If you’ve been following me on social media, you would know that I have several races coming up, most of which require me to actually travel (i.e. hotel is necessary). Traveling out of town for a race can be a bit stressful, especially if it’s an area you’re unfamiliar with and you do not have any solid point of contacts there. But never fear! I have great tips to help you get through your first “Racecation”
Now, as far as best days to book tickets/hotels I can’t really help you there. But I can say that downloading an app such as hopper to create fare alerts can help you figure out the idea time to schedule flights. As far as hotels are concerned, I’m a huge fan of using Priceline express deals. I get a general idea of the area, and a pretty decent rate.
But above all, I would recommend using Air B&B, you can choose to rent a room, house, apartment, whatever in the area of your choice. No use this link to save $35 off your first Air B&B.
Back on track.
Tip One: Check out the pre/post race events. Some bigger races have events going on before and after the race that you may be interested in checking out. Knowing what local events are going on will help you to decide which hotel to book. Typically the race host hotel will be close to not only these events, but the race start/finish. But beware, host hotels do tend to sell out and it may not be your cheapest option if you’re on a budget. Which brings me to number two.
Tip Two: Check out the area. If you’re looking to save money staying at the hotel that’s close to the race might be more expensive than one that’s not exactly in ideal walking distance. Whenever I ran the half of the Dallas Marathon we opted for a Priceline hotel that was just shy of a mile from the start/finish and expo. The room came in at $80 for the night, half the price of the host hotel by the start line. Totally worth the shakeout walk before and it was a nice cool down walk back.
Tip Three: Check the weather. Not so much for rain, but general changes in temperatures. If you’re traveling to a different part of the country, chances are high that the weather will be completely different. When I ran Ventura last weekend in California I was mindful of the weather and made sure I packed a pull over to be able to wear until it was time to start because it was much cooler. Had I been running in Texas, the thought of wearing a pullover would’ve been insane. I’m sweating just thinking about it.
Tip Four: Make a list. I’m prone to forgetting items, items that are not easily replaced. Decide what exactly you need for your race and think of every last detail down to your recovery plan. This is especially true if you use a unique brand of gels or electrolyte blend. Put all of your race day necessities, and other outfits planned for the trip in ziplock bags to keep things organized and to allow you to do a quick check for gear.
Tip Five: HAVE FUN! While yes, the race is important as you spend many weeks training and made major sacrifices. But on the other side, you’ve spent many hours at work saving to travel to this destination. So, PLEASE, have fun! Don’t overdo it before your race but try to have fun afterwards. Enjoy the new town you just conquered the pavements on. Hit up some wineries or breweries and don’t forget to hit up that awesome greasy restaurant that has probably popped up on your Facebook feed. It is a vacation afterall!