Be sure to read part 1 before continuing to read this post.
It’s no secret that I love a good racecation. I plan trips around races that I want to run or find races in places that the Mr. and I want to travel to. People are always surprised that we are able to go to so many places and do it as often as we do, but there’s some strategy to planning a racecation on a budget.
Driving Distance. Air travel can be unavoidable in a lot of situations, but you will save the most money by driving there especially if you have children or a large runtourage. Research races that are within driving distance, you will probably be really surprised by all the races that you would be willing to drive to. Start on sites like Running in the USA. You can search by race distance, region or state and then work from there. Ask around too because more than likely someone you know will have a recommendation for a race in your area of the country.
Alternate Airports. Sometimes it’s cheaper to fly into an airport that is a little farther from the race location if the airfare is significantly cheaper. Also, if you know you will need to rent a car while you are there see if the price per day varies and weigh your options. A lot of times the difference in airfare can be the deciding factor if the airports are both relatively close to the race location.
Choose Big and Small Venues. Big races are incredible and I love them, but smaller races can be awesome too! A lot of the time smaller races or venues can mean lower hotel costs and lower registration fees. It’s also worth mentioning that nationwide race series such as Rock n Roll Marathon Series, the Color Run, and Hot Chocolate Series tend to be more expensive than locally organized races. National race organizations often offer better amenities, but not always so do your research. I loved running the Walt Disney World Marathon and the Chicago Marathon, but the Miami Half Marathon and the Colfax Marathon were just as memorable and just as organized.
Easy to Get There? Look for races and locations that are easy to get to. This is especially true with trail running because the prettiest places to hold a race tend to be away from larger cities which can sometimes means renting a car for the weekend if you have to fly to the destination. This also tends to increase the cost of the trip. Public transportation or walking tends to always be cheaper than renting a car depending on the number of people you have traveling with you.
BYOF. Bring Your Own Food. Bringing your own food or hitting the grocery store on your way into town is one of the easiest ways to save some dough. Eating meals out always adds up, so bring your own food when you can. Breakfast items like oatmeal cups, almond butter, bananas and apples are easy to throw in a suitcase and don’t need to be refrigerated. It’s also worth mentioning that it pays off to look for hotels that include a free breakfast. In a lot of cases these hotels are the same price as hotels that don’t include it. If we are driving to a race location I will pack a cooler with food like sandwiches, hummus, fresh juices, salads, etc. to throw in a hotel refrigerator when we arrive. If we are flying we will often find a grocery store so we can pick up a couple items for the weekend and we always try to find a hotel with a refrigerator. Saving on the cost of meals where you can will save you some serious cash. We try to limit our food costs when we travel so are only paying for one or meals out per day.
I hope these tips help you #runalltheplaces and #doallthethings!
Racecations can be expensive, but there is nothing like the view from your shoes! The world is a big place and there are so many locations that can only be seen on foot. Now get out there and go run it!
Do you have any racecation plans for 2016?
How do you save money on trips?