Items We’re Glad We Brought and Wish We Had Packed

A portable charger is a lifesaver when you’re attending a four-day convention.

Three portable chargers


We brought a total of three portable chargers. Kirsten’s phone never dropped below 50% throughout the four-day event.

Olivia Singh/Insider

When you’re walking around the four-day convention and snapping photos and videos, your phone’s battery can become depleted pretty quickly.

Additionally, looking for an outlet and staying posted there until your phone regains some juice is a waste of time and takes away from experiencing the con.

If you’re sitting in the Con’s popular Hall H for hours on end waiting to see a particular panel (as Kirsten did Saturday waiting for the huge Marvel panel) or waiting on line for an activation, a portable charger is a must-have. The large black Mophie gives at least two phone charges and helped Kirsten’s phone stay above 80% through five+ hours of panels on Saturday.

Sunscreen is a must-have, especially when you’re walking around during the peak hours of the day.

A person's hand holding Shiseido's clear sunscreen stick.


One of us had a Shiseido’s clear sunscreen stick.

Olivia Singh/Insider

Temperatures at SDCC this year ranged from the mid-70s to high-80s Fahrenheit during the hottest hours of the day. Because the con opened at 9:30 a.m. every day, you were guaranteed to be exposed to the sun. Carrying a bottle, spray, or stick for reapplication was a must.

Olivia is a big fan of Shiseido’s clear sunscreen stick, which has an SPF of 50+ and provides a mess-free application. Kirsten, who is allergic to certain types of sunscreen, stuck to Banana Boat’s Ultra Sport with 30 SPF.

Comfortable walking sneakers make all the difference.

Nike running sneakers.


We both packed a variety of sneakers and walking shoes.

Olivia Singh/Insider

Although most of the action takes place at the San Diego Convention Center, there are a few panels, activations, and events that occur off-site and require additional walking. During SDCC, we walked 2 to 6 miles daily, so comfy shoes were key.

Insulated, refillable water bottles are important for staying hydrated in the sun.

A Hydro Flask bottle and sling.


Olivia loves Hydro Flask bottles and their packable slings, which made it much easier to carry around water.

Olivia SIngh/Insider

The extra weight of a full bottle is slightly inconveniencing, but the last thing you want to do is become dehydrated and faint. SDCC didn’t have refill stations, so we’d periodically stop by Starbucks to get cold water to replenish our bottle supply.

Though we brought water with us to SDCC to fill our bottles, we didn’t realize our hotel room wouldn’t have a fridge. The ice machine there wasn’t working, so Starbucks was also helpful to get large cups of free ice to make sure our water wasn’t lukewarm.

Snacks kept us satiated in between long waits for meals.

Snacks on a table.


Fig bars, Goldfish crackers, and Cliff bars were among the snacks we packed.

Olivia Singh/Insider

When you’re running around all day at SDCC, it can be difficult to find the time to sit down for a proper meal. (If we’re being realistic, most of the time at cons you’re eating fast food or quick and easy food on the go before and after a day of panels, reporting, and scouring for a spot with workable Wi-Fi to write.)

Packing snacks like Cliff bars, cashews, chips, and Goldfish crackers helped tide us over during long days until we could get some proper sustenance.

A good deodorant is a necessity when you’re attending a summertime event like SDCC.

Two deodorant sticks.


Secret’s outlast invisible solid and clear gel deodorants.

Olivia Singh/Insider

SDCC was hotter than we anticipated this year, so we were relieved that we packed long-lasting deodorant to combat excessive sweating during 15-hour days.

Kirsten likes Secret’s outlast invisible solid and Olivia is a fan of the brand’s lavender-scented clear gel deodorant.

A mini crossbody bag conveniently carried all the SDCC essentials.

Two photos showing a black crossbody bag.


This small crossbody is now going to every event with Kirsten.

Olivia Singh/Insider

Ever since an injury, I (Kirsten) prefer traveling light and almost always try to avoid carrying a large bag or backpack. Though I needed my backpack to carry a laptop on Friday and Saturday, this bag became my lifeline during a previous work trip and Comic-Con to carry essentials that I needed to access in a hurry.

Each of the three pockets in this black crossbody from Amazon functioned to hold something different. The portable charger and a wire sat in the largest pocket. A wallet and small tickets received from Hall H panels for merch sat in another. Seat reservation tickets to access panels and a COVID vaccine card were stored in the last one in case my digital card couldn’t be accessed.

The best part about this bag? It only cost $22.

Multiple disposable face masks were imperative to stay safe.

Disposable face masks.


Safety is important when you’re attending a high-occupancy event like SDCC.

Olivia Singh/Insider

Attending a large-scale event like SDCC during the pandemic is risky. However, staff at the con strictly enforced the use of face masks before entering the convention center.

