How to Pack for an Overseas Convention: A Guide for Cosplayers


How to Pack for an Overseas Convention: A Guide for Cosplayers

With the event dates for both 2011 Singapore Toy, Games & Comic Convention and Anime Festival Asia 2011 already announced, I’m sure a lot of local Japanese pop culture fans are already making travel plans.

Some of these plans may include a costume or two — and this requires additional thought on top of the usual travel plans. With years of overseas con experience both with and without costumes in tow, here are five tips to keep in mind when you pack for your very first Singapore con:

Pack armor, wings, weapons, and other large items in sturdy boxes.

Due to their large sizes and resemblance to real weapons, the airline will most likely not allow you to bring your armor and props with you as hand-carried luggage. To make sure your stuff survives the trip in the airplane’s checked luggage hold, pack them in a sturdy shipping box — like those they use for home appliances or balikbayan boxes. Make sure you include plenty of cushioning such as bubble wrap, styro balls, and wadded up newspapers — airline baggage handlers are not the most careful people in the world.

Keep street clothes to a minimum.

You’ll be spending most of your days at the convention center in costume anyway, so there’s no need to pack as many street clothes as you normally would on vacation. A couple of shirts, a pair of jeans you can wear repeatedly, and several sets of undies should be enough. You can always wear parts of your costume — like that white shirt or that black leather jacket, as street clothes.

Stay organized.

Use zippered organizer pouches (I recommend the ones from Saizen) to compartmentalize your suitcase. If your things are organized, it will be easier to see the amount of space you have to pack in everything you need. It is also easier to squeeze in — say, six pairs of socks in that small space in between your boots and your jeans, if they are packed flat in a single organizer pouch, instead of being balled up separately.

Check the limits on how much liquid you can bring with you.

The rule of thumb when it comes to liquids on a plane is 1000 ML in total: the equivalent of ten 100 ML containers, stored in a see-through Ziploc container. Liquids do not just mean drinks such as bottled water and juices, but also cosplay essentials such as liquid make-up, hair products, and cyanoacrylate glue (aka Greco). As much as possible, store your liquids in your check luggage. Otherwise, stick to the limits, or your items may be confiscated at the airport.

Bring adapters for your mobile phone, camera, photography equipment, and laptop chargers.

This is really important, especially if you’re bringing a lot of devices with you — not all countries share the same wall outlet configurations and voltage as the Philippines. For example, Thailand uses a similar two-prong 200V wall outlet for your phone charger, laptop, or hair dryer — but Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia use three-pronged circular wall outlets. You can easily buy adapters at your local hardware store or your specialty travel goods store.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. kaoko says:

    An extra tip: A handy travel-sized weighing scale is a good investment. It helps you keep within and maximize your baggage limits (Hello SHOPPING!). While there are scales at the airport proper, having your own helps you plan things as there’s not much you can do when you’re already at the airport with an extra 4 kilos.


  2. thanks for the tip, @kaoko!


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