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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Trip Planning 101 – The Final Chapter

See the previous installments:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Our Midwest baseball trip is coming together at a fast and furious pace.

We have now booked a rental car, which we will pick up in Cincinnati and use for the duration of the trip, which will finish in Kansas City. We’ve also booked hotel rooms at a Comfort Inn in Cincinnati, a Drury Inn in St. Louis and a Marriott Residence Inn in Kansas City. While the rental car and hotel reservations are an important part of a trip, they are not the only important element. The car, a full size, one-way rental, is costing $693.  I used a discount code that I found for Walmart shoppers that I found at Best-Car-Rental-Tips.com that got me a bigger discount than my dad's AAA card.

As of last Friday, the baseball tickets have been purchased. For all three games, I tried getting accessible seating as close to home plate as possible for one wheelchair and two companion seats. The surprising thing was unlike Angel Stadium, it was very easy to get more than one companion seat without any hassle at all. I just called each stadium and they were more than ready to help me out. Being an Angel fan, I can’t help thinking my own team screws me every time I want to buy seats there.

In Cincinnati, we will be going to a day game against the Chicago Cubs. We will be sitting along the first base side behind the Reds dugout, very close to the field. There will be a Mothers’ Day scarf giveaway that day. In St. Louis, we will be going to a game against the Houston Astros. We will be sitting in the Infield Redbird Club, which includes access to the Redbird Club, which seems to be a private restaurant and bar for this area. It’s kind of like sitting in a large suite, as I can gather. There will be no giveaway for that game. In Kansas City, we will be going to a game against the Chicago White Sox. We will be sitting in a dugout box very close to home plate. There will also be a women’s T-shirt giveaway as well as a postgame fireworks show, so it should be fun.

The most expensive ticket was $57 for the Redbird Club in St. Louis. This compares to the $60 I spent on pretty lousy seats at Seattle a couple of years ago so the baseball games…all with great seats…seem to be a bargain.

In addition to the games, we are also planning on seeing the Louisville Slugger Museum in Kentucky and the Indianapolis Raceway where the Indy 500 takes place.

Now everything is in place. The only thing left to do is go. I hope you’ve enjoyed this series and that it helps you to see how to plan your own trip. Don’t let your disability get in the way of seeing the world, I don’t and I enjoy every minute I’m on the road.

So, how does it all stack up to our original plans and budget?

Airfare: original budget $975 flying from LAX to Lousiville, KY. Final price: $861 flying from Ontario, CA to Cincinnati, OH. $106 under budget.

Hotels: original budget $1,130. Final price: $1,328. $198 over budget but each hotel includes a full breakfast and evening cocktail hour so we’ll make up the difference there.

Train tickets: $78 (from St. Louis to Kansas City). Will not be using the train. $78 under budget.

Rental Car: $693. Not in original budget but would replace flying from Cincinnati to St. Louis and the train plus it gives us a means of transportation at each location.

Baseball tickets: Original budget $180. Final price: $400. Was originally planning on buying cheap tickets but since I was able to get such premium seating at good prices, I decided to splurge a bit here.

The total cost, for three people over 11 days, is $3182 (not including food).  That works out to less than $100 per day for each person.

Thanks for joining me. I’m now very excited…this trip can’t come fast enough! It’s only three weeks away! Follow us on Facebook while we’re gone and watch for the trip report when we return.

-Tim
Copyright 2010 – Timothy Musick

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