The Cost of Comic-Con – Bavarian Erin Style

San Diego Comic Con

Since it’s been a while since I have thought about how much Comic-Con really costs me, putting all the figures down on paper, or, on screen, sort of gave me a little shock at first. Then, I thought about how it’s pretty much the highlight of my year and always so worth the money! I’ve got the figures for last year and some for this year, plus my budget amounts.


Flights out of my nearest airport, Cedar Rapids, are never cheap. They run at least $100 more than any other departure. In 2010 though I had enough American Airlines for a free flight for myself and had only to pay for my husband’s flight, which was $410. This year flights were more expensive and we both had to buy tickets. Even buying them early, back in December didn’t help. For the two tickets we paid $960

2010: $410         2011: $960


In 2010 we stayed at the Holiday In On-the-Bay, which is one of my favorite hotels, even if it’s not super close to the convention center. I booked the hotel in advance, not via Travel Planners and we stayed there for 5 nights. The total with taxes was $1400, $400 of which was returned to me by my friend Matt who bunked with us, so that’s $1000. This year, we’re calling the Residence Inn home for 6 nights at $209/night, plus taxes, $1400 total.

2010: $1410   2011: $2360

Airport Parking

Each year we park at our local airport, it’s worth the expense not to have to rely on others for rides. For 6 nights it’s $27.00.

2010:  $1437     2011: $2387

Doggy Camp

Our pug, Paxton, likes to stay at Camp Bow Wow and that runs us $35 a day x 7 days, $245.

2010:  $1682   2011: $2632


We’ve never rented a car, finding that the public transportation is always very affordable and convenient. The Holiday Inn has a free airport transfer too, but we need tips for the driver. We spent $30 on trolley tickets and shuttle tips. This year, we are planning a train trip up to Anaheim so we’ve budgeted $160 for those tickets, trolley passes and tips.

2010: $$1712  2011: $2792

Comic-Con Passes

As a comic book retailer, I have never had to pay for passes, I feel very fortuante in that way. My husband gets press passes via his video game website, so we pay $0 for the two of us.

2010: $1712    2011: $2792


This is my biggest expense, it always is, because I enjoy eating in San Diego as much as going to the convention. Luckily, my husband and I don’t drink alcohol so we don’t have to factor the cost of drinking into our budget. We are, however, addicted to Coke Zero and Diet Coke so I was buying soda whenever we ate, and I bought several 2L bottles for the hotel room! My grand total for dining out plus food/drink/water bought at the grocery store was $435. I’m budgeting $500 for this expense this year.

2010: $2147   2011: $3292


Most of the money I spent at the convention went to Chronicle Books and to several artists who I had commissioned to do art for me. I didn’t buy much in the way of comic books and I don’t buy very many books with the intent of re-selling them at the store.  My convention spending was just under $400. This year I’m budgeting $500.

2010: $2547       2011: $3792

As always, there are little things I forget about and I never seem to come home with a clear idea of what every penny went to but this post has really made me think about it!


  • Comic con is very expensive, but SOOOO worth it!

    Good job on listing all the expenses, perfect for someone who does not live in SD and needs to know how much $$ to bring 🙂

  • Why count the cost – when the reward is SOOOO GOOD! This is our one big family trip for the year, so why not? We pay for what we can as far in advance as possible so the cost is spread out over several months (travel tickets, pre and post Con activities, etc.) Since we live a distance from California, we make it a two week trip with the Con as the main event – so the cost for “just” the Con is hard to calculate. Just close your eyes, whip out the credit card, and enjoy! This is a once in a lifetime thing – that just so happens to occur every year…

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