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The Cost of Leaving Our Options Open

We don’t plan our travels much far in advance.  We like to keep our lives open to embracing serendipity – when cool things emerge as potentials, we like having the flexibility to say ‘YES!’.

This agility has led to some amazing experiences.

However it does have a financial cost.

As we often don’t know where we’ll be on any given day, we don’t find out what events are going on until rather last minute.  As was this week as our plans focused in on heading to the Tampa area to get some work done on the interior of the bus.  We were arranging parking at a family member’s place when she mentioned she was running in the Rock’n’Roll 1/2 Marathon in St. Petersburg next weekend.

1/2 Marathon? Rock’n’Roll?  Sounds good to us!  Sign us up!

This is a common scenario for us:

We’re often paying late registration prices to events, sometime up to double what pre-planners might pay.  Planning in advance does have its rewards.

It’s a premium we find worthwhile, most of the time, to keep our flexibility.  And it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than registering for a bunch of events at the cheaper rates and likely forfeiting them when we find out we won’t even be in the area.  And besides, we totally appreciate that organizers of events need to get as many commitments early on to keep things on track.

We’ve just simply learned that it’s a cost of our lifestyle, and to not try to notice what we could have been paying had we registered early.  We can only make our decisions based on what it costs now.

Eeppp!!  We’re doing another 1/2 Marathon in just 6 days!!



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Cherie has been a full time technomad since 2007, after joining her partner Chris on the road. She's been self employed most of her adult life working in technology - and is passionate about conscious choice, community and living life to the fullest.

7 Comments - Still Plenty of Room for Yours!

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  1. I have to say, if I was suddenly required to run a half-marathon at super-short notice, the ticket price would be the last thing on my mind! You guys must be super-fit to eve attempt this, much less without training up for it. Congrats! I think it would kill me :0)
    Though I did once do a rather large walk with no training, which concerned the guides at our free planning meeting. “It’s just a walk,” I told them, “I’ll get fit on the way!”
    Not so sure that’s possible with a half-marathon…
    Best of luck to you both!

    • We actually did our first 1/2 marathon just 2 months ago. So it’s not really as spontaneous as it seems :) (Well, that first one WAS totally last minute without training.)

      As we’ve not had much time to keep in training lately, we’ll probably walk this one and enjoy the music along the route.

  2. For SF conventions, even the at-the-door price is usually only a small part of what it costs to attend. (At least the way I used to, staying at the convetion hotel in most cases.) I’m still trying to work out the logistics to see if I can attend some now that I’m living in a motorhome.

    • Forget paying for a room – you might be able to get official permission to “camp” in your motorhome in the parking lot. Or, if you don’t want to ask but are up for some stealth camping… Just park and blend in.

      When we attended the iPhone Dev Camp, we actually managed to get permission from the host company (PayPal) to stay in the back parking lot. We also got official permission from the hotel for when we went to Cherie’s dad’s sub-vets reunion.

      Staying in your own home sure beats a hotel room in every possible way, and it is much cheaper!

    • And even if street parking or other some such isn’t available for a conference you want to attend there are many other options. Sometimes networking before hand can score you driveway surfing with local peers. And RV Parks nearby are generally significantly cheaper than convention hotel rooms. We regularly incorporate a variety of events into our travels, as do many other RVers. Even (un)attending SXSW, we were able to grab a RV spot fairly last minute … it was pricey for our typical camping budget, but dirt cheap for a convention budget.

  3. Roll with the punches, Baby! You’re right … flexibility is often more prized than a few dollars. However, you COULD buy tkts in advance to something you really want to attend and if you find you won’t be going, you could sell them to someone else who’s lack of planning is even more evident! I wouldn’t do it too often, but if it was something I was pretty sure I’d want to attend, I might risk it. Those other “non planners” might be pretty stoked to get the tickets at such a discount providing you can’t make it….

    • For sure.. and we have done this in the past. However, it’s something we only do for events we have a very reasonable chance of attending and they make the transfer process as easy as possible. Aside from the financial risk, it’s a lot of logistics & time to pre-purchase, receive event passes (if its not all electronic), find a buyer and then transfer them on.

      And besides, a lot of the times we don’t even know an event exists until we’ve decided we’re heading somewhere. And some events just simply don’t allow for transfers.

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