Con tips for newbies, form someone who wasn't a newbie too long ago!
Stuff to bring with you every day:
Have a friend carry it in a backpack or you carry it, either way.
Deodorant (just in case, it gets hot)
Tissues or wet wipes or oil blotting papers (depending if you're wearing makeup or not)
Back up mascara, eyeliner, face powder
Water bottles (bringing from home is cheaper)
Phone (wall charger if it's small!)
There's more you may want to bring, but those are pretty much necessities for me at least, and all of it can fit in a normal sized purse or small backpack with minimal weight.
It's really important to stay hydrated throughout, so you have to drink at the very least one whole water bottle during each con day. Buy a big pack of 12, it's like $2 and you won't have to pay for them or worry about condensation at the con.
Con food is horrifically expensive, and some people like to eat it or eat outside of the center. Regardless of your eating plans, bring one or two food bars to keep up your energy. Walking in costume all day is exhausting, and you may be hungry before your friends plan to go eat, or in the middle of a panel you don't want to miss. They're also not messy besides some crumbs, so there's little risk of harming your costume or other objects in the bag. Hell, I bring PB sandwiches half the time to avoid buying food.
Deodorant and tissues/wipes are really important. A travel pack is perfectly fine, but I recommend it. Even walking around, you sweat A LOT, it's hot outside it's crowded inside you want to be able to keep that under control so you don't risk getting smelly or having your makeup melt off or sweaty hair escape from your wig. The backup makeup is also important for this reason, when you use the wipes or whatever you might want to reapply, and those are the main things that get wiped off easily.
I recommend making a checklist before you go to your hotel or wherever you're staying.
As for con tips, eat breakfast. Drink water. Tread lightly and don't step on other people.
Cons can be a bit overwhelming and exciting for the first/second/twentieth time, but there's plenty of time to see and do everything without running into people or skipping meals. Nobody wants to call an ambulance on your behalf.
Get a map, learn the layout of the con so you won't get lost! (I got lost at Otakon soooo many times haha)
Generally stay hydrated, maintain hygiene, and be respectful of those around you.
Cerise Hood (EAH)