cards? I don't usually carry much cash on me.
    User avatar
    camophoenix
     
    Posts: 2
    Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:37 am


  • Kuri wrote:
    Captdeadman wrote:Here's a tip if you're gonna pay for your room in cash:

    Don't.

    My group almost got burned last year, here's what happened:
    I called the Gaylord a week before we left if you can pay for your stay in cash, they said yes, and that you can "change your payment option before you leave". When we got there, I offered them the cash up front, and the guy said they can't accept it yet, and had me give them my Visa card info. Later the next day I get a text from a friend saying there's an emergency and I need to come to the desk immediately. When I get there I find out they tried charging my card but it got declined because it didn't have enough money on it. I told them I had the cash ready but they couldn't accept it for whatever reason.

    Luckily my friend had enough on his card to cover the rest of the event, if it weren't for him we'd would've had to leave that day. Why they said I could change my payment option later when they were gonna charge me after each night makes absolutely zero sense.

    Tl:dr: Pay with credit or debit, you don't have to be the one who booked the room to pay for it


    In my experience this is the case at any hotel. They CANNOT take the cash until AFTER your stay is over. The credit card on file ALWAYS has at least one night's stay put on hold for incidentals, in case you break anything or cost the hotel money. AFTER your stay is over and they have determined that they don't need to charge you anything else, THEN you may pay by cash. But in all the years I've gone to cons they have NEVER allowed cash up front.

    If only they specified that over the phone, seems like that's something you'd want to clear up immediately.
    Captdeadman
     
    Posts: 17
    Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 1:39 am


  • camophoenix wrote:Thanks for these tips! This will be my first time attending, I'd never heard of Magfest prior to a couple months ago so I want to learn as much as I can. As far as these types of things go I've only been to a Comicon before.

    Speaking of the cash thing do most of the vendors accept credit cards? I don't usually carry much cash on me.


    Some vendors take credit card via square. It is on a per vendor basis so you might want to bring cash as the atm at the Gaylord will most likely be wiped out by people not carrying much cash on them.
    rod
     
    Posts: 94
    Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:42 pm
    Location: Wyoming (the state)



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