Okay, fine, I'll admit it. My suitcase has been partially packed for the last three weeks. That being said, I may be a tad over prepared for SXSW this year. 2012 will mark my second year at this amazing music festival and conference and I've been planning for it since I left last year. It's a music fan's dream and to those working within the music industry it can be one of the best learning experience you could ask for. Between networking, shows, and exploring, the week of SXSW can be as exhausting as it is fun... and I wouldn't ask for it any other way. However for those taking their first trip to the great city of Austin this year, here's a few helpful tips to make your trip the best it can be. 

1. Leave those platform heels at home, ladies! You will be doing A LOT of walking. Find the most comfortable shoes you can and bring 'em. Your feet will thank you later... unless of course you're wearing Crocs, then I'm pretty sure your feet will still hate you no matter how comfortable they feel. 

2. One word: Whataburger. 

3. Stay over caffeinated and don't plan on sleeping a whole lot while you're down there. Between late night shows and early morning panels, sleep will seem like a distant memory next week. 

4. Steer clear of Juggalos. They'll be taking over the streets of Austin on the 17th. 

5. RSVP for as many day parties as humanly possible no matter how little you know about the company putting it on -- your wallet and stomach will thank you later. Ska-Mitzvah Day Party put on by Austin's League of Evil and Terrifying Clowns? Does it have free booze? Yes. Free food? Yes. Alright, sign me up! 

Now excuse me while I daydream over the many (MANY) trips I'll be taking to Mellow Mushroom for pizza and the showcases I'll be attending featuring these artists.