June 30, 2010

Tips for cheaper figure skating travel

Travelling for skating is expensive. You most likely already travel to go to practice sessions, unless you have the luxury of living within walking distance of an ice rink (I've had this experience once a few years ago and it was sheer bliss when it came to early morning patches!). At some point (if you're not already) you're going to be travelling for test sessions. Travelling for competitions. Money, money, money!! My wallet bleeds by the end of a season.
You've got petrol costs or train fares (sometimes even both). Maybe even air fares. There's the hotels, the car parking, and the meals out. If you're travelling for an event, you're going to have to fit your coaches bill too (or atleast a portion of it depending on how many pupils are present at the event - you can split the costs between the families).

Tip number one, and I speak from experience; Book up EARLY! Like now. Seriously. That hotel can cost upto 60% less when booked a month or two in advance. Go online for special web-deals that are not available via their central reservation lines. Same goes for means of transport. Browse booking.com for good deals. I've booked a few times now via their site and always got 60-70% reduction on the price I would have paid if I had called the hotel directly.

Tip number two; Buy a railcard. Obviously this only applies if you're going to be journeying by train. A card can save you upto 50% per journey. They are usually really resonably priced. I paid around £25 for my year long pass, and recently saved over £50 going to one competition. Kerr-ching!

Tip number three; Don't take the car. Using the previous 2 tips, you can get to your destination for a better price than filling your car with several tanks of petrol.

Tip number four; Don't eat out. Ok so this isn't reasonable for the night before your event. You (or your skater) need a good meal with lots of nice slow releasing sugar to boost you during your event the next day. I never eat anything but pasta the night before. But how about your other meals? Get to a store which sells quality take out food and stock up. There is no need to over-spend on ice rink toast and vending machine candy bars, when you can have a stock of healthy (and much tastier) alternatives in your bag. Pasta salads, yoghurts and fruit salad boxes are great and much more sustaining than rink burger and coca-cola.

That's pretty much how I get out and about for cheaps. How do you do it? Do you have any secret tips you feel like sharing with the skating blogosphere? Please leave a comment!

Have any questions, want to know more, don't agree? Please leave me a comment!


  1. Great post!

    If I can get a hotel suite with a kitchenette, that's what I do. I used to shop before I reached the hotel, but now I shop as I go. It makes no sense to bring a cooler full of food and find out that you only needed 1/2 of it.

    Our state has a big winter games and we stay at a hotel with a bunch of other families from our figure skating club. Of course, I have the suite, but the families also organize dinners. The first night is a potluck and the second night we all chip in on pizza. That helps to keep the cost down, too.

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  2. Thank you!

    The kitchenette is a FABBY idea! Why didn't I think of that? Not many UK hotels have that option to be honest.

    The Winter Games event sounds great, do you get on ok with folks from your club when staying in such close quarters? I seem to manage 15mins and then start internally screaming "I... need.... peace and ... quiet!!" Hee hee!!

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