July 2015 was the third Anime Expo event in a row I’ve been to. Having fun and spending time with friends and family make the event so much more enjoyable. However, for everyone out there who is deciding to attend the event in the future, here are some tips on how to prepare and save some money.
1. Buy Your Tickets Early
Tickets to the convention usually go on sale around Black Friday and are usually around half price at the time. I really screwed up this year and couldn’t decide if I wanted to go until the very last-minute. Instead of paying $50 for a 4-day pass, I ended up paying around $85.
Another money-saving tactic is planning out how you’re going to get there.
For Locals – I recommend going early and trying to find street parking if possible behind the convention center. Cheaper to suck it up and walk a few blocks than pay $20 for parking everyday.
Non-Locals – If you are flying in, I would see if you have any friends that live in the area and try to live there for a few days rather than book a hotel. If that’s not possible, the event is usually partnered with a number of nearby hotels where you can get free shuttle service to the event and event discounts. You will need to book these early since space is limited and thousands of attendees will also be trying to find living spaces.
Don’t die people. Prepare your meals accordingly. There are food trucks and nearby restaurants in LA Live for you to get your meals. Lines can be long and tiring so keeping a bag full of snacks to munch on will keep you from starving.
Bringing water is a no-brainer. You will be sitting in the blazing summer all day and if you don’t keep yourself hydrated, you’re in for a real bad time.
Those long lines where you are starving and burning sun mean you are probably going to be spending a good portion of that time on your electronic devices. Having a power bank handy will save a lot of headache. It’s not going to be fun when you get that ‘15% battery remaining’ notification and realize that you don’t have a power bank or charger handy with you.
4. Plan out your Panels/Events
You aren’t going to have time for every single event during the expo. Keep an eye out on the schedule release and look at it as soon as you can. Pick out all the events that you want to go to and set a buffer time for waiting and getting in line. Planning ahead will ensure that you make the most of your time the 4 days you are there.
I plan to go continue attending Anime Expo in the future and these are some of the ways that I plan to save my cash. Unless you have a lot of expendable income laying around, plan ahead people.