There’s a Con for every time of year but Spring and Summer is when Steampunks really kick it into high gear. The warm weather is conducive to taking time off, getting out of the house, and enjoying time with friends. As we rev up for con season here are some tips for getting the most out of this year’s events without burning out.
Start out by making a list of the cons in your area. Some people have cons that they hit every year but you never know when a new one will pop up that deserves a look see. You might even want to try doing a broader search to see what’s happening in places a little further away or in another state. When you have a list of all the ones that look interesting make an A list and a B list. From there use things like dates, distance, and price to narrow it down. Having a map/timetable will help you stay organized and do everything you want to do. And since you have backups if you don’t make it to your first choice you know there are other options. The most important part of planning ahead is pacing yourself. Leave some space in between cons to give yourself time to recuperate before the next one so you’re fresh and ready to fully enjoy yourself!
Set a Budget
This can be the hardest thing of all for a Steampunk to do. There are always so many amazing things to buy at a con and extra things to do it’s easy to blow all your cash on the very first one. But if you plan on attending more than one con this year setting a budget for yourself will help keep you from doing just that. Some things to consider in your budget are the price of admission, the distance you’re traveling, any extra attractions at the con that are not included in the admission price, accommodations if you’re planning an overnight, and food. Once you total those up for each con you can have a better idea of what you’re able to spend on your sundry items without breaking the bank. Some ideas to budget more money towards shopping is going halfsies on a weekend pass with a friend and carpooling.
Dress for success
Con season is when you can finally take your gear out and strut your stuff. If you’re a con veteran and have multiple costumes make sure you take them out of storage early so that you can address any TLC repairs needed or have time to make modifications before you head out. If you know what cons you’re headed to in advance you can also plan out which outfit you’ll wear to each so that all of them get a day in the sun. If you’re a newbie and just looking to put a costume together for the first time keep some things in mind like the cons’ dress codes and weapon’s policies. For the most part cons are all day events and there is a lot of walking so make sure that your costume, particularly footwear, is comfortable as well as cool looking. And of course, don’t forget your goggles!
Pack a con survival kit
Whether you plan on packing for an overnight or just going for a day a survival kit is something you carry on your person the day of the con. It won’t take up too much room and it might help you save money as well as make sure you keep your energy up for those long days. Things to include in your survival kit are water, snacks like peanuts or dried fruit or small meals like sandwiches, a cell phone charger, sun screen, a deck of cards for down time, a change of socks or slippers for the end of the day, and something period you can drape around yourself if it suddenly gets cold like a shawl or a scarf. You can keep most of these items on you in a simple bag or a utility belt with pouches.