If you haven't been to an Expo before make sure you know your travel arrangements in advance as it will make your day far less stressful. Nearer to the event date you can use the National Rail website, you can use this to check any delays or problems that may happen on the day of travel.
1. I would highly recommend that you order an Oyster card, it can be ordered from here: Oyster. It is so easy to use, as you simply swipe in at the start of your tube journey and swipe out at the end. If you don't know how much each journey cost then this is an ideal solution, as the maximum charge applied to the card each day is a day ticket for the zones that you have been travelling in. Plus you save 50p compared to buying the day ticket on the day. I would recommend having at least £10 on your card as this should be enough to last two days.
3. Got a young persons railcard? You can also add your 1/3 discount to your Oyster card. Simply go to a manned counter and show your card. They will update the details on the card and you will be able to have the discount until your Young Persons card next expires.
4. If you don't want to do that or don't have enough time you will need a zone 1-4 ticket which currently costs £5.90. This will allow you travel from Central London to the ExCeL Centre itself. If you are unsure how the tube section works with changes etc use this Journey Planner. It will give you a step by step guide of where to get on and off the tube station.
5. Another tip is that if you are travelling in a large group do not go downstairs until everyone is through the turnstiles! Once you go down one set of escalators your mobile wont work and you'll end up losing people...
6. Get a bite card - they're free of charge. Just order from www.bitecard.co.uk. These provide 20% discount to many of the train station food companies. Every little helps and its useful after the Expo.
All of the hotels recommended here are close to ExCeL Centre. Here are some places we particularly recommend.
For a family room which can sleep up to 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 children costs £60. It is really cheap when splitting the bill and does have comfy beds unlike other hotels linked here. Breakfast here costs £7.50 per person but offers a full breakfast. There are also double and single rooms available and these cost the same!
Only 1/4 mile away from the London ExCeL Centre
This place hosts up to 3 people for less than 60 pounds a night this is nothing when shared between 3 people.
This hotel is right opposite the ExCeL Centre. At the moment the hotel cost is £70 a night and you can have up to 3 people stay in the hotel. However, if you want to have three you need to phone the hotel first. Also be noted that if you do not enjoy sleeping on a hard bed then this may be the wrong hotel for you.
plus if you need to cancel or change you can. Other companies include the Premier Inn and the Holiday Inn. Before booking make sure you check out their cancellation policy, as you never know when you may need to use it. Furthermore, if you need a room for three it doesn't harm to phone up first.
My advice is to take a big bag with plenty of room as you will need it to fill with all the anime stuff that you are going to be buying. Be aware that if you are travelling down on the day of the event, the ExCeL Centre offers a left luggage facility that you can drop off your bags. This is particularly useful if you have to wait for hotel check in times and is only a pound per item.
BUY IN ADVANCE! Especially early bird tickets or else you'll be wasting half your day queuing for tickets not fun! The advantage of buying an early bird ticket is that you get a nice goody bag which include anime DVDs etc. The tickets for the event can be bought up to two months in advance. My tip is to sign up to the Newsletter so that you know as early as possible when tickets are released.
Some simple rules to follow:
1. Go around the whole place once before deciding what to buy. Believe me you will regret it if you've spent your entire money half way across the room and see something you really want.
2. Set a budget and stick to it! Don't go above it or else you'll be paying it back till next expo.
3. If you're on a budget do not take a credit card you will seriously regret it.
4. Be nice to the sellers and don't be afraid to ask for discount. They can only say no!
If you're on a budget or like any anime fan would rather spend money
on buying lots of lovely figures than food then pack lunches are a
good idea. If not pick something up before arriving at the Expo as
it will save you lots of money.
Cosplay is great way to meet new friends! A great tip is take a
camera as believe me it makes sense as you will see so many other
cosplayers that you will want to take a photo of.
Please be nice and polite to them many work for free so don't hassle them. If you are unsure about anything just ask as they are happy to help.