Formula One Mini-Vacation


Formula One McLaren Jensen Button

When you read this I will (hopefully) be enjoying a fun-filled weekend at the inaugural United States Grand Prix in Austin, TX. I have been a Formula One fan for YEARS and it is definitely a dream come true to be able to go to a race. What makes it even better is that my birthday is this weekend so it will be even more fun for me. Last year my wife and I were on a Mediterranean cruise around this time and we were actually in Monaco for my birthday, so we were able to walk around the Monaco Grand Prix circuit. It was just a series of regular roads at the time since the race had occurred earlier in the year, but it was definitely still an awesome experience.  While I would love to go to the Monaco Grand Prix one day, I don’t think that it’s in the budget any time soon! Speaking of budgets, I want to give you a breakdown of what I’m expecting this trip to cost and then when I get back I’ll see how close I was to being correct.

Prepaid Expenses

  • Tickets – 2 General Admission Tickets – $347.32 ($173.66 each) – These are for three days – including practice, qualifying, the race, the support events, etc. The money for the tickets has already come out of our vacation budget, so we’re good to go on that front!

Expected Expenses

  • Gas – It’s about 200 miles each way, plus driving while we’re there, plus dropping off the dogs on the way, etc. So I think we’ll probably spend about $100 on gas.
  • Food – This is probably the biggest variable on here. We can’t take snacks into the track, and we have to park our car at the Austin Convention Center and then take a shuttle 30-40 minutes, so it’s not practical to leave food in the car and come out to eat. All we’re allowed to bring in with us is water – which we will definitely be doing. So I expect we will be buying lunch and some snacks during the day each of the three days (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday). We are staying with friends of ours, and they will probably want to go out to eat, so I think most of our meals, other than breakfast, will be eaten out… this is getting expensive! Plus food on the way down and back, I’m going to say $150 for the trip and hope I’m close!

Unexpected Expenses

  • Hopefully there will be nothing to report here. We’re taking my car, which doesn’t normally accumulate many miles, but it should be fine. If anything unexpected does come up we have a nice cushion to help us out, so I’m not concerned.

Total Expenses

With everything added in we’re looking at right around $600 for our long weekend getaway. That’s a large chunk of change, but it does include our entertainment for the trip and it’s definitely not something we’re taking lightly! Being able to attend this event and not have it impact our finances in a major way is really exciting for me. This type of experience definitely goes towards increasing my contentment and happiness, even though it comes with a slight financial independence cost. I think in this case the financial independence gods will understand – I’m pretty sure they’re F1 fans! 🙂

My wife and I are really excited about the trip and I’m looking forward to sharing how it was (the actual event and cost-wise) when we get back. Until then, I hope you enjoy your weekend, and if you’re in the mood you can catch the race on FOX (in the US) at 1pm Central on 11/18.



Thank you Vojtech Jakubec for the pic

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Arnel Ariate November 17, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Happy Birthday, AB! This is a very informative post, if not for this article I would have never known that the financial independence gods are F1 fans, too. 🙂 Enjoy your vacation and I am also curious to know how your vacation turned out especially, money-wise.

Reply November 19, 2012 at 11:35 pm

Thanks Arnel – I’ll have details together in the next week or so on the financial side. The birthday/trip was awesome though!!! My ears are still ringing from the noise though.


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