By: Nicholas Eskey
One of the hardships that comes with travel is catching an illness. It happens. New surroundings, a climate unlike that of your home town, different air quality, and even stress of travel that might affect your health. If you take into account the tight quarters that a popular convention entails, mixed with the inconsiderate sick people that still attend and hack their germs into the open air, sounds charming doesn’t it? Sharing is caring after all.
In any event, with a week left before Comic-Con you should take certain precautions when getting ready. Listen to some advice from a veteran con-goer, who also has had to deal with traveling, interviewing, and battling with deadlines, all the while still trying to nerd out to my favorite fandoms.
- Rest. It’s the biggest advice I can give. With so much going on at Comic-Con, you’ll be very enticed to stay up late, and wake up early. But doing this for 4 days straight is havoc on the body.
- The Right Foods. The often greasy food available on the premises won’t do you much good either. Unless you packed some healthy snacks, venture out further downtown to find something healthy to eat.
- Drink Water. I know, what about the caffeinated sugary drinks to keep me away? Caffeine is great, but that sugar will just make you crash all the harder later in the day. Bring some water with you or find the drinking fountains to stay hydrated.
- Hand Sanitizer. This stuff is more precious that gold when it comes to Comic-Con. Let that little mom voice in your head sound out: “You don’t know where that’s been!” With so many people at the convention, I would guess a thousand plus hands can touch just one door handle. Handle to hand, and then hand to face will mean giving yourself the eventual cruds.
- Vitamins. Again, since you’ll be co-mingling with thousands of other people in a tight space, you’ll be exchanging germs with them. It wouldn’t hurt to give your immune system a boost with something like Airborne or One-A-Day Vitacraves.
- Relax. This is not the same as resting or just idly standing in a Hall H line. The stresses of the convention can take a toll on your immune system, making your more susceptible to those airborne germs. Take a moment to find a (somewhat) quiet corner, sit down, and take some deep calming breaths.
- Don’t Overindulge. One or two drinks is fine and dandy, but more than that and you’ll be sorry the next day. Do this for a few days straight, you’ll be hurting and irritable during the convention. Have fun, but not to the extent that it will ruin your convention time.
- Avoid Stress All Together. I’m really emphasizing this because though the convention is an all-around good time, very many people are quite easily led astray to the dark side and let every little thing stress them. If you can let go of the fact that you lost the lottery for a collector’s item, if you can forgive the person that almost ran you over, if you can just make peace with that you’re not getting into Hall H, you’ll be better for it.
Some of these points may be a matter of common sense, but when you’re distracted by the lures of San Diego Comic-Con, it’s really easy to forget everything else. Though you may not see everything you want, these tips will ensure you’ll have a more enjoyable experience.
Victor Van Scoit‘s Takes
Learn from us veterans of the convention floor battles and off-site event skirmishes. We pass on these bits of advice so you too can make it to 10+ years of San Diego Comic-Con.
- Rest. Try adding a bit of structure to the chaos of Comic-Con and try using the 10-3-2-1-0 rule. It might seem impossible but I assure you following this I’ve managed to go to bed at 2AM and still wake up refreshed. Sleep deprivation impairs the immue system and, even one day of missed sleep, can hurt you more than you think.
- 10 hours before bed: no more caffeine
- 3 hours before bed: no more food or alcohol
- 2 hours before bed: no more work
- 1 hour before bed: no more screen time (E-ink e-readers are good)
- 0: number of times you hit snooze in the morning
- bonus: do these eight stretches to combat all the sitting you did and limber up for the day
- The Right Foods. Look I like my chips and fries too, but this is a marathon. Lean towards protein, veggies, fruits, and nuts. They can seem like
a less sexy option but you’re body will feel light and you’ll extend your energy—indulge in the evening. Consider some of these places not too far from where you may be staying to start your day off right, or to stock up on healthy snacks.
- Drink Water. Keeping hydrated will protect you from that drying convention center air, and help you avoid light headedness and headaches. Use that water bottle (see my recommendation) or take advantage of the convention water fountains. If you have to have caffeine consider yerba maté because it’s caffeine disperses over time for awareness rather than jitters. Or even try a cup of matcha tea where the caffeine also disperses more evenly and has L-theanine—considered to provide a relaxing effect without drowsiness and boosts your immunity.
- Hand Sanitizer. Pick up these travel versions that let you clip them on your bag or your lanyards. If not some of the nicer hotels have hand sanitizer available so take advantage. Other conventions are starting to offer hand sanitizer stations—let’s hope Comic-Con has joined the crowd.
- Vitamins. You’re mother was right. Start loading your body up with vitamins starting now so you’re body is fortified with defenses. Who says multi-vitamins have to be stuff? Load up on Disney, Marvel Spider-Man, or Marvel Avengers gummies and everyone will want their vitamins.
- Relax. It’s important to take a moment to chill and destress. Maybe you need a moment to yourself to center, calm your nerves before meeting you fave celebrity, get up to ask a panel question, or need help falling asleep. This 4-7-8 breathing exercise has been known to work for all of the above.
- Don’t Overindulge. After 9 years at San Diego Comic-Con I thought I had it on lock down, and went hard on Thursday night. It was an uphill battle the rest of the weekend. Have a nice drink in the afternoon or two in the evening over some con stories with new and old friends. But leave on a high note while you’re charming—before you’re not—or you might end up a story in some news site.
- Avoid Stress All Together. Don’t let the Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) take over your convention good time vibes. Remember that—
- You will miss something, because you can’t see everything. There’s peace in that. Look forward to catching up on all that stuff on news sites (like ours) the following week.
- Have a backup plan should your primary panel event fall through. There’s too many activities going on for you not to pivot to something else you’ll end up loving. New discoveries await you.
- If you feel lost remember you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be surrounded by your friends. No fancy Hollywood party can replace that. Believe you me, it’s when you’re already enjoying this geek tribe life that the cast of The Guardians Of The Galaxy walk into your hotel bar to say “Hi!”