San Diego Comic Con Tips: Get Your Geek On in California

Comic-Con International is back in San Diego, CA! Each year in July, the San Diego Convention Center fills with Doctor Whos, superheros, Walking Dead fans, vendors, illustrators and everyone else who loves geeking out at the most anticipated comic con in the U.S. If cosplay ranks as a must-do, then check out these San Diego Comic Con tips and get started planning.

San Diego Comic Con Tips for a Successful Trip

Costumes, Comic Con, San Diego, CA

Flickr user: Pat Loika

Drawing some 130,000 fans annually, Comic-Con International has grown into a pop-culture event celebrating not only comics but also popular TV shows, movies, books, video games, board games and more.

Doctor Who Costumes, Comic Con, San Diego, CA

Flickr user: Howie Muzika

Are you dressing up? Keep this in mind.

If you’ve ever attended a comic con, you know the more elaborate the costume, the more attention you’ll receive. Depending on your chosen costume, you may get stopped every few minutes for pictures. But you have to dress up, right?

Tip: If attending multiple days, only dress up one day, such as Saturday when the con hosts its Masquerade. The over-the-top show is a great place to see some of the best individual and group costumes in one place. Contestants can win cash prizes and title of best costume, which may be more valuable for social bragging rights.

If only attending one day, consider keeping the costume simple, so you can browse and have fun, instead of stopping to take pics all day. Also, make sure you have enough space on your phone or tablet for pics because you will take a ton.

Vendors, Comic Con, San Diego, CA

Flickr user: Kevin Dooley

Set a budget and bring cash in small bills.

It’s no secret you’re going to spend some money. Some serious money. The safest way to not spend a fortune is to set a budget, bring cash and leave cards at home. Small bills ($20 and under) are easier handle for vendors and customers. Cards take awhile to process, especially if 50,000 people are using them, and it can hold up lines and overwork vendors.

Tip: You may also ask for a larger bag to carry stuff around. Try not to buy anything too big or heavy as soon as you get there, or you’ll have to carry it all day. Try asking the seller to keep it for you and come back to retrieve it.

Xfiles, Comic Con, San Diego, CA

Flickr user: Ricky Brigante

Plan ahead and download the free quick guide.

This may be the most important tip of all. Plan ahead. If you walk into this event without a plan, you will quickly become lost and overwhelmed. Pick a few guests to see, pick a couple for autographs (the more famous, the more expensive) and read the guide before heading out. There’s no way you can see and do everything, so pick your favorites for each day and make the most of seeing your pop-culture idols.

Tip: The quick guide provides great information including maps, schedules, local attractions and events, the exhibitor’s list, and nearby restaurants. Take the time to browse through it.

If you’re coming to Comic-Con, check out out San Diego vacation rentals and San Diego North beach rentals, and prepare for an event you’ll never forget!

Read more articles about vacationing in San Diego:
Restaurants in San Diego
How to Pack for San Diego

Main photo: Gage Skidmore, Flickr