When we travel to a new city, we like to play a lot of escape rooms back-to-back-to-back and we aren’t the only ones.
In order to make the most of your escape room marathon, follow these tips:
To maximize escape room quantity, create a plan before you start booking. I recommend a spreadsheet.
If you are scheduling multiple games at one company, optimize their booking schedule (to the best of your ability) to book directly back-to-back. It can be helpful to call the company to ask about scheduling concerns such as whether a post-game walkthrough will take additional time. This is especially important if you are booking into escape rooms with public ticketing.
If you are moving between companies, consult a map as you plan the order of your journey. Keep in mind whether you’ll need to leave extra time in between bookings to account for things such as rush hour or finding parking.
Be certain that you know how you’re moving between games. Plan out your use of mass transit in advance, if that’s the best method.
If you’re planning to use Uber / Lyft, verify that they operate in the city you will be visiting (cough Austin, Texas & Buffalo, New York cough).
If you’re driving, research parking ahead of time and plan for refueling breaks if you’re covering a lot of ground.
Be organized. Before you start the trip, make sure you have the following information handy:
- Company names
- Company addresses
- Start times for individual room escapes
- Special instructions for finding the facility or parking (sometimes the first puzzle is finding the place)
Make sure other incidentals won’t hold you up. For example, put gas in the car and have coins on hand for parking meters, if applicable.
We put everything in Google Calendar after the plan is set. This makes it easy for everyone to access the information and pull up driving directions.
You will get tired. Make sure you take care of other bodily comforts, so that you don’t compound your tiredness.
Plan meal stops ahead of time. Or, if you aren’t planning the exact restaurant, at least make sure there are restaurants in the area before relying on Yelp the day of the escape room marathon.
Make sure you are traveling with snacks and beverages.
Wear layers. You will undoubtedly encounter variable temperatures in the different escape rooms. You want to be able to be comfortable in every game.
Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. You’ll be on your feet and moving around a lot.
As you play multiple escape rooms back-to-back, it can also become tough to keep the rules straight from game to game. (“Are we supposed to take the furniture apart here?”).
Communication becomes even more vital. Speak up as you play.
If you are even contemplating an escape room marathon, you should try one. The fact that you’re considering it suggests that you’ll likely enjoy it… but not every moment will be fun.
You will get tired. You will get hungry. You will get frustrated. These will be amplified when you’re experiencing bad game design or poor customer service.
There will be ups and downs and these moments may not be the same for everyone on the team(s). Don’t let your downs bring down the group. When you aren’t having fun, keep that to yourself so that you don’t ruin other people’s experiences. Be mindful about your bottoming out and don’t be a jerk to your teammates. Take a break, have a snack, drink some water or caffeine.
I repeat: Don’t be a jerk to your teammates (or your gamemaster).
Similarly, if you notice one of your teammates having a rough time, don’t push them. Give them some time to get it together.
Bad moments happen, but you’ll bounce back. Just be aware of your own mood so that you can maximize the fun for your yourself and your teammates.
A day’s worth of adventure puzzling is a lot of fun, but it takes some planning and self control.