Last week I wrote up an article about how to prepare your devices' energy for PAX East. With the event literally right around the corner, I thought it was overdue that I wrote about a different kind of energy: yours.
Food is expensive. It's probably my biggest expense during each convention trip I've gone on. How do you save money? Well, you shouldn't starve yourself. That's a horrible idea. You need your energy to walk the show floor and from panel to panel. Here are a few tips I've gathered over the past few years.
ProTip #1: Bring Your Own
Food is expensive, but it isn't always
expensive. Chances are food at your local grocery store is at least half as cheap as the food you would buy for lunch at the convention center. Before departing on your trip to Boston, I suggest buying a few muffins for breakfast each morning, and/or depending on how you're traveling and where you're staying, maybe some cold-cuts and bread to make sandwiches. It's easy on your wallet, and probably a bit healthier than anything the convention center sells.
WARNING: Some convention centers prohibit bringing in outside food to the convention hall. While I do not believe the Boston Convention Center has this rule, bring food at your own risk. I cannot be held responsible for your food being taken away.
ProTip #2: McDonalds, etc
My least favorite option, but I know many people enjoy it. Fast food is cheap... and fast. There are Dunkin Donuts, McDonalds, Wendy's, and other fast food places all over Boston. If you don't mind walking, there's nothing stopping you from leaving the convention center for a few minutes just to get some food. Easy on the wallet... not so much on your stomach.
ProTip #3: Fine(r) Dining
Boston is a big city. There are a lot of bars, pubs, and restaurants scattered about. For lunch, in the past, the fine people at PAX had a shuttle service to a few different ones around the area. I'm not sure if they're going to do the same this year, but check out Google Maps to find a few close to your hotel or the convention center. If you're with friends, there's nothing wrong with spending a little extra cash for a nice dinner.
ProTip #4: tl;dr: PREPARE
Honestly, all of these tips can be summarized by simply this: prepare ahead of time. Know what restaurants are around you, know what kind of food you like, and know how to get there. If you're bringing food, make sure they allow it in the convention center. Schedule yourself a lunch break and make sure you don't miss that panel you really want to see. Get food in your stomach before you get on line for the PA Q&A.You'll kick yourself if you don't.
I hope this doesn't find you too late. I apologize for the short notice. With PAX one day away, everyone's busy packing, but if you get a chance, scheduling some food stops can make your PAX experience much easier.
Have any more tips? Disagree with something? Pissed I posted this so late? Find something helpful in here? Leave some comments below!
See you at PAX! :D