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FAQ: How much will it cost me (dollars) to go to Dragon*Con 20XX?

Offline Trathor

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EDIT:  I made this chronologically agnostic - although upon request I'll modify the specific amounts of money yearly... just keep in mind things like hotel rates can easily vary by what you have been able to pin down. 

EDIT for 2015: Updated numbers for hotels and did some slight rounding to make ur easier to follow the math. 

I get asked this question often... so here is my rough breakdown.  The disclaimer is, depending on how frugal you are, you can change these numbers a lot, but it should give you an idea:   

(1) Hotel Rooms/ Where are you gonna pass out? 
Virtually everyone I know much prefers to stay at one of the main convention hotels, but you can make this cheaper if you:
 - Stay at a remote hotel
 - Stay with 'friends in Atlanta'
 - Don't sleep and walk around like a Zombie after 18+ hours
I do not recommend any of those three things.... so therefore the host hotels are the way to go...
HOWEVER... they always are sold out FAST... not just Dragon*Con rooms, but all rooms. 
 Quick Breakdown of Hotels (based on recent years past): 
 - Hyatt:  Party Hotel, many of the events are in this hotel
 - Marriott:  Other main hotel, something about this hotel feels more controlled, and it is between the Hyatt and the Hilton.  'Center of mass.' 
 - Hilton:  Gaming Hotel.  Much less hectic... which can be a plus for some people.  At right angles with the Marriott and the Sheraton. 
 - Sheraton:  Trekkies, Star Wars and BSG people were here mainly.  They also have the best pool events. 
 - Weston:  'Newest' host hotel.
 - Overflow Hotels:  Many all around, and some for much much cheaper.  I assume here you are at a Con Rate, which puts the cost around the middle. 

Next variable for rooms is how many people do you want in a room?  Technically you can only have 1-4 people in a room.  If you exceed that, it's on you.  Let's say you stay at the Hilton and put 4 to a room (and pay for that rate): 
[$229-ish + $36.64 (16% taxes and fees)]/4 = 66.41 per person, per night. 
If you stay 3 nights:
Hotel Cost:  $199.23
(This being said, I highly recommend arriving Thursday, since there is already activity going on Thursday night!) 
More information on hotels:
http://www.dragoncon.org/location.php#Host_Hotels

(2) Ticket to the Con
Next most expensive item does not have any good way to drop the price that I would recommend other than buying your ticket early.  In fact, that reminds me to remind everyone DO NOT LOSE YOUR TICKET.  When someone does, it sucks - they make you buy a new one.  Remember, the sooner you buy your ticket, the less expensive it is. 
Dragon*Con store
http://store.dragoncon.org/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=26&products_id=774
Tickets to Dragon*Con: $75-$150 or so
(Ticket costs generally increase every year)

Oh, and don't be that person that thinks they are cool trying to sneak around without a badge. 

(3) Food/ Alcohol
Food/Alcohol could be the next most expensive thing, kinda depends on how you play your hand.  I like to go cheaper here than most people, hence, you will tend to see me bring; stuff for PB&J, granola bars, little debbies, soda/drinks, liquer, etc.  When bringing in alcohol, do not bring it in a cooler, as the hotel staff will ask to check for it.  Two coolers (or three) is ideal.  One for drinks, one for other food, and one for drinking ice.  We tend to just buy the $1.99 styrofoam coolers from the grocery store on the way in.  There is a food-court close, they will sell whole pizza's, as well as everything else you can think of.  Also, there will be food vendors all over the Con... I remember one year I somehow scored all of the free overheated personal pizza's I could eat... I think I ate 4-5... maybe a burger too... I was probably intoxicated...
Anyway, let's say you spend $10/meal on food, and that covers alcohol and when you buy from vendors when you drank too much... that is about $130, which is more than the Dragon*Con ticket, but has variability, but we'll stick to:
Food at Dragon*Con: $130

(4) Gas/Parking. 
This tends to be "by-the-car".  Parking is about $30/night ($25-ish for parking deck, $35-ish, plus tips for hotel parking), and I'm gonna pull a wild number out of my derriere that gas will cost about $100.  + $120 for parking, with at least three people in the car that is:
Gas and Parking at Dragon*Con: ($100+$120)/3 = $73.33
(I know a lot of cars get better gas milage/ etc... this could be cut substantially)
Note other threads talk about further options for car parking. 

