Fan Faire Prep - The Lists

9 days out from Fan Faire and I'm in List Making Mode. I inherited a bit of travel anxiety and it manifests by over-doing travel preparations, so there are several lists. The Kid List, the Car List, the Must Leave at Grandma's List, the Gotta Buy Before We Go List and the Miscellany That I Don't Dare Forget List. Oh, and the To Do Before We Go List. (I need a Lists List!) Normally I can pack for a weekend in a carry-on, but Fan Faire and working for ZAM seems to eat baggage allowance fast.

The Miscellany list is the one I fret most about (except the Kids list, but I hear that's normal for moms).  Any thing missing off this list and I spend precious time and money on a side trip, and I'm short on both.  It includes stuff like my laptop charger, iPod adapter, digital recorder, camera, approximately 17 USB cables (as it seems *nothing* I have uses a standard USB cable), a hub for the 17 USB cables, and the phone charger, which isn't USB at all.

About half of that is necessary for the job.  I suspect most Fan Faire attendees don't haul a whole computer system around with them and don't need to produce content while partyin' with the devs.

Personal packing started getting hairy when I realized I'll be gone for seven days, counting drive time to abandon my children at Grandma's.  Does anyone else have to travel four days to enjoy three days in Vegas kid-free?  This ain't a "throw two pairs of undies and a toothbrush in a bag" trip.  I'm a jeans and t-shirt girl usually, but I never get to dress up and I suspect that shoes are going to eat a lot of suitcase space.  I've also got to cram that coffee pot in there or resign myself to room service coffee.

To reward you for wading through all that babble, here's a couple more lists.

More travel tips:

  • ID: Be sure that your photo identification and/or passport exactly match the name on your plane tickets!  Customs can be especially picky about this.
  • Tags Inside and Out: Airlines recommend you put your contact information inside your luggage as well as on a regular luggage tag.  Tags get ripped off.  Include phone numbers at home and away, who knows where they'll lose it?
  • Be Comfy:  Planes aren't comfortable at all unless you're in first class.  For comfort and a smooth ride, pick a seat over the wings. For silence, sit as far forward as possible, but avoid the galley and rest rooms. For leg room, try the first row or seats beside the emergency exits.
  • Plastic: Many airlines have gone "cashless" on board.  Check your airline's website and bring a credit/debit card if you want to eat more than the two teaspoons of nuts they give you.
  • Gallon Zip Lock Bags: face it, your luggage is probably gonna get searched.  Sealing your stuff up in gallon bags not only helps you compress it, but helps the person searching it not trash your unmentionables.  By the way, if they open your bag while it's in transit they leave a nice little note for you.
  • Swag Transport: I always leave Fan Faire with more stuff than I brought.  I pack a small duffel that will serve as a second piece of luggage for all the phat lewt if needed.  I'm also considering using a couple USPS Priority flat-rate boxes to mail stuff back, as two of those is cheaper than the fee for a second bag.  Bally's even has a business center that probably has them.
  • Meds: Rijacki points out that luggage gets lost.  If you have prescription meds, she recommends packing twice what you'll need split in separate bags.  There is a pharmacy not too far away from the hotel if you need an emergency refill.
  • Valuables:  Call me paranoid, but for the same reason I bring my jewelry in my carry-on.  Ditto the really expensive electronics like my laptop and camcorder.
  • A Change of Clothes: again with the luggage paranoia, but I like to pack a change in my carry on, just in case.  I have to travel so far I'd really hate to have to wear the same clothes I traveled in the next day.

More random Fan Faire Tips:

  • What Happens in Vegas Ends Up on the Internet: There's a sign outside the Fan Faire area warning that by walking in you consent to having your image used.  Hence Ke'la linking that picture of me being thrown in the pool at FF '07 over and over again.
  • The Devs are Nice People: They genuinely like their jobs and are as nice a bunch of people as I've ever met.  Don't be shy about approaching them and saying hi!  (But remember they have panels and stuff to be at. lol)
  • Test Copy: There will be an EQII Tournament at Fan Faire, and Brenlo has Twittered a notice to copy a fresh toon to Test Copy *before* you leave for Fan Faire if you want to participate. 
  • Sign Up Early:  There's lots to do at Fan Faire, but sign up early.  For example, Live Band Karaoke is back this year, and there's never enough time to get everyone in.
  • Stay up late: Not only are there late-night gaming sessions, but Ashlanne has announced they want to try to do SOE Podcast #66 during one of those sessions.
  • Linkage:  If you're blogging or covering Fan Faire for your guild, friends, or just for fun, we'd love to link your stuff on our SOE Fan Faire page.  If you're a Premium Member, you can host pictures through your user page.



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You're crazy
# Jun 15 2009 at 11:41 PM Rating: Decent
I once did a 2 week inland travel here in Finland with practically no luggage... then again I did have to buy a change of clothes, max out my diners club and eventually get a job to pay that off, but it was much more ADVENTUROUS that way. You should try it out one day!
::innocent look:: I don't know what you are talking about...
# Jun 15 2009 at 2:58 PM Rating: Decent

No Idea at all. ;)
My 2cp
# Jun 15 2009 at 12:53 PM Rating: Excellent
Empress of News
2,350 posts
Nice article! Some very good pointers in there.

My addition is, for those of you who haven't traveled in a while, be prepared to pay a fee for checked-in bags on most US airlines. I think that was implemented about a year or so ago now.

I have had my bag searched once, and came up with a pair of missing undies. I don't want to know why or who took them, but it is possible for things to get misplaced (or worse) in a bag search. Make sure you have extra clothes and never pack anything valuable or irreplaceable in checked-in luggage. Also ensure that you read the list of items that are and aren't allowed, they do update them frequently.
Cyliena Velnarin | @Cyliena on Twitter

My 2cp
# Jun 15 2009 at 4:17 PM Rating: Decent
68 posts
I don't get an option to not pack irreplaceable items in my checked luggage. LOL. I can't bring all my costume items in just a small carry on. ;) So... TSA... please, please don't confiscate my cloaks and leathers!!
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