Hotels are a big deal when it comes to conventions. How you deal with the hotel situation has the potential to ruin your con experience or make it that much better. Naturally, not everyone needs a hotel room for every convention. Some of us live close enough to drive to and from the con, or have the benefit of friends or relatives nearby to stay with. For those of us who travel, however, the hotel room is an integral part of the convention experience.
1. Book Your Room Early
If you’re going to a popular convention, you’re going to want to have your room secured very early; as early as a year in advance for some cons, but for most cons, six months in advance is a good time to book your room. This ensures you can get your preferred room at your preferred hotel. It also eliminates a worry point early on and puts you ahead of the game.
There’s no reason not to do it. Most hotels will let you cancel as late as a week before the stay without charging you any money, so it’s worth it to be early.
2. Get the Nicest Room You Can Afford
Realistically assess how much money you plan on taking to the convention, as well as how much your guests can take, and book the nicest room that fits reasonably into that budget. It might seem like a waste at first, but the quality of the room can really make a difference in how enjoyable the room ends up being. The size and layout of the room determines the atmosphere.
In addition, take into account what you plan on doing at the hotel room. If you and your group only want to use the room as a quiet space to rest, relax, change, shower, and sleep, a regular double bed room will work. If you plan on partying, however, look into a suite.
3. Know Your Guest List
Ideally, your guest list should be made up of people you’re comfortable being around in a relatively intimate space for days. A sense of humor is often essential, as it lightens the situation and makes it more comfortable. In addition, potentially more important is their ability to fulfill their obligations, whether it’s to pay their share of the room in full when asked, or to bring what they agreed to bring.
4. Arrive Early
Don’t be afraid to get to the hotel in the late morning or early afternoon. Many hotels will allow you to check in early if your room is ready. And if your room isn’t ready, hang out in the lobby and check back in an hour or two. It’s a lot better than arriving late and getting caught up waiting in a big line.
Hotels are a major part of the con experience, and as such, they’re a major topic. We’ll revisit this topic later, focusing on individual aspects. Until then, however, drop a comment if you have a question!