F1 on a Shoestring – Making it happen

In my last post I outlined the plan – attend the 2014 Malaysian Formula1 for an all-in cost of AUD 1500 from my home in Canberra Australia.

Key to this was getting some killer airfares – I needed to book 4 legs at least, either in a single booking or a cluster of bookings linked together by myself.

Turning to any of the regular travel aggregators gets some decent joined rates; Helloworld (formerly Bestflights) shows pricing of around AUD1000 and that’s pretty good, but I knew I could do better.

In the end I settled on using AirAsia and making a booking with my choice of service level, carry-on luggage only to KL, 20kg Return luggage, a seat in the Quiet Zone of my choice and so on.  Total spent including all fees – AUD425.  The problem is this flight left from Sydney meaning either two 3 hour drives from Canberra or a linking flight.

Turning to Virgin Australia and lining up matching flight times put me a further AUD247.70 down but I now had dates of travel locked in.

Its all getting very real now

With flights locked in on the cheapest virtually non-refundable, non-changeable fares this trip was going to happen.  I’d previously sketched out a rough budget while looking at airfares and now it was getting tight…

Description Estimate
Flights (SYD – KUL) $ 368.00
Flights (CBR – SYD) $ 240.00
Accomodation $ 650.00
Travel Insurance $ 90.00
F1 Ticket $ 250.00
Totals: $ 1,598.00

OK in reality the budget crept a bit when I added in the base cost of the AirAsia flights and the real (no discount) internal flights.  But at this point I was still allowing myself a generous 3 star accommodation budget and a pretty good range of ticket options for the F1.

Working a bit backwards I contacted our usual travel insurer for a quote – it came back a bit higher than expected, but not much, and a chunk of the increase was selecting the “no excess” option.  Always worthwhile when travelling and while my Credit Card offers complimentary insurance a dedicated policy is always much more generous.

Time to get serious and book some more stuff, with the flights already over budget I was hoping to downgrade costs a bit, so hitting the Sepang Circuit website I started the arduous choice of selecting my F1 tickets.

Sepang Circuit ticket prices are some of the better prices – and buying direct from the circuit online cut out some of the costs that other ticket sellers impose including mandatory postage of tickets.  Not to mention it’s not like the racetrack is a fraudulent operator!

In the end I’ve settled for a covered grandstand on the back straight – it was basically the best combination of allocated seat – I’ve grabbed one right on the railing so should have a great clear view.  It was cheap, at a smidge over AUD195 for the three days.

There is a bonus with booking through Sepang Circuit – that is the inclusion of tickets to the post-race party (Calvin Harris in 2014) and other things.

So now I had flights, insurance, and an F1 ticket and nowhere to sleep!

There’s about AUD600 to spend

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Geek, Car Guy, Former entrepreneur looking for the next big thing while doing the things I should have done 20 years ago. Key pusher and thinker for a large organisation who dreams to be doing something else.

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