Traveling for Conventions – Pros & Cons

Photo from Kansas City Comic Con – August 2021

It’s a little shocking, but I haven’t been to a single convention this year. I had plans on the weekends when the conventions were occurring, or I had to rethink my travel plans due to airfare price increases. In the past few years, I have found several out-of-state conventions that I love to attend. However, traveling for a convention has its downsides. I wanted to share my experience with traveling to conventions out of state along with the pros and cons of both.


Exploring a New City

Indianapolis (Gen Con), Chicago (C2E2), and Kansas City (Planet Comic Con) are all cities I have visited because there was a convention that I was able to attend. I have been to Chicago and Kansas City so many times and yet I always find something new. It could be a new restaurant or brewery or a tourist attraction that I didn’t have time for on my prior trips.

Traveling + Conventions = My Two Favorite Things

Being able to combine my love of traveling with the thrill of attending a convention has been a blast. I like being able to be a tourist while also taking a day off and cosplaying or browsing the artists who are tabling at the event. I still have Emerald City Comic Con on my list to visit along with New York Comic Con.


Travel related expenses

I’m fortunate because I have friends and family in various parts of the US. However, that only goes so far. I need to decide how I’m getting to the convention (flying, driving, or taking a train). Once I figure out my method of transportation, I have to weigh out the costs and the PTO I have to take off of work. While I love road trips, I wouldn’t consider driving to Seattle for example because of how time-consuming that would be. It gets to the point of contemplating if I have money to travel especially now that I’m a homeowner.

Time Consuming

Traveling for a convention is time-consuming. It’s kind of nice to attend a convention within 2-3 hours of driving and be able to get home and relax. Waiting around at an airport, or spending 6+ hours in the car is a huge chunk of time out of my day.

In general, I do think it’s worth it to travel for a convention if you like the city the convention is held or the convention itself. I don’t think I would ever travel on a whim to a convention unless I researched the con beforehand. How far have you traveled for a convention? Let me know in the comments below.

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