Friday, December 4, 2009

Your Money...Save it!

Every year, people want a breakdown of how much going to a festival of this magnitude costs. It's going to vary based on what you decide to experience. Obviously, camping is going to be cheaper than a hotel room, and a hotel room in Palm Springs is going to be cheaper than a hotel room at the Indian Palms. Let's try to break this down.

Lodging: again, depends on how you roll. Camping is a $55 ticket (but remember, the costs of camping gear are going to add up if you don't already have it). At this juncture, you'll find hotel rooms between $150 and $300+ in Indio, and for $80 a night and up in Palm Springs.

Ticket: Last year, tickets were $269 for the three-day pass, plus service fees. Plan on spending about the same as last time, which ended up being $300.

Food: You can save money here if you are conscious of it. Inside the festival, you can probably plan on averaging about $12 per meal (including a drink) depending on how you and what you eat. Pizza is cheaper than the fancier options-you get the idea. Normally, we eat a huge breakfast outside the venue (either at this killer deli in Palm Desert called Sherman's or at the house we rent-we always go full kitchen.) Around 2ish, we'll grab a snack and then grab a slice or something for dinner around 7. We generally end up spending about $10-15 a day for food, rather than $35-40.

Beverages: You cannot skimp on water. I can't stress this enough. The air is dry and hot-your body needs to replenish the fluids you leak from dancing. Water is $2 a bottle, or $1 if you bring in an empty water container. I normally plan on $10-14 a day for water and maybe a Diet Coke when I need a caffeine fix. Sodas and gatorades are $3, and beer is $7. More on savvy alcohol drinking later.

Merchandise: It's cool to get merchandise at the festival if you have the money, but Christ, it's expensive. Shirts run you $25 and up, not to mention the posters, CD's, sweatshirts, hats, etc. they have available. Unless you see something you can't live without, I'd skip it entirely.

So...tip #3-start saving. All in, you probably want to set aside between $500-$1000 for your experience, however you choose to experience it.