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 stubhub.com, 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!

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!

Grand Teton National Park

All of my bucket list trips so far have been grand trips, to grand places, but to be honest my favorite place in the entire world, the place where I am most “me”, is Grand Teton National Park. I realize that a bucket list is meant to be things you have not done, but there is so much more to still discover in the Tetons, that I feel it should be there every year. Besides it is my sanctuary, place of refuge, island of discernment. A place where whatever is going on in my world is left at the entrance gate and I just enjoy the world the way I believe God intended me too. John Muir once said “The mountains are calling and I must go.”, and after a visit to Grand Teton National Park, it is not hard to understand how he felt.

The breakdown of costs for me to visit Grand Teton National Park are below. I am lucky in that I have a lot of the stuff I need and I can easily drive it, making this trip more of a question as to why I do not do it every year, then why it is on my bucket list!14191923_10153729260172541_2953142700817873270_n
Park Pass: $80
Camping: $93 (3 nights)
Kayak permit: $12
Jenny Lake Shuttle: $15
Pizza, beer and ice cream at Leek’s Marina: $30
Gas: $120
Total adventure: $350

A couple of things that are must-do’s for me while in GTNP is spending some time kayaking String Lake, Leigh Lake, any of the lakes and my ultimate bucket list would be through Oxbow Bend, early in the morning! Oxbow Bend is my holy of holy places, the place where for a moment heaven meets earth and harmony and peace exist.

Hiking is a given while visiting GTNP and many great hikes take off from Jenny Lake including Hidden Falls, Inspiration Point and Cascade Canyon. Taking the shuttle across the lake brings you right to the trailheads, and an opportunity to explore some of the most beautiful areas, away from the crowds. One hike that is at the top of my list of hikes still to do is Amphitheater Lake, a 9.9 miles hike that brings you through stunning views and two glacial lakes. Definitely need to get a little more training in before taking on that!

One of the main things however I want to point out about this bucket list trip especially is that your national parks are closer and more affordable then you think! Take the time to go out and visit YOUR parks, unplug and enjoy a night under the stars, go off the beaten path in a kayak, breath the fresh air, rediscover you! Even just a few days away can have refresh and renew you, while being easy on your budget.

Belize

Belize has been on my bucket list since I was a student studying Outdoor Recreation and Tourism at the University of Wyoming back in 1998! My advisor was approached about the opportunity to go and teach down there one summer and bring a couple of his students. I was not familiar with Belize at the time, but it had been attracting the adventure tourists for a while and was starting to see some growth. He did not end up going, so the opportunity never was passed along, but the seed was planted to experience it one day.

What is great is that Southwest actually flies into Belize (as well as most other airlines, but I am pretty loyal to Southwest!). I found a great package deal that includes flights and 6 nights at the Coco Beach Resort on Ambergris Caye, Belize for $2,687 for two people! The price even includes the transfer to the Island!

One of the main things I want to do there is go cave tubing! I found a company that takesScreen Shot 2018-07-03 at 5.14.51 PM you on a full day trek through the forest, cave tubing and zipping for around $85/person! In looking at some of the other actives, such as snorkeling, fishing, checking out howler monkeys, I could easily see spending close to $500/person just on activities!

So for a mere $3,687, two people can experience the wonder that is Belize! Anyone looking for a +1 to join them?

Drink the Worlds BEST craft beer… Belgium.

This again is a repeat of a earlier post, but the pilgrimage I had hoped to do in October didn’t pan out, and with it being like a million degree’s today, a nice ice-cold beer sounds perfect for today and my bucket list travel countdown! Besides I still really, really, really want to go on a pilgrimage to Belgium to experience the Trappist Monasteries! I am sure some other people out there want to go too!

Traveling from Amsterdam through Belgium, we experience 8 of the 11 Trappist Beers in the world, including Westvleteren 12, ranked often as the best! We experience the amazing works and spiritual lives of the monks, who serve as inspirations to all of us as we journey through our own pilgrimage of faith! We spend time in Bruges, Kinderdijk along with breweries, tap rooms and chapels!! It truly is an experience unlike any other.

For less than $3,000/person, this pilgrimage includes flight, lodging, transportation, entrances, 2 meals a day, and amazing memories to last a lifetime!This pilgrimage is not about beer, it is about community! Discovering it, creating it, and celebrating it!

Who is ready to go? I would love to talk with you about an opportunity to co-host this with you! You may even get to travel for free! Yep, you read that right, who wouldn’t want that? It truly is a pilgrimage you will never forget!