Are you tired of watching PAX on the internet? Tired of seeing all the fun everybody is having while you stay at home? Have you finally decided, “Enough is enough. I’m going to PAX!”? Well, if you have answered “yes” to any of these questions, you’ve taken the first step closer to attending the awesome three-day extravaganza known as the Penny Arcade Expo! To help you along your journey and to make sure you have a fun and safe time, here are the must have things to enjoy yourself at PAX East in Boston, Massachusetts:
1. Comfortable Shoes/Clothes
I think this goes without saying, if you’re going to be standing and walking around for 3 days straight with sometimes little sleep, comfortable shoes and clothes are a must.
This really varies on a person to person bases on how much to bring. I would say no less than $150 minimum, most of the restaurants close to the convention center in Boston are expensive and slightly up-scale. Also if you’re traveling by taxi that is going to add up fast!
3. Bus Pass
Buy a 7-day Charlie Ticket it cost $15 and it allows you to ride all the local public transportation as many times as you would like a day. The public transportation in Boston is amazing and can take you from downtown to the airport, to uptown and back!
Boston gets pretty cold around the time of PAX East, especially if it’s windy. Check the weather before you leave, you are going to want to take a jacket, possibly even two.
5. Backpack/Extra Bag
SWAG, SWAG, and more SWAG! You are going to come back with more t-shirts and random junk then you left with, having a day bag at the convention is a god send instead having to hand carry everything, and also to help lighten the load on your suitcase from all the extra stuff you’ll be taking back with you!
6. Phone and Charger
This one is crucial. You probably won’t forget to take your phone, you’re going to need to get in contact with people while there to meet up, or possibly so your mom can make sure you haven’t died. The really crucial part here is remembering to take your phone charger, not just on the trip but remembering to take it with you to the convention each day too! Your battery is going to die and you’ll be thankful you can charge it during the day.
7. A Friend
What is seeing all these awesome video games, tabletop games, and cosplay if you can’t share it with a friend. Waiting in line, eating, and just enjoying the con are a billion times more fun with someone there to joke, admire, and consume the event with.
As much fun as your having already with your friend, you’re going to want to reminisce about it later and show your mom just exactly what you were doing while there. A camera is a great way to capture the event. If you’re using your phones camera Item Number 6 is a NO BRAINER!
As much as we all love to pay the $4 price for an off labeled brand of water, it’s going to cut into your spending money fast and often. Best thing to do to combat this is pay for one bottle and refill it the drinking fountains the rest of the trip, or just bring one with you. If you have a CamelBak this can double as a backpack and water container, look at you killing two birds with one stone!
10. Handheld Entertainment
You’re going to have to wait in line, it’s going to happen. Oh don’t believe me, fine go to PAX East yourself and see… I told you. Now, you should definitely bring some sort of hand-held entertainment, be it a Nintendo DS/3DS, PSP/PS Vita, or hell even a book (I suggest Ready Player One, it’s a great book especially if you love video games!)
11. Hand Sanitizer
This is going to be your most prized possession of the whole trip. “Why?”, you ask, well unless you want to come home with the Gamer Flu, or the PAX Plague, I suggest you either bring your own bottle and use it religiously after you touch anything, or at the very least use the ones provided for you in the lobbies of the convention center. Also make sure your washing your hands after you use the restroom, that’s just common sense though right?
12. Facebook and Twitter Account
Yea, yea, I can hear you whining already. “But I don’t use Facebook or Twitter because their evil and I’m so hipster I still use Xanga!” The cold hard truth is all the developers and publishers use Facebook and Twitter to promote and hold awesome contests during the event. It’s a great way to have a chance at winning some awesome prizes!
13. A Plan (booths/panels/nightlife)
There is so much going on at PAX East from seeing the show floor, catching Panels, watching live concerts, and even seeing awesome cosplay! Getting together with your friend and creating a scheduled plan is a great thing to have. The times for the Panels and concerts usual go up about a month or so before the event. Also if your 21 or older make sure to check out the local bars and nightlife, downtown Boston is a great place to have a drink.
With all the waiting in line, waiting in line to wait in line, and the every growing number of attendees, having some patience is key to having a good time. Take a breath, and remember you have three days to see the show floor, so take a day or two to go see some panels and just hang out with the community, I’m sure you’ll make some great friends!
15. Have fun!
Ultimately have fun! If you’re not having fun, or obviously doing it so wrong! There is so much see and do, and tons of people of meet. Remember you’re there for fun and awesome games. Don’t waste it by worrying about other people. You’re going to do great kid.