Traveling South on a Budget
Written by Go Horse Shop on February 22, 2018
Winter seems to drag on as the longest season of the year. Almost every equestrian gets tired of the numb toes and fingers, the frozen water buckets, and circles in the indoor ring. The warm weather is calling your name, because the truth is we could all use some sunshine, southern charm, and shopping (horse shopping, of course!). Traveling can be expensive, especially when you’re looking at horses. But you can drive costs down by making smart decisions about transportation, lodging, and overall spending. Let’s take a look into some of the ways you can save money traveling down south this winter so you can make the most of your trip and hopefully find the horse of your dreams.
There’s a lot of talk about how to save money booking your flight. You may have heard the rumor that the cheapest time to book a flight is Tuesday early afternoon. This rumor rings true; many airlines release weekly airfare sales early Tuesday mornings, so by mid-afternoon competing airlines have matched sale prices which gives you the most deals to choose from. Your best chances to avoiding overpaying are to to book your domestic flight 3 weeks to 3 months in advance. You can rake in further discounts by flying on off days and/or times; avoid flying on expensive days such as Fridays and Sundays, and aim for a Tuesday or Wednesday flight. Embrace the redeye and fly at dawn or overnight, even dinnertime flights can save you big time. Of course, always compare flights and don’t trust your favorite airline always has the best deal. And don’t be afraid of connecting flights – they can save you 50%.
Weigh your options of flying or driving, and see what works best for you. Although it may be relatively easy to hop on a quick flight down south, you may find a fun road trip is more your style. A road trip can often be less expensive than flying, especially with a family in tow (and maybe a trailer too!), but it still comes with its expenses. While the road may be your friend, increasing gas prices will be your foe. So find the best prices on gas with an app like Gas Buddy, which lists the prices of the nearby gas stations, so you can pick the best price without getting swindled. And although Chipotle almost always sounds like a good idea, packing food and beverages for the road is a better one – it’ll save you money and time on frivolous stops. So fill up on gas and snacks and hit the road.
Lodging is potentially one of your biggest expenses. Consider a more unique approach to hotels and try AirBnB instead. AirBnB features charming accommodations all over the world, just narrow down your search by location, dates, and price range. You can rent entire villas, cabins, homes and etc. to fit your whole family, often still less than your leading hotel. And if you’re travel solo or by pair, you can save hundreds booking a charming apartment anywhere you’ve got your heart set on. An added plus, most AirBnB’s also let you use the kitchen and appliances which gives you the options to cook meals instead of spending extra money eating out. But if you’re more comfortable staying in a traditional hotel, check out websites such as Hotels.com or Trivago where you can often find discounts on boutique hotels and popular hotel chains.
Of course, you’ll save more money trying as many horses you can in one place. So try to plan your trip to equestrian hot spots and big shows such as the Atlanta Winter Classic, Horse Trials down in Aiken, the Ocala Winter Classic, Winter Equestrian Festival down in Wellington and so many more. For the large show circuits, you can avoid spending extra by staying right outside the main hub where markups are the highest. For example, if you’re traveling down to show and/or try horses at WEF consider staying in Loxahatchee instead of Wellington, so you can stay in the action without spending extra. Driving down easily lends itself to staying outside the main hubs and traveling to different shows and barns; if you fly down instead, don’t forget to consider the added expenses of possibly renting a vehicle.
We hope these tips help you make the most of your travels and horse shopping down south this winter, because more money in your pocket is more money to spend on your horse after all! Let us help you find your perfect mount, sign up with Go Horse Shop and use the code JazminB to receive 20% off your first month’s subscription. Get out there and get horse shopping!