How to Save Money on Race Travel
We’ve all been there: you hear about a race that sounds awesome, but you’d have to travel to get there. When you start adding up the costs, it seems out of reach, so you put it off til next year. With so many fantastic events around the United States and the world, it’s no wonder that runners are increasingly signing up for destination events rather than sticking to just their local races. While a destination event is undoubtedly more expensive than the one ten minutes down the street from your house, it’s possible for just about anyone if you follow our tips. After all, the Williams Route 66 Marathon is proud to welcome participants from all 50 states and more than 10 countries around the world!
- Save on transportation costs: Save on transportation costs by splitting them with friends or like-minded strangers! Whether you’re driving to a race that’s a few hours away and want to split gas costs or you need to share an Uber or rental car from the airport to your hotel, reach out to other runners and find a buddy! Think about it – if you spend $100 on gas but split it between 4 people, you’re now spending just $25 (and adding carpool karaoke buddies to make the drive more fun)!
- Share your hotel room: Along the same lines, consider splitting your hotel room with a running buddy! Even if you’re traveling alone, it’s still possible. Running clubs like the Marathon Maniacs, 50 States Marathon Club, or Half Fanatics often have Facebook groups or message boards dedicated to room sharing. Even if you don’t belong to one of these clubs, it’s possible to find like-minded people on the race’s Facebook page. It might seem weird, but hey – a $200 hotel room split 2 ways is now $100! Plus, you’ll have someone who totally gets your pre-race anxiety and all your important pre-race bathroom rituals.
- Consider different airports: You’d be amazed at how much money you can save by checking around for nearby airports, especially if you have travel buddies to help split the cost of a rental car. For races in remote locations, it might be possible to fly into an airport that is just a few miles away, but you’re likely to pay extra for the convenience, especially in a rural area. Look for nearby large cities like Newark, NJ if you’re headed to New York or Oklahoma City if you’re flying to Oklahoma (even Tulsa!), and you might be surprised by how much you save!
- Book your flight before you register: Flight prices can vary dramatically, so set price alerts on a website like Skyscanner.com and get ahead of the game! Once you know you’re interested in a race, set those alerts and start paying attention. Whatever you do, don’t wait until the last minute to book your flight, as that’s often the most expensive part of a destination race. It’s also best to book your flight before you register instead of waiting til the last minute if there’s any possibility you won’t have the money. Why risk losing out on a whole registration fee?
- Join a club for traveling runners: As we mentioned earlier, clubs like the Marathon Maniacs, 50 States Marathon Club, and Half Fanatics are great for linking up with other traveling runners! Did you know they often receive discount codes for races, too? Look for a club you qualify for and register. If you race a ton, you’ll save big!