While it is possible to reuse disposable face masks in emergency situations, the CDC and WHO generally advise against doing so. We’re glad that we packed enough disposable masks so that we could throw out sweaty, (sometimes) make-up filled ones to start the next day fresh to help keep our faces clean.

Disposable utensils came in handy.

Nutella, Skippy peanut butter, a loaf of bread, and a plastic knife.


Disposable knives made it easy to put together sandwiches.

Olivia Singh/Insider

We’re so glad that we had the foresight to pack not only snacks but also disposable knives, forks, and spoons. These came in handy when we were making sandwiches or munching on treats that we split and picked up from nearby bakeries.

(You can remember to pack peanut butter and bread, but you can’t make sandwiches to keep up your strength in Hall H without a utensil. Luckily, Olivia remembered some plastic silverware and baggies in which to put everything.)

If we knew how aggressive and plentiful the mosquitoes are in San Diego, we would have packed bug repellent spray and itch-stopping cream.

On the left: A bottle of OFF! bug repellent spray. On the right: A tube of Benadryl itch-stopping cream next to a hand with mosquito bites.


Our hands swelled and turned red from the number of mosquito bites we got.

Olivia Singh/Insider

No one warned us that San Diego has 27 known species of mosquitoes — or that there was a surge in a particularly invasive kind of mosquito last year.

We became aware that the insects attacked us when our bodies began itching on Friday, the second day of SDCC. From that day on the amount of itchy, bright, painful red welts multiplied to more than 60 mosquito bites between the two of us (Oliva: 23, Kirsten: 40) — on our feet, legs, wrists, hands, and even our faces. (San Diego mosquitoes are vicious.)

Kirsten’s been to SDCC pre-pandemic and never had an issue with the pesky insects before. If we were aware of the presence of mosquitoes, then we wouldn’t have had to buy OFF! insect repellent spray or Benadryl’s extra strength itch-stopping cream on site.

Given how much time was spent in the direct sunlight, an umbrella would have been helpful.

A line of fans holding umbrellas at San Diego Comic-Con 2022.


These fans clearly knew the drill.

Olivia Singh/Insider

Kirsten’s used to heading to theme parks and waiting in long lines in the sun. As long as she has shades and some sun screen, she’s good to go.

Olivia considered packing an umbrella, but reconsidered because she thought it may make her look too extra. But when she waited two and a half hours to get into an activation for “Abbott Elementary,” she realized she made a mistake.

As she saw other SDCC attendees holding their umbrellas to shield them from the scorching sun at the same activation, she wished she went with her first instinct.

A personal hot spot would have been helpful to get up coverage faster.

San Diego Comic Con's Hall H seen in 2022.


It’s great to get inside Hall H, but not as much when you realize you may have no access to internet and studios want you to cover their panels.

Olivia Singh/Insider

Kirsten didn’t realize there wouldn’t be any free wifi or press Wi-Fi available inside of Hall H. (It’s been three years since a proper SDCC and a few more years since Kirsten last attended.) Her two choices on Thursday were to connect her work laptop to her phone’s personal hotspot or purchase $80 Wi-Fi from the convention.

Unsure of how great the con Wi-Fi was ($80 is almost how much she pays for a month of hi-speed internet), she attempted to connect to her phone, but with spotty service in the room, which holds over 6,000 fans, the connection dropped in and out.

Unlike New York Comic Con, there isn’t a Starbucks with Google Wi-Fi on every corner in San Diego where you can perch. In fact, it’s pretty tough to come across any Wi-Fi outside of the hotel you’re staying at while at SDCC. We were staying several blocks away from the convention center so even if we wanted to get up timely stories, we’d often have to wait until we were back in the hotel room at the end of a long day to start chipping away without worrying about slow loading speeds.

If we had realized that in advance, we probably could’ve asked Insider for a Wi-Fi hotspot to be more efficient.

We regret not staying closer to the convention center.

hotel in Gaslamp


Our morning walks were 17 to 25 minutes depending on whether we were heading to the convention center or stopping at the Hilton Bayfront first to pick up a reserved seat ticket at a specific time.

Kirsten Acuna, Google Maps/composite by Kirsten Acuna/Insider

It can’t be overstated how much you walk at San Diego’s Comic-Con because of how far spread out everything is on the ground. Additionally, since the con is separated from the rest of the city by train tracks, the two most direct paths to get to the convention center are either through a very crowded Fifth street or an overpass bridge blocks away.

Once inside, the convention center itself and the grounds are huge, but most press conferences and press ticket pick-ups for panels are located in a hotel beside the center which is a bit out of the way. We spent almost as much time going back and forth to the Hilton Bayfront hotel as our own about a 20-minute walk away.

After a long day of running around, no one wants to have to make a long trek back to a hotel that feels like it’s on the outskirts of the convention. Unfortunately, the price to stay closer to the convention center is hundreds more per night, but it would’ve helped us get more stories up and be more efficient by saving time.

GetResponse Pro

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.