Often race directors will set up a special discount for athletes with a hotel near the venue. Check the race website for the discount (registration may be required to access the discount).
Pros: Race organizers often set up special rates for athletes (check the website or email the race director to get a special rate). Race briefings and after parties are often held at the race hotel. You are likely to be near other athletes.
Cons: There are sometimes a limited number of rooms offered at this price. You may have to book early to secure a room. Hotels typically don’t have cooking facilities, so get ready to eat out often or bring your own food.
This online and app based rental service has grown by leaps and bounds over the last couple of years. Tailor your needs in their search to find the perfect place for you and your travel party. Shared room, private rooms, whole apartments or houses search criteria allow you to find the perfect place to fit your budget.
Pros: Wide range of cost, space, amenities, and more to fit you and your party’s needs exactly. Your AirBnb host may offer local insight on the best places in the area. All hosts and guests have feedback ratings, so you can trust the feedback that is left about the rental unit and the owner.
Cons: There may not be a rental near your desired location. Quality of the rental units can vary greatly (ask questions and do research before booking). No services like a hotel.
VRBO.com (Vacation Rental By Owner)
Similar to Airbnb but this is typically a full house or unit to rent. This is typically a better option if you have at least four or more people.
Pros: Wide range of cost, space, amenities, and more to fit you and your party’s needs exactly. You will most likely have access to a full kitchen. There are typically many amenities in the units or available on site.
Cons: There may not be a rental near your desired location. Quality of the rental units can vary greatly (ask questions and do research before booking). No services like a hotel. Typically these are not smaller units/houses, so you’ll need to be with a group to make this option affordable.
This search engine helps you search all online booking sites. If there is a site that lists it for cheaper than others, this is where you’ll find it. If you choose not to stay at the race hotel, this is the next best option to find something close by.
Cons: Not all accommodations list prices online (you may have to call to get prices). Booking through a third party site can occasionally lead to issues (double check your booking is complete with the hotel itself).
If you don’t mind “roughing it”, camping or staying in a cabin can be an inexpensive and convenient way to set up accommodations. A simple Google search for campgrounds near the venue will show you the site and cabin options. Typically these locations are not listed on any of the sites mentioned above.
Pros: Inexpensive. Campgrounds are often located close to the race venue (if it is held in a park). You get to make a campfire.
Cons: You will have to pack your camping gear which adds to your travel gear. Cooking can become more difficult. Bad weather can put a real damper on your trip. Potential lack of electricity and toilet facilities (check ahead of time).
More expensive than just a rental unit, this option however kills two birds with one stone because you have your transportation and accommodation covered in one. Road trips have the potential to make for a very memorable experience, but those memories could be good or bad.
Pros: No need to book a rental or hire car, you already have it (this could possibly save you some money). Great bonding experience for you and your family or friends. Easy to fit all of your gear in while traveling. Flexibility of where to park your accommodations (can be very close to the venue). Convenience of beds, kitchen, and toilet all in one place (unlike camping or hotels).
Cons: Can be a hassle to drive (large vehicle) and the rental/hiring process may not be simple. This isn’t an option everywhere in the world. If you’re not used to it, driving a large vehicle can be stressful and dangerous. In some parts of the world, it may actually be quite hard to find a place to park. Emptying a toilet from an RV is never fun.
Is there another method that you typically use to book accommodations? If so, let us know in the comments below. See you at the races!