Tickets to a special event? Plan ahead!

As I was scheduling out my to-do list for the next 48 hrs, one “magical moment” appeared at the top of the list, register for the WDW 1/2 Marathon and 5K this January. RegistrationIMG_3560 opens on the runDisney website at 10am MST tomorrow, July 19th. These races tend to sell out, sometimes within the day, other times within the week, so it definitely can not be a last minute decision!

Special events can create amazing memories to last a lifetime, however pre-planning is your best bet to guarantee a great and stress free time, plus save you money in the long-run. Tickets to big concerts, popular athletic events, and annual events tend to sell out fast, leaving those who waited until the last minute to decide to go either outside the event, or paying well above ticket price.

Here are a few suggestions to help you get in!

  1. Check their website often! Most of the events have websites that will keep you updated on all of the current information, including when tickets will go up for sale. They will also updated any other pertinent information you might need. For example I was going to include in this post about the Wranglers National Finals Rodeo tickets, as they sell out extremely fast. I went to their website today for the first time, and was surprised to see that the multi-day tickets went on sale today! So know a great bet for tickets is by checking their official ticket link on their website to see what others are selling, obtaining them from the ticket exchange window at Cowboy Christmas, or buying them off of, or some other 3rd party vendor.
  2. Sign up for email alerts! A flooded inbox full of information you really do not need is indeed frustrating, but email alerts are great reminders about when to start preparing for the event, and even after you have secured tickets, a great way to stay on top of the planning process.
  3. Put it on you calendar! Whether you use a phone or the calendar in the kitchen, put the date down so you do not accidentally forget it!
  4. Read their ticketing information! When the tickets open up for sale, are you putIMG_5282 into a lottery or a queue based on when you accessed the website? Does the website allow you to enter into a queue ahead of the tickets opening? Is their a pre-sale option? For example with the Kentucky Derby I paid an additional fee to be allowed into the pre-sale of tickets. For Hamilton tickets in Denver, I entered into the website as directed and was assigned a lottery number of “its not happening!”. Tomorrow the runDisney website opens at 10am and hope that all the runners are not also registering at 10am 🙂
  5. Set up your login information ahead of time! Before I started writing this blog today, I made sure that my runDisney login was active and ready to go. All of my information is already entered, so tomorrow all I have to do is log-in, select the races I want to run and pay the registration fee. Every event I have secured tickets for I have done this. Most ticketing options will hold your tickets for a few minutes in your cart, but if you have to set-up an account or reset a password, your tickets will most likely disappear. Last year while trying to secure opening day tickets to the Colorado Rockies I learned that tickets, even if they are in your cart, are not yours until payment has posted! I even had all of my accounts ready to go and still went to checkout only to find out by the time I entered my credit card information, the tickets were gone.
  6. Do not be afraid to dial in! In todays world we love the option of logging right into a website, selecting our seats and checking out without having to talk with an actual person. With events that tend to sell out quickly, get on your computer AND the phone! The year I went to the NFR, I actually got into the ticket office over the phone faster than I was able to do it online! As I finally got online as I was on the phone with the person, it showed that 2 tickets were no longer available together, however the “real” person was able to see two seats that were stacked and other seating options the computer does not comprehend.
  7. Do not be discouraged if it doesn’t work out. One of the main draws to several of those events is there limited availability. I have discovered there is always a way to get into the event, just depends on the price you want to pay! Many of the events, such as the NFR and the Kentucky Derby offer “experience packages”, which include the tickets and also some other great events and activities. Honestly I wish I would have booked an experience for both of those events!

Hopefully my tricks/tips will get me registered without any problems tomorrow morning! If they do not, I’ll come back and edit this post 🙂 I just know this is what has helped me in the past, and with the exception of tickets to Hamilton in Denver, I have been able to secure tickets to everything I have wanted to see.

Have a great day and enjoy those once-in-a-lifetime experiences!

“You do not choose a life, you live one.” Bucket List Trip #20

The quote in my headlines is also the quote I have tattooed on my left shoulder, pictured with a kayaker below some mountains. It is of course not my quote, just my motto, and the quote itself comes for the movie “The Way”, which takes place on the Camino de Santiago. Anyone who knows me well at all is probably surprised that I did not price the Camino out until trip #20, possibly because it is the bucket list item that is so engrained on my heart and in my mind, that writing it down again, and pricing it out, will just continue to build that flame within me, calling me to go! Followed by the disappointed and frustration that I have yet to make it happen. I’ll get there someday, I truly believe my heart will continue to yearn for it, until my feet have blistered from it.

The Camino de Santiago is one of the oldest Christian routes, going back actually even before Christianity as a route many had traveled. The route is across Northern Spain, from France to the Cathedral in Santiago, where the remains of the Apostle James are believed to be buried. You can start the camino is many different locations, but in order to receive your Compostela, you have to walk the last 100km.

Along the Camino there are multiple options for lodging. You can camp, stay in hostels, book hotels, private housing, etc. so the price is all over the place. What I decided is that I would take a 10 Day/8 Night trip, 6 of those nights would be on the Camino, with a night in Madrid and Sarria (the starting point for my Camino). I figured I would spend 5 nights in pilgrims housing and 3 nights in hotels (although along the route, I may choose to add a hotel night depending on how I am physically doing).Obviously there is so much more I could write about this experience, but I am trying to keep these posts basics, so here is what I have priced out:
Flight: $1113
Lodging: $375
Transportation in Spain: $300
Food: $500
A grand total of $2288! (Of course that does not include gear!)