(5) Incidentals. 
You can tip the man that insists on quarantining your bag when you are checking in- I think it's entrapment, but I have paid them a five-spot or two now and then.  Also game tickets generally cost $3 per game (games generally last 4-5 hours).  If you wanna buy a T-Shirt or such, there are plenty of people who will sell you one.  Also, there are ball-rooms full of vendors selling cool stuff and giving stuff away.  I tend to not spend much in this category... at least I never plan to, unless Elmore has something I'm ready to kill for.
Incidentals: $0.

One rockin', no holds-barred, weekend of your dreams:  Priceless

If you prefer a estimate from a Medici:
$199 + $75 + $130 + $75 + $0 = $479
« Last Edit: August 25, 2015, 11:15:45 AM by Trathor »
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Offline Martele d'Acre

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Re: FAQ: How much will Dragon*Con 2009 cost luxury?
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2009, 01:44:23 AM »
I get asked this question often... so here is my rough breakdown. The disclaimer is, depending on how frugal you are, you can change these numbers a lot, but it should give you an idea:

This is all additional information from a con attendee that tends to go the luxury route. I support all information given in the above post. It is good advice. I only describe how my wife and I do things at DragonCon. Costs are listed as totals, not per person. If you want to know the per person amount just divide the cost by 2. It will not work that way for more than 2 people because certain costs, like eating at a restaurant would be higher with more people.

You have to understand that we are older now and well established empty nesters. When I was in college I once went to Mardi Gras in New Orleans for $35, 1 tank of gasoline for my Camaro and a bottle of Jack Daniels. Granted gas was $0.75 a gallon and Lucky Dogs were still $0.50. Plus I slept on the hood of my car in a friend’s backyard. So I do understand when there is a need for trimming costs.

Hotel Rooms/ Where are you gonna pass out?We reserved our yearly one bedroom suite at the Hyatt in September 2008. It was obvious with the addition of the football game, reservations needed to be made early. We are staying Wednesday to Wednesday.
We get an additional double room attached to our bedroom. Mostly this room is used to for storage, as we are major costumers. It is also used as a dressing room if needed and a man cave. So in total that gives us three bathrooms, 3 beds and a sleeper sofa; also an incredible amount of towels, soap, shampoo, coffee, but alas no microwave.

If you stay 7 nights:
Hotel Cost  $5036.50


(2) Ticket to the Con
Next most expensive item does not have any good way to drop the price that I would recommend other than buying your ticket early

The badge thing I have done 2 ways: ticket master and buying your tickets early. Once at ticket master I had to wait about 10 minutes in line, once about 3 hours. I have never gone through pre-pay/buy early in 10 minutes. It has never taken less than 1 hour and 2 hours is more likely.

Every year I have noticed that the buying “at the door” line never has more than a few people in line. So for 2009 we are going to buy our passes when we get there. My time is worth more than I ever could save by going pre-pay even at the cheapest price.

Tickets to Dragon*Con:  $200

(3) Food/ Alcohol
When bringing in alcohol, do not bring it in a cooler, as the hotel staff will ask to check for it

Good advice.

We do take food and beverages. I take 6 two liter bottles of soda. That’s because I have box that they fit in perfectly. (This applies only if you are using ground transportation. (Do not put carbonated beverages in your checked luggage if you are flying.) We take an air popcorn maker and plenty of popcorn, one of those hot dog makers that cook the hot dogs by spinning them on little heating rods and a few packs of hot dogs with buns and condiments, canned meat like Spam and Deviled Ham and sliced bread, instant grits, Velveeta, picante sauce and chili to put in a mini crock pot and tortilla chips to go with that. We get one or two pre-packed sausage and cracker trays to put out at parties and maybe a vegetable tray as well.

We pack the soda at home before we leave. The food we buy at the commissary at Fort McPherson on the way into town. (Fort McPherson is off Spring Street.)

Food taken to Dragon*Con: ~ $60.00

While at DragonCon we usually visit Gibney’s pub in Peachtree Center twice. ($50.00) We also eat at one of the fancy restaurants at one of the host hotels. ($150.00) and need to hit PittyPat’s Porch at least once for a real “healthy” Southern meal. ($60.00) We also hit the food court for about $40.00 just for quick munchies to keep the energy level up, this typically includes breakfast. We typically avoid the food vendors that are set up around the host hotels.

Food purchased to Dragon*Con: ~ $300.00

We carry our own liquor to DragonCon. As it turns out we have acquired the perfect box to store 24 sleeves of miniatures. Miniatures seem to be very popular as we host numerous parties and people can better keep up with how much they drink when they have to open a new bottle every time they make a drink. We typically bring home about 50% of the miniatures we take.

A typical selection of sleeves would be: 2 Dewers, 4 Jim Beam, 6 Smirnoff, 6 Captian Morgan, 4 Bacardi, 1 Tanquerey and 1 After Shock.

It varies by year but I think in 2008 we came home with (unopened sleeves) 4 Captain Morgan’s, 2 Smirnoff’s, 3 Bacardi’s, 2 Jim Beam’s and 1 Dewer’s. (Plus a few spare from opened sleeves.) Some of those we drink over the year and others will go to 2009.

We also take our personal favorites in 1.75 liter bottles: Bombay Sapphire and Barcardi Limon.

Liquor taken to Dragon*Con: ~ $360.00

Liquor brought home from Dragon*Con: ~ $110.00+

NET: ~  $250.00

NOTE: Based on making drinks in the room and bringing them down at a rate of 20 drinks per day for 4 days at $7.00 per drink.

Price Saved From Buying Every Drink from Dragon*Con: ~ $560.00+



(4) Gas/Parking. 
This tends to be "by-the-car". Parking is about $20/night…

I can only speak to parking at the Hyatt. It’s $24.00 per day for valet parking. They unload your car and reload it.

Gas taxes vary by state so where you are coming from determines your gas cost. If you are coming from the Southwest fill up on the border of Louisiana/Mississippi. Prices are lower in Louisiana. When going back fill up on the Alabama/ Mississippi border. Prices are lower in Alabama.

Either way don’t wait until you are at the state lines. Fill up 20 or so miles before the state lines.

If you stay 7 nights:
Parking at Dragon*Con: $168.00

(5) Incidentals.(I.E. – Tipping and Buying)
You can tip the man that insists on quarantining your bag when you are checking in- I think it's entrapment, but I have paid them a five-spot or two now and then.

Okay, this is the only time I am going to disagree with you.

Tipping
As I have said before we are heavy costumers. It typically takes three bell carts to get our stuff up to the room. We use locking footlockers. (For those of you flying, you can get TSA approved locks to put on your luggage. There is even a little light that comes on when TSA opens your bag without telling you.)

We tip valet parkers $2.00 every time they move the car for us. We typically start packing the car back up on Sunday as we have used most of the costumes and don’t want to do it all when we check out. So that is once when the car is parked, probably four times the car is brought to the loading area, and once when we leave. ($12.00)

We tip the guy that unloads the car $2.00 to $3.00 depending on how good he is. The same goes for the guy that loads the car when we check out.*

*Sometimes, not often, the bellman that takes a partial load down on Sunday or Monday, actually takes us to our car and loads it for us. When this happens he gets the entire tip: $1.00 per item plus the $2.00 for moving the car and the $2.00 to $3.00 for loading the car.

We tip the bellman that brings our stuff to our room $1 per item on average. This can easily be $50.00. It is not unusual for our stuff to take 3 bell carts. We also tip $1 per item on average when checking out. Although at least half of our stuff is already loaded when we check out.

Most bellmen that bring our stuff up give us their cell number and say call if you need anything. We always use it when taking stuff to the car, and occasionally for getting services that other staff is slow providing. There was a maintenance issue one year and the bellman personally brought up an engineer to resolve it. The next day another engineer showed up to fix it. I just told him it was already fixed.

Once we ended up in the International Tower. During check out there were people waiting in the hallway to get on an elevator. Most of them waited hours. I found the bellman that brought our stuff up and he took us down the service elevator, dropped us in the lobby and took our luggage down to the parking deck and waited on us to get there. It took about 20 minutes once I found him. Well worth the good tip when we checked in.

Typically we give the wait staff at restaurants 20%. This is included in the above food cost. Last year we had the same waiter as the year before at the fancy restaurant in the Hyatt. He actually remembered us after only a slight memory refresh. He then remembered exactly how my wife liked her steak and made sure the kitchen prepared it that way: seared in a fresh pan rather than on the grill and no seasoning or garnish.

Okay, enough on the virtues of tipping. Here are the basics for the younger and cost conscious crowd.

Valet parking: A tip is not required
Bellman Service: $1.00 per bag is standard, but consider it the size of a bag you would have to check on an airplane. Several small bags can be considered one bag.
Housekeeping: A tip is not required. If you trash your room leave a tip. If you don’t trash your room consider $1.00 per day per bed.
Room Service: A substantial tip is already included so do not tip the guy that delivers it.
Restaurants:
Buffet style: $1.00 to $3.00 per seat based on quality of service.
Sit down style: 10% to 20% per seat based on quality of service.

Buying
I really don’t do this. I spent $0.00 in the dealer’s room last year.

If I find an antique game I might purchase it. Price is really what matters here. I always check to see if I can find it on eBay first.

At DragonCon there are certain pictures with celebrities, and autographs that cost. I have never bought those. I would consider it though. It mostly would depend on if I caught the right person at the right time. It hasn't happened yet and I'm not much for standing in lines.

Buying at Dragon*Con: $0.00


One rockin', no holds-barred, weekend of your dreams: Priceless
« Last Edit: January 28, 2009, 09:49:28 PM by Martele »
When will the world learn that a million men are of no importance compared with one man? [Henry David Thoreau]

Offline Trathor

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Re: FAQ: How much will it cost me (dollars) to go to Dragon*Con 2009?
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2009, 09:44:26 AM »
Martele,

Excellent follow up!  I'm going to have to direct some of my peeps to your response here.  Most of the people who ask me are along the lines of "I don't think I can try Dragon*Con because of the money... how expensive is it?"   

Each year I think my group leans a little more towards nicer rooms with more space and not letting cash be as much of a restriction as it has in the past.  The room setup  you describe is quite nice.  (Although we still have not dressed up at a Dragon*Con yet, so we don't really have that much stuff.) 

As far as the tipping part... what bugs me is we have a parking deck we like to park in, so we don't use the hotel parking, and we walk in with very minimalist stuff... very easy for each of us to carry on our own... and several years we have had people try to grab our bags and tell us we are required to leave them on the dolly's while one of us (me) goes and get's our room keys.  It's just too pushy for my taste.  I don't mind tipping, and tipping well (I have been known to tip over 50% if a waiter is really on their game) - I just got a bad taste in my mouth from the check-in/ check-out process my first few years at the Hyatt that has put me off ever since.  I'm sure if we ever get into the lugging in loads of costumes and gear my attitude will change instantly. 

Man, it sounds like you guys have a great setup.  Popcorn and your own hot-dog maker?  You guys know how to do it right! 
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Offline Muerandah

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Re: FAQ: How much will it cost me (dollars) to go to Dragon*Con 2009?
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2009, 02:52:51 PM »
Gotta love that waiter at Avanzae.  He did great remembering how I liked my steak.

Offline scarfyrre

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Re: FAQ: How much will it cost me (dollars) to go to Dragon*Con 2009?
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2009, 03:35:39 PM »

I'm gonna add my bit in here as well. :)

I'm, well, older than most con-goers, although I'm not near close to empty nest yet, but I like my comfort.  My hotel bill at the Hyatt at con prices was over $800 with arrival on Thursday and check-out on Monday.  Just a normal double.  I parked at the hotel, so that was included in the bill.  I know some people need to go cheaper with the room (I had a roomie, but since I'm not a single mother like she is, I only had her chip in a couple hundred and that included unlimited pie ;)), but I wouldn't recommend more than 2-3 other people in a room.  Sleep is VERY important because the crud goes around, and you do not want to spend Sunday night sick in bed.

Minimum on room at main hotel:  $200

I brought some food (for an extra $10 a day, I think, I rented a fridge from the hotel), and daily I'd eat some noodle dish at the food court for carbs.  I think I spent $50 on food at the con.  Do NOT eat at the food stations unless they're giving it away.  I think it was $7 for a dry hamburger.

I made the infamous DragonCon Pie for everyone, which probably cost me under $100.  If you're unfamiliar with pie, it's a drink made with Everclear and it is soooo good.  I had a huge travel mug I filled and carried with me all night.  I shared with everyone, and still had pie to get rid of Monday.  I highly recommend making huge batches of punch-like drinks and carry the mug.  If you're a beer drinker, well, either you pay at the bar or you go to your room a lot. ;)

Alcohol:  $100

Autographs and photos cost, and it varies with the celebrity.  I only got one last year, so it was only $50 (Hey, it was Adam West and I grew up on Batman), but I would've spent more if I hadn't been lazy and got in line for Nathan Fillion and Hayden Panatierre.  No clue how much they were charging.  I curse that I didn't get Nathan's.  I'd kill for a "The hammer is my penis" siggie.  Sigh.  Anyhoo, make sure to check the guest list and factor in $50 per autograph.  I think some charge for pics, but since I get the siggies, too, I don't have a price on that.  The very nicest person I got autographs from was Kevin Sorbo.  He chatted with us for about 30 mins (we were last and it was closing down), posed for tons of pics, snuggled, and signed some super autographs.

Autographs:  $20-???

My weakness is mainly the vendors.  I always have to buy a t-shirt for my son ($10-15), and I end up buying something for costumes that I can't find elsewhere.  Last year I got three corsets (I want to say I spent about $300 on them as they were having a 3 for 2 special).  If you want to save money, don't go nuts buying collectibles (do some research on the going prices), gaming gear, or various leather wear, but do save up a couple of hundred dollars just in case.  Vendors include corsets, fetish wear, gaming gear, collectibles, t-shirts, swords, armor (leather), posters, and jewelry.

Toys: $0-$$$

My total for last year for gas, hotel, alcohol, food, and toys was about $1,300, but I wasn't trying to save much.  The corsets were my main goal, and I had planned accordingly.  One great thing about con is sharing with your friends.  Everyone brought something with them and we had brunch in my room on Friday, and since I had the pie, my room was stop one where everyone ate left-overs and stocked up on pie.  I plan on doing the same this year. :)

As for tipping, since I am a costumer and I tend to move into the hotel, I tip a bit more than $2 a bag.  I have boxes of crap. :)  I tossed the bellman a ten at arrival and at departure, and the valet (since I didn't go in and out) got a five from me, but I tend to over tip.  Just don't under tip!  Give at least $1 a bag, please!

Offline Martele d'Acre

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Re: FAQ: How much will it cost me (dollars) to go to Dragon*Con 2009?
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2009, 10:53:43 PM »
Good points scarfyrre and Trathor. Trathor thank you for the compliments. I hope you will both come to one of our parties and your guests are welcome as well.

As far as the tipping part... what bugs me is we have a parking deck we like to park in, so we don't use the hotel parking, and we walk in with very minimalist stuff... very easy for each of us to carry on our own... and several years we have had people try to grab our bags and tell us we are required to leave them...
Oh I understand that. If I only had a rolling suitcase and a backpack I would not let the bellmen take them. I hope you understand that you do not have give your bags to them. As long as your baggage can be secured by yourself (held in your hands) you can keep them. It’s only when you have more baggage than you can carry that bellmen are needed/required. Plus these folks are working mostly for tips I think. So they tend to be a bit aggressive.

When and if you get into costuming it will change your mind. You will probably even take up parking in the hotel garage after the first year. ;)

Man, it sounds like you guys have a great setup.  Popcorn and your own hot-dog maker?  You guys know how to do it right! 
You learn quickly over the years.
So don’t fight the line at consuite; come on up and we will start some hotdogs. :)  However I do recommend several passes each day through consuite to hydrate. They may not have the best food but they always have bottled water and sports drinks (PowerAde, etc.)

scarfyrre I don’t mind buying stuff in the dealer’s room. I just haven’t found what I wanted yet. My wife, I think, may have bought some things. She likes the costume stuff that is offered but normally just takes a business card and then contacts them for custom made things.

I collect antique board games so I am always looking for those. They are not really big sellers at Cons though. There are a few other things I would like to find: Hobbit feet are number one.

Anyway, I will start a new thread once the party schedule is set up so anyone in this forum can see it and know they are invited.

Marty
When will the world learn that a million men are of no importance compared with one man? [Henry David Thoreau]

Offline Trathor

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Re: FAQ: How much will it cost me (dollars) to go to Dragon*Con 2009?
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2009, 11:06:12 PM »
Thanks Marty!  I definitely want to come to one or more of your parties! 

Each year we come closer to doing costuming... I'm hoping this is the year I really get into it.  I just need to focus on a good group theme and get some people together for it. 

Good call pointing out the Consuite!  I did not know about it the first year or two... and then read about it, but did not find it... finally I found it and you are right... great place to hydrate, or check for random munchies... they tend to bring out "good food" in fits and spurts... but those subway sandwitches go fast!  Funny thing is, I think less than 10% of the con even knows about the suite... maybe that is a good thing?!?!  ;-)

Last year we were in the room right over the Consuite... nice to have that easy access... but this year we are going to be in the Marriott.  I was not able to get the Dragon*Con rate... but at least I was able to get several rooms over there. 
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Offline scarfyrre

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Re: FAQ: How much will it cost me (dollars) to go to Dragon*Con 2009?
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2009, 11:41:25 PM »


The Consuite is an excellent thing to point out.  I haven't been because I carry my own water with me, but hydration is very, VERY important at D*C, so everyone needs to find it.  There's also water stations all over the place so remember to fill up the bottle you have or at least at drink a glass every hour.

One hint I forgot from a fellow Conslut:  MARTA has a parking garage at the Lindbergh station, which is just a couple (I think) stops from the hotels, and he parked there for the weekend after dropping off his luggage.  I think it was $30 for the whole weekend.  Just make sure to hide all electronics and change...well, do that even if you valet.

Offline Trathor

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Re: FAQ: How much will it cost me (dollars) to go to Dragon*Con 2009?
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2009, 08:22:44 AM »


The Consuite is an excellent thing to point out.  I haven't been because I carry my own water with me, but hydration is very, VERY important at D*C, so everyone needs to find it.  There's also water stations all over the place so remember to fill up the bottle you have or at least at drink a glass every hour.

One hint I forgot from a fellow Conslut:  MARTA has a parking garage at the Lindbergh station, which is just a couple (I think) stops from the hotels, and he parked there for the weekend after dropping off his luggage.  I think it was $30 for the whole weekend.  Just make sure to hide all electronics and change...well, do that even if you valet.
Good call on the parking too! 

Maybe we should make another thread "tips and tricks for the con"... if someone wants to beat me to it, feel free! 
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Offline Muerandah

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Re: FAQ: How much will it cost me (dollars) to go to Dragon*Con 2009?
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2009, 03:21:24 PM »
Thanks Marty!  I definitely want to come to one or more of your parties! 

You'll be more than welcome. 

Randa (aka Mrs. Marty)

Offline Vondor

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Re: FAQ: How much will it cost me (dollars) to go to Dragon*Con 2009?
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2009, 01:29:35 PM »
I tend to over tip.  Especially if my car is parked at the hotel, I don't get it out until I leave.  I usually tip a valet $10-20.  I don't want any accidental scratches on on my car.  And a tip will sometimes make a closed garage open.  I usually tip the bellhop $ 1/bag.  And I usually tip housekeeping, especially when I stay with Trathor.  He makes a mess. 
   The Consuite is key.  Especially at snack time. And for sodas.

Offline Martele d'Acre

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Re: FAQ: How much will it cost me (dollars) to go to Dragon*Con 2009?
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2009, 11:35:25 PM »
>>
I tend to over tip.  Especially if my car is parked at the hotel, I don't get it out until I leave.  I usually tip a valet $10-20 the $25 per night to stay. however, there has never been an exception that a vacation.
<<
It just depends on what they do for you. If you are going to need your car over the weekend, a good tip gets it in at a good place. Well, actually several good tips can make a weekend parking a lot less expensive.

I leave mine in one place for the weekend. There are plenty of good places to eat nearby: Pittipat's Poach, the food court, Gibny's has in Peachtree. The Marriott has a good restaurant and sporrts bar.
When will the world learn that a million men are of no importance compared with one man? [Henry David Thoreau]

Re: FAQ: How much will it cost me (dollars) to go to Dragon*Con 2009?
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2009, 02:55:39 PM »
Hello,

I thought I'd touch on something that I think was missed and might interest folks. 

No one had touched on it yet however transportation is a major cost for many people. 
Depending on how far out you are you may have or choose to fly.  Best way to get a good price is diligence.  Check airfare search engines daily.  Yes really daily, some seat sales are very quick to sell out, especially for the times you may need or wish to fly.

 Now if this is your first time traveling to Atlanta from your home, then you may not know what a good price for your airline ticket is.  This requires some research by monitoring websites and talking to other people.  I have traveled for 13 years to DC from my hometown so have a really good idea of the GREAT price, Good price and waaay too expensive.  ( I travel from Vancouver, BC Canada).  Great price out of Vancouver is 295.00 US , good price is under 400.00 US.  I live a two hourish drive from Seattle, WA.  So I can use that as an alternate airport.  Last year we paid 221.00 US (Air Tran) out of Seattle (Cnd and US $ were the same at the time).  This is a Great price and worth the drive as the Great price out of Vancouver is very very rare to find.

If you can try and travel on an airline that has Atlanta as its hub as they tend to price better.  Air Tran Airways and Delta both use Atlanta as a hub.  Some of the smaller airlines may also have good deals.

Websites I use are expedia, travelocity, farecast and the airlines themselves.  I often use the first three sites to find prices and then go the airlines themselves to check if they have it cheaper or same price.  I have bought from expedia and travelocity in the past without any problems.

Things to remember when searching for flights:

1.Research is your best friend on finding cheap flights. 
2.Know your budget and make sure flights can be had at the price
3.Look at alternate airports if they are close enough
4.Check daily
5.Have room on your credit card to buy when the price is good.

I think that about covers it.

I've been staying at the Hyatt since 98 and this year we are giving the Marriott a try.  We usually stay on the Regency Club floor but they had already sold out the day after we got home from con last year.  This is my last year for a bit as I need to use my money for other travels.  Hope to make it back in 2012.

My pricing with 4 in a room staying Thurs to Tues Regency club is around $250 /person
Flight is around $250-$400
Food (Regency club has free continental breakfast and appies for dinner so we usued to only eat there for those meals) $235
       - tip concierge in Regency Club room $5/ 2people per meal $25
       - Lunches at food court about $10/ each so $50
       - groceries bought at Kroger $60
       - msc $100
Purchasing stuff- I usually budget around $200 but rarely spend anything these days as I've been going so long.

So around $1100 is what my vacation costs all said and done. 



Offline Trathor

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Re: FAQ: How much will it cost me (dollars) to go to Dragon*Con 2009?
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2009, 03:31:46 PM »
Oh, good point about Delta and AirTran! 

I have frequent flier miles with Delta, although never figured out how to use them... but it should be much easier to cash them in to Atlanta! 
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Offline scarfyrre

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Re: FAQ: How much will it cost me (dollars) to go to Dragon*Con 2009?
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2009, 11:40:13 PM »


I just read in a magazine about some hints for finding good airfares, so I'll toss my pennies in (I drive, and if anyone lives in or near Savannah or on the way to Atlanta via 16/75 and needs a lift, let me know).

Look on sites like expedia.com and all the others for air fare starting Monday after 3pm Eastern until Wednesday.  Those are the days they're starting to get rid of seats.  Thursdays is when the normal prices are.  Once you find a price and time on one of the search engine sites, go to the actual airline site and check with them.  Sometimes they have discounts when you book by using their site.  Make sure you write down the flight number and time so you can compare.

If you have a good car and it would be an eight hour or less drive, I suggest driving.  Gas has gone waaaay down, and you can unload the car at the hotel and park at one of the MARTA stations (I'll get the one James parked at last year) for cheaper than valet at the hotel.  I'm probably going to do that this year since I didn't leave once I got at con.

In fact, I may start a "I can share a ride" thread if that's cool, trathor?

Also, if you fly and have a ton of stuff for costumes or whatever, see how much it would cost fedex or ups to ship to the hotels.  Airlines are really starting to gouge us with baggage fees.  I have a jeep with room, and I might be able to offer my addy and I'll load up your stuff with mine and bring it up. :)  It'll cost, though, and price will be within the con spirit. ;)