Going to an anime convention can be very exciting and extremely fun, but it can also be outrageously expensive. Not only do you have to pay for admission to the convention, but you must cover the cost of a hotel room, travel expenses, dining for each day, and purchasing collectibles and other items. The cost can actually seem overwhelming at first glance. But if you plan ahead you can find ways to cut some of the costs for the trip so that it doesn’t end up breaking the bank.
Pre-register for passes and book your hotel through the convention. Most conventions will have pre-registration rates available online through their website in the months before the event. They may be up to $20 or $30 off the full rate for passes if you buy them immediately, but go up in price as the event gets closer, so you will want to purchase your pass as soon as possible. Many conventions also work out special programs with local hotels so that attendees get discounted nightly rates on their rooms. You will need a special web link or discount code to book this way, but it is worth it as it can save you several hundred dollars, especially if you are staying multiple nights.
Go as a group. Travel together to save on gasoline costs if you are driving, and book your hotel room together to split the cost multiple ways. Hotels will have limits on how many people can stay in each room, depending on the room size and bed availability. Most standard rooms can fit up to four or five adults. If you are with a group of five people, that is a five way split on the cost of the hotel room, which can help you out a lot on saving money.
Carry your own food and drinks. One of the easiest ways to overspend on a trip is to eat out for every meal. Brings snacks to munch on throughout the day so you aren’t tempted to get things out of vending machines or at convenience stores. Carry bottled water to stay hydrated and to keep yourself from spending money on sodas and expensive coffee drinks. If your hotel room has a kitchenette or even just a microwave, bring food that can be cooked for breakfast or lunch. When you do go out to a restaurant to eat, budget yourself per meal or stick to fast food restaurants where items are cheaper than at most sit down restaurants.
Create a budget beforehand and stick to it. Carry specific amounts of cash if you have to. The dealer’s room and the artist’s alley will have tons of items for sale and you will want to start spending money as soon as you enter. If you set a specific limit for yourself, you will be less likely to blow all of your cash on an impulse buy and end up only buying what you really want. Some retailers will only accept cash, while others will also take debit and credit cards. Remove the temptation from yourself and leave your cards behind in your hotel room (in a secure place or in-room safe if possible) so you don’t spend beyond your daily cash.