I can not say why this has never happened, I think about it and plan for it often. I can make a million reason why I can not, or shouldn’t do it, but to be honest my heart is so set on it, that I know I need to answer the call. Maybe someday I will get to host a group for this incredible experience, have someone decided they should send me there, or maybe some of you will read this and have the same desire as me, and we can form a group and just do it! But for know, it will stay at the top of my list, my absolute must do!

I know this experience will change me, how could it not! It will test my limits, point out my weaknesses, yet remind me all that life has given to me, the good and the bad, and remind me that I am still moving forward! I am not sure if this is the life I would have chosen, but it definitely is the life I have chosen to live!

Keep dreaming and making those miles into memories!

P.S. There is an equally amazing pilgrimage route in Norway that I was recently introduced to called the St. Olav way.  It is amazing, and my heart is truly longing to experience that pilgrimage as well! I can not wait to get my feet back out on the path!

Go Bungy jumping in the place it was created… Queenstown, New Zealand!

Until January I probably could have not pointed out Queenstown, New Zealand on a map, much less told you that Bungy Cord jumping was created there, and it has earned is permanent reputation as the “Adventure Capital of the World.” Now I can tell you the different types of tourist, the annual economic impact, a marketing campaign to attract non-adventure seekers, and more information then you would care to know! However what I have discovered is that from Bungee jumping, to epic mountain bike trails, to jet boating, Queenstown is an adventure seekers dream! The more I have studied about Queenstown, the more the tourism major in me feels like I need to visit it and experience it! However the South Island is only a part of my bucket list trip to New Zealand, and the heart of it is visiting my cousins who live in Wellington and would love to be my personal tour guides.

As Wellington and Queenstown lie on 2 separate island, I would take my cousins advice and fly into the South Island and tour it first before heading over to the North Island and touring that with my family. (Although they are invited to the South Island too!).  I planned my flights for January, our winter, their summer, so higher prices! Although I think it is always expense to fly to New Zealand!

My budget for New Zealand is not realistic to others in that for my 2 weeks adventure, I Screen Shot 2018-07-11 at 9.28.38 PMam planning on my cousin hosting me for half of it! Therefore I only budgeted lodging and rental car expenses for half of the time I am there. Also my food expenses would be a little lower as well because there would be the option to eat some meals at home. Also I would have 3 great tour guides, under the age of 10, so my time on the Northern Island would be spent different then a regular tourist, (although Hobbiton would be a must, as those are my people!).

Heading over in January of 2019, here is what my budget is:
Flights: $2200, flying into Queenstown, and returning from Wellington.
Ferry to get from the South Island to the North Island: $51
Rental car for South Island: $350, picking up in Queenstown, dropping off in Nelson.
Activities: $1500, anticipating spending between $100-$200 on the activities I really want to do, and other days just enjoying the scenery.
Lodging: $834
Grand Total: $4,935, so roughly $5,000! and worth every penny!

I imagine that no matter what takes you to New Zealand, the experience would forever be a part of you and I can’t wait to someday make it part of my story!!

Trip # 18… Experience Hygge!

What is Hygge (pronounced Hoo-gah)? According to Visit Denmark, “Hygge is as Danish as æbleskiver and it goes far in illuminating the Danish soul. In essence, hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. The warm glow of candlelight is hygge. Cosying up with a loved one for a movie – that’s hygge, too. And there’s nothing more hygge than sitting around with friends and family, discussing the big and small things in life. Perhaps hygge explains why the Danes are some of the happiest people in the world.”

So in order to truly discover Hygge,  Denmark is another country I want to visit without Screen Shot 2018-07-08 at 10.34.35 PMmuch of a plan and just have the ability to experience Denmark, with one exception, starting in Thisted and ending in Copenhagen. Thisted is in the northern part of Denmark, and near as I can tell a small town, close to some cool natural attractions. However the most important part of visiting Thisted to me is being able to see the Baptismal record of my great-grandfather Nels Larsen, which is still at the local Lutheran church and experiencing Hygge in the area of my family roots!

Public Transportation seems to be the best way to get around Denmark, and so for my journey that is what I would rely on. I would also most likely try and stay at AirBnB’s or Bed & Breakfasts to get a more local experience, another chance to experience Hygge!

In my research it appears to have some great outdoor opportunities, like standing in two Screen Shot 2018-07-08 at 10.33.48 PMseas at once, amazing castles and churches, not to mention lighthouses galore! A great opportunity to refill my Vitamin D and happiness quota! Also the opportunity to stay away for guided tours as much as possible, not that they are bad, I just am really want to discover Hygge, and that happens in communities! I would love to connect with distant family members before arriving, and am lucky that I have a friend that grew up in Denmark to use as a reference guide!

I would plan on spending about 10 Days discovering Hygge and the budget would look as follows:
Flights $585
Car rental $600
Lodging $1200
Activities $500
For a starting total of $2885. The price alone helps to create Hygge already 🙂

Are you looking for Hygge too! While Denmark seems to have the market on it, it can also happen anywhere! Take some time to experience the good things in life with good people! It is truly time well spent!