March 3, 2011

Tips for Getting a Place to Sleep at San Diego Comic-Con

It's becoming harder and harder to actually get to San Diego Comic-Con.  If you make it through the gauntlet that is purchasing tickets, you have another quest to face - getting a bed to sleep in.  Hotels set aside huge blocks of rooms each year for Comic-Con attendees, and they're at a discounted price.  Even with a lot of rooms reaching from next door to the convention center to several miles away, they disappear fast.  It's not easy to accomodate a sudden influx of 125,000+ people.

Comic-Con uses a system that seems convoluted but apparently works.  They release the block of rooms to the general public at the same time.  We fight tooth and nail to get through on the set day by internet and phone.  It's bloody - bloody frustrating.  I actually can't complain; I really lucked out last year and got the fifth hotel on my list.  I read about plenty of issues getting through and lost information though.  This year, hotel rooms go on sale Wednesday, March 9, at 9am PST (2013: It's February 26 at 9am PST).  I don't have any magical solutions to help you get a room at the Hilton, but here are some tips that will make your life a little easier next Wednesday morning:

- Read all the information on the Comic-Con hotel page about how registration works.  They even have a handy, downloadable PDF documenting the process.

- Don't wait until an hour before tickets go on sale to do your hotel research!  You can find a premlinary list of all hotels in the block here.  The list shows the rate, mileage from the convention center, and whether there is a shuttle to and from the convention.  Remember that the rate only includes the room.  If the rate is more important to you than proximity, visit each hotel's website.  Look at parking costs (it can range from $10-$30 a night), internet costs, nearby food, etc.  Look at the trolley route to see if it's an option when the shuttle isn't.

- After you've looked at hotels, make a list of twenty in order from most preferred to least preferred.  You will need to enter these or pick them from a dropdown menu when you make your reservation.
2013 update: it's now 6 hotels instead of 20

- If you are planning to share a room with friends, don't leave it to just one person to book the room.  You should all try to increase your chances of getting what you want (or getting anything at all).  You do not have to pay a deposit immediately, but even if you commit to a room and pay a deposit, you can cancel the room and get a refund until May 10.
2013 update: the refund date is April 30

- The buddy system in general isn't a bad idea.  The positive is that the more people that try to book one room, the greater likelihood of success.  The negative is that you're adding even more people to an already busy queue.

- Have all the information you might need for the reservation saved in a document and ready to copy/paste before registration starts.  Include your name, address, email address, phone number, names of all people that will be sleeping in the room, your list of hotels, credit card number, expiration date, CVV code, and the dates you want to stay.  It's less stressful and a little faster to just copy/paste everything in rather than typing.

- If you can't get through on the website or phone (though I think the internet is the best way to go) try, try, and try again.  Once you get into the online registration do not for the love of all things holy click Back or Refresh.

Go in with reasonable expectations.  Lots of people will get screwed, and you could be one of them.  Chin up though, lots of rooms do get canceled - especially around the last day of refundable cancellation.  In 2009, I scored a room at the Hilton across the street from the convention center in June.  June!! 

If you still don't get a room, use Twitter to make a friend in San Diego!


  1. Greetings!

    Found your blog on Twitter. My name is James P. Daniels (AKA Scooter Atreides) fellow Geek-Blogger:

    I'm trying to network with as many like-minded people in the internet journalism/geek interest community--I believe you to be such an individual XD. Come by and check out my blog whenever it's convenient.

    I also write for if you're familiar with their work.

    Hope to hear from you soon! ^_^

  2. Hiya James, nice to meet you! I do know (and enjoy), and I'll drop by your blog. :D

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  5. (parking tip: last year (2012) you could park free at Qualcom and pay to take the trolley:

  6. Sleeping is not any easy task that we have think, we think that we just take a bed and close our eye then we will go to sleep and that’s it. But have you noticed that when you going to bed for sleep you should spend 20 to 30 minutes for going into deep sleep why its happened, because of your bad mattress which not give you a perfect position easily for getting sleep, for getting rid of this problem please use the best mattress topper for getting deep sleep quickly and very comfortably.

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