Just in case you weren't anxious enough about Pre-reg a few weeks from now, you may want to consider that some (many?) SDCC attendees are already trying to lock down their lodgings for next summer. There's nothing wrong with booking a safety room (I have one reserved) or simply opting out of the whole Travel Planners/official hotel room program. But before you commit some vast sum to a room/couch/condo before you even have a badge, you should remember a few things.
- The Early Bird Hotel Sale has always had plenty of rooms available. True, they are not downtown but they are reasonably priced and almost always on the shuttle route. If you want a room for SDCC and are okay staying a few miles out, you can definitely get a room through Early Bird.
- Gruesome as Hotel Day was this year, and as much of a gamble as it probably will be next year, it's important to note that CCI has been working with local hotels to make/keep rooms available for attendees. Also worth noting: after the dust settled after Hotel Day, and people released their duplicate/unneeded rooms, there were some hotel rooms in the system with all 4 nights available.
- Airbnb is its own kind of gamble, especially if you don't follow their guidelines on payment. Airbnb use during SDCC has almost tripled and this article notes that nightly rates can be anywhere from $250 to $1,0000 a night. So don't automatically assume this is your safest bet - tempting as it is to wash your hands of Hotel Day madness.
The 2015 hotel situation was just horrid for those of us who lived through it. No doubt a few psychologically scarred attendees will do and pay anything to avoid a repeat for 2016. So go ahead and call around and work your deals online to see what you can come up with. But before you get taken for a ride by some unscrupulous "host," keep Early Bird in mind and don't do anything rash. Plunking down a few thousand for someone's spare room in Mission Hills probably isn't a better option than a safe, guaranteed hotel room on the shuttle route for $200 a night - though ultimately that's your call.
ETA: I learned yesterday of a friend's beachfront 2 bedroom Airbnb available for SDCC 2016. It can sleep 6-7 for a very reasonable price; obviously this is ideal for people who don't need to be right next to the Con and want to mix beach time into their vacation. Hit me up if you're interested. I can vouch for her.