I’m pretty sure that “racecation” is my middle name. Beginning with my first half marathon at ZOOMA, where we took the boys and did a brewery tour and played at the beach before spending the night in a hotel in Annapolis, I’ve loved traveling for races. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of great races within an easy morning drive. I just love to combine travel AND races (and beer if I were being completely honest.) With all the traveling and racing (and beer drinking, ahem), I’ve learned a few things about how to budget for them. So, I’ve got a lot to say about today’s Tuesday on the Run topic!
- Plan early – race prices go up the closer you get. Sometimes hotels sell out or flight options get limited. If you KNOW you are going, save yourself some $$ and register at the lower prices.
- Make it a family vacation – We go on vacation a couple of times every year. I always try to combine that trip with a race (or two). It’s a little harder now that I’m trying to do all half marathons, but prior to that I was able to race in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Utah, Wyoming, and Maine as part of vacations.
- Find a friend – if your family won’t be joining you, buddy up with a friend to save money on the hotel. Splitting the cost of a hotel room, rental car, and gas is one of the best ways to save money.
- Check for race discounts – many longer races these days have ambassadors who have discount codes, groups like Half Fanatics, Marathon Maniacs, and 13.1 x 100 often have discounts, MRTT groups have discounts… (Sometimes you can even find codes on Retailmenot, although most organizations are not happy when their codes end up there.)
- Take food with you or stop at a grocery store – way cheaper than eating out for every meal. And usually healthier too.
- Double up – Get more bang for your travel buck by running more than one race. Organizations like Mainly Marathons offer coordinated back to back races, but a quick look on Running in the USA will provide you with lots of options of races near each other.
- Drive instead of fly – If the drive is under 8 hours and more than one of us is going, we often drive. Sometimes we’ll still rent a car, but it’s still a savings on the flight.
If all else fails, just accept that you can’t have nice things. Our kitchen needs updating (the stove is older than I am by a fair number of years.) I don’t remember the last time I got a piece of jewelry that was not running related. My non-running wardrobe is extremely limited. My dining room set was bought used from friends who were upgrading. But I’m ok with all of that.
I’d rather travel. And I’d rather race. Who needs diamonds when you can have race bling?