zondag 4 maart 2012

Sleep: you will need it!

Most people are utterly empty after a convention. The reason for this happening is pretty simple: sleep deprivation. There are people that decide the don't want to miss a single second of the convention and go on for 48 to 72 hours. I don't need to tell you (and if I have to, you REALLY need to start paying attention now) that that is a BAD idea.

Getting sleep: you're doing it wrong!
I'd like to tell you a story about a guy, let's call him Steve, who wanted to see everything of the convention. He decided he also wanted to see everything from the video program. So he needed a way to stay up 48 hours. At the time, Steve thought it was a good idea to drink two whole trays of red bull (50 cans) at once. Well, long story short, Steve was brought to a hospital on Sunday because of a burnout... And this isn't a story, this actually happened. It's become an urban legend in the convention scene here, but I was there when it happened. Depriving your body of sleep and using large amounts of stimulating substances is bad for your body on the long term. Your body, but also your mind, NEEDS sleep.  So make sure you get some.

Getting sleep: you're doing it right!
Before you buy your ticket, check out the places where you can stay the night. Some people have an extensive network of friends to fall back on. Couch surfing is always a viable option (http://www.couchsurfing.org/). Check the forums. Sometimes there are threads about hotels, bed and breakfast or youth centers where you can spend a night or two. With these options you can get yourselves a cheap, sometimes free, place to sleep.

Your second option is the hotel where the convention is held or a hotel in the vicinity. Check some booking sites for the best price. Make sure it has breakfast included (free meals are good) otherwise add it. As I said in the previous article, a good breakfast is important. Single rooms are most of the the time just as expensive as a double, but the added privacy can be worth the money in terms of a good night sleep. Plus it can act as a place to store your stuff or cosplays when you're not using them.

hotel room don'ts
First off, I'd like to make something very clear. Bunking with more people in a room than the room allows is not cool, nor is it wise. The safety precautions are for only two people, the escape plan is only meant for the number of people in the hall that the rooms should hold. I do not consider that an option nor do I condone it. It can also cost you the room if the hotel finds out. And NO refunds for this either. You're also jeopardizing the convention itself. If it happens to often the convention may gave to move because the location doesn't want them back.

Also, make sure you leave the room tidy. Clean up your own messes and collect your towels properly. Stuff like vomiting or taking a dump in the trash can (yes, those things have happened on several conventions in several countries) is not only disgusting, it may be that the convention  gets the cleaning bill and may have to do a price hike the next year. So if you wouldn't do it at home, don't do it there.

Other options
If you really wanna go on the cheap you could consider sleeping in your car. Power naps are also a good idea if you get tired and don't wanna go to bed yet. BUT DON'T DO IT IN THE VIDEOROOMS! Or the nice steward may drag you out. Use common sense, build your budget right and you'll be fine.

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