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Con-going on a budget


Sound Sculptor
Either I'm totally blind, or I'm oblivious. Either way, I didn't see a thread discussing tips for going to conventions cheaply. I think it would be a worthwhile discussion. I recently went to AC, and it cost me over $400, to my knowledge. I'd like to avoid spending so much in the future.

Any recommendations for being able to get in on all the fun while still maintaining a strict budget?


Inglorious Bastard
Budget in advance and be disciplined not to spent over 200+ dollars in the artist's alley/dealers den.

At most, you want your budget to include:

Gas and tolls (If traveling by car)
Registration (if you haven't had a chance to Pre-reg)
Food, etc.

If you are planning to travel far and the convention isn't close to you, it's hard to travel on less than 400. At most, you want to save in advance.


I've gone to two cons. One was local so I only spent around $45. (Not counting the $50 I spent in the Artists Ally/Dealers room).
The second was in a different city (same state though) and cost around $300. The hotel wasn't cheap. -_-


Lady of the lake
from what i have seen $400 is actually pretty cheap.
AC is a big and long convention, its easy to spend more than that.
so really i suggest that you save your money over the course of the year so that you have enough for AC.
if you dont live near pittsburgh you have to get there which is expensive. then there is the hotel which is expensive. then there is food which isnt exactly cheap as well. and im sure you would want to buy at least a few small things from the artists there.
so i think 400 is pretty much the minimum if you dont happen to live in pittsburgh. the only way i could see to save more money is a different way of transportation (maybe someone in the fandom can pick you up along the way!) and trying to share a room with more people.
that of course bares a few problems. your driver might not be able to make it or someone you want to share the hotel room with drops out. in each case you would have to find a last minute replacement which might jeopardize the whole trip.


-Split room with as many people as possible or crash at a friend's house and give them some money if they live close
-Flying is always the most expensive. Try to either bus (as shitty as it is) or carpool (if you can).
-don't buy overhyped overpriced commissions from people because they're popular. Look for the underappreciated artists that are basically giving their stuff away that is still good
-If you're really cheap, you could pack a cooler (if you're staying somewhere without a fridge) and take sandwich making stuff and drinks and etc from home. You can always refill the cooler with free ice from the hotel if you're at one.


New Member
Everything depends on the part of the world convention is held. In my case, ans this is Middle-Eastern europe, 400$ is practically not an option (this is half of my monthly salary). Normally national convention would cost me approximately 80-90$ plus I can spend some money on DD. This means, that I will spend not more than 150$ total (all inclusive).

How to reduce costs?
- try to seek for cheaper accomodation option (multi bed rooms, in case of cottage houses, lower standards)
- try to use public communication; if you need to go by car, make sure that car is full of people as you wish to split costs of fuel and tolls
- bring some food with you, if not possible, try to buy cheaper food; do not take option with hotel meals, might be more expensive
- limit your budget on DD, as this might cost you quite much
- try to avoid extra spending - like heavy parties etc.

Nothing new, I beleive. It is good to create your planned budget, and try to keep it realistic. And stick to it. spent extra money only if this is necessary (remember, that sometimes it is good to spend extra couple of $ to have good memories).


Well-Known Member
  • Split a room at Motel 6
  • Ramen
  • Skip registration and just hang out at the bar or lobby...

Traveling is not expensive if you can split a room but yeah, a plane ticket will cost you a couple hundred bucks.