Smart Spending: Get your groove on, on a budget

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 24, 2014 at 10:43 am •  Published: April 24, 2014
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NEW YORK (AP) — As the air gets warmer and spring blossoms, the season of music festivals is upon us. From Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Tennessee in June to Lollapalooza in Chicago in August, music lovers across the country will soon begin to flocking to festivals, which can draw hundreds of thousands of fans.

It's easy to get caught up in the excitement and spend a bundle, on everything from tickets to accommodations to bottles of water. But with a little foresight, it's easy to cut down on excess spending and enjoy the music and excitement without breaking the bank.

BEFORE YOU GO: Tickets are usually pricey, but If you plan enough in advance, you can at least shave off a little money and buy with early-bird discounts. For cheaper rates, consider if you want to buy a day pass or two instead of a full festival pass.

Camping is the cheapest lodging option of course. But if that isn't an option, or if you prefer to stay at a hotel, book your hotel first, before your airfare, recommends Andrew Young, editorial director, North America of travel site Travelzoo. The cheapest hotel rooms book up quickly, and flights can be more flexible.

Also make sure to check for a secondary airport in the region of the festival that might have cheaper fares. And if you have a day or two to spare for your vacation, come a day early and leave a day late, when airfare will likely be cheