If you’re new to the Anime convention scene and staying in a hotel room for the first time, you’ll either do 2 things: Book a hotel room only for yourself, or try to jam as many people in the room as you can (in order to save money). If you’ve stayed at several Anime cons, you’re most likely somewhere in the middle.
How many roommates are ideal for a convention weekend? I’ll go through the pros and cons of each. If you’ve been to several cons, this won’t be new to you. But for those planning to stay at a hotel in the future, this will definitely help you out:
Hotel by yourself
-You get to make your own rules since you’re the only one in your room!
-Don’t have to worry about sharing things like the washroom
-The most freedom you’ll have and by far the most relaxing – when you enter your room, you know it’s like a safe space away from the con and everyone else
-The most expensive option since you’ll be paying for the entire cost of the hotel. At a small con it’s not that big of a deal since a hotel is cheaper. But a large convention in the middle of downtown, it’ll definitely drain your bank account!
-Can be a lonely experience, especially when you hear your neighbours partying next door. But you can always meet people at a convention.
Overall: A good option but not the best option. However, sometimes you may not have a choice. I sometimes have a hotel room to myself when I travel alone to a U.S. convention. And having no roommates is better than having bad roommates, or nowhere to stay at a con.
Hotel with 1 roommate
-Compared to booking a hotel room by yourself, you already cut down the costs by 50%!
-Splitting the cost in half while still having relative privacy
-Depending on who you choose as a roommate, you can have all the benefits similar to having your own room. For example, maybe your roommate just wants a place to crash at the end of the night. So he/she will hardly be in the hotel using your stuff, and you still get to make your own rules.
-A roommate can still be a bad roommate, so choose carefully. As I mentioned in a previous post, all it takes is one roommate to ruin your entire convention weekend.
-Can still be expensive depending which con you’re attending (e.g. average hotel price for Dragon Con is $200+ a night, so if you stayed for 3 days, you’ll still be paying at least $400 on your end)
Overall: In my opinion, having only 1 hotel roommate is the BEST option. You get the most ideal circumstances of both worlds of “no roommates” and “many roommates.” Your hotel cost gets cut in half, so you save a bunch of money. And with only 1 roommate, you still almost have everything to yourself. You still get a bed that’s all yours (assuming you booked 2 double beds), and you only share a washroom with 1 other person.
I always opt for 1 roommate when I can, and I usually take one my close friends with me. I find I’m able to shoot the shit with my friend when the con is slowing down and catch up on times. It’s a nice way to get to know my friends a little bit more.
Hotel with a few roommates (3-6)
-Your hotel costs will significantly be reduced – a hotel that costs $100/night will now be $25/night or less, which is a big difference!
-If you’re more of a social guy/girl, you’ll love having a few hotel roomies to socialize with at all times
-Having a group of friends can be a lot of fun – now you have people to watch Anime or play video games with
-If you have a hotel party or get-together, you have roomies that can help you out
-There’s far less privacy when you have that more than 1 roommate. For an introvert like me, this type of hotel room isn’t a very relaxing place where I can recharge my social energy, since you’ll have to see and talk to your roommates
-You’ll have to take turns using the washroom or taking a shower, which isn’t a big deal but can be a hassle
-Again, like my previous post, one bad roommate can make your convention experience a bad one
-Have fun sharing a bed with other people. Or even worse, sleeping on the floor!
Overall: Having 3-6 roommates sharing a hotel room is probably the most affordable and realistic option for many congoers. I’d say depending on your personality, you may or may not like this setup. If you’re more extraverted, you’ll enjoy the good company, not to mention saving a few bucks on the room. But if you’re more introverted and need more space, you’ll find it more difficult to relax. For example, I had this hotel arrangement setup for YetiCon – I had 4 roomies. It was great having them since they were fun to be around and they’re great people. Partying with them was unforgettable! Also, with 5 people splitting 1 bedroom+sofa, the final cost to me was like pocket change compared to other cons I’ve been to (i.e. any convention in the U.S.). That being said, it was hard for me to unwind and relax with that many people in a room. And sharing a bed is something I don’t enjoy, but whatever. I wanted to bring my friends up to YetiCon, so I compromised for them! And it made for a great party atmosphere, which I’ll talk about later in this post.
Squatter Hotel Room – More than 10+ people in 1 room
-Uhh, I guess you save a lot of money by having that many people in a room? Maybe a $20 bill would be enough?
Cons – (Everything is bad about this!)
-I wish you luck getting ANYTHING done – changing your clothes, getting sleep, room for your bags – if you have that many people sleeping in your bed, sleeping on the floor, sleeping in the washroom?
-It only takes 1 person to cause trouble in your hotel room. With 10+ people, it’s all but guaranteed you will run into trouble.
-Since you have that many guests in your room, it will be hard to keep track of who’s coming in and out. Which means anyone basically can come into your room.
-This is something that’s overlooked, but stuffing your room with as many roomies as possible is a huge fire hazard. There’s a reason for the capacity limit.
Overall: I’ve seen hotel rooms with this many people. It’s like a gloried squatter room. Don’t do it. If you’re so strapped for cash that you need to invite as many people to cut the costs down, you shouldn’t bother with a hotel. Either commute to the con or find a cheaper place to stay and commute from there.
My Personal Experience
Again, my opinion is that having 1 roommate only is the best option. But sometimes it depends on the convention. For Anime North, which is in the same city as where I live (Toronto), I like to keep my hotel room to 1 roomie only. AN is more of a relax/chill con for me, so I don’t let many people stay in my room. However, a convention like YetiCon, I like to party a little harder! So I let a few more roommates stay with me because it feels more like a party atmosphere. Playing Jackbox and drinking booze with my hotel buddies was hella fun!
If the convention is out of town, I’m usually alone. I’d be lucky to have 1 roommate with me (a few times I did). Unfortunately, a lot of my friends can’t afford to travel to a convention outside of my home province. And I personally won’t take the risk of finding con roommates online, just to save a few dollars. If I can afford to travel there, I can afford to pay a hotel room on my own for peace of mind!
How many roommates are in your hotel during a convention? And what’s your preferred amount? Let me know in the comments section!