It's summertime, and that means it's time for attending your favorite outdoor events—whether it’s a music festival with friends, a carnival with the kids, or even, as in my hometown of Houston, the biggest rodeo in the world. Outdoor events are always a ton of fun, no matter the occasion, but they can also be quite costly, after adding up the price of tickets, drinks, food, T-shirts, and so on. Here are a few tips for keeping costs down.
- Buy tickets well in advance, and buy an extra to scalp.
For many outdoor events, buying tickets several months, even a year in advance, can help you save lots of money. For example, one of Houston's annual music festivals started selling tickets about eight months before the June festival. Back then, they were just $15 for two days. Now, the tickets are selling at $60 plus. Consider buying an extra ticket early and selling it for a profit on Craigslist later when tickets are sold out.
- Research your event thoroughly to see what's allowed entry.
Outdoor events vary greatly when it comes to what is allowed in and what's not. Knowing beforehand can save you lots of money. For example, many outdoor events do not permit bringing your own drinks, even water. Spending a bunch of money on bottles of water, only to be forced to throw it all out at security, can be a big waste of money. Check the event's website, or call if necessary, to find out what you can take in and what you can't.
- If accommodations are required, try getting a big group together to drive down costs.
If you are going out of town for a big outdoor festival, the best way to do it is with a handful of friends. For example, last time that I went cross country to the Coachella music festival, a group of 15 rented a vacation home close to the venue, and we each only paid $60 a night to stay at a luxurious 5 bedroom home which would have been unaffordable otherwise.
- Eat and drink well before and after the event to save.
Of course, sometimes there's nothing that hits the spot quite like an outdoor event funnel cake or hot dog. But the downside with food vendors at outdoor events is that they are way more expensive than they're worth, and food vendors specifically prey on the hungry, the tired, and the overheated. Instead of giving in because you're famished, be sure to eat a large meal and drink plenty of water before you even enter the event. This way, you'll save on impulse food and drink buys later in the day.
Outdoor events, especially in the spring and summer when the weather is finally starting to turn for the better, are my favorite things to do. They're a great way to bond with family and friends and have some fun in the process. If you plan accordingly, they can be affordable, too!
By-line: Alvina Lopez is a freelance writer and blog junkie, who blogs about accredited online colleges. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: alvina.lopez @gmail.com.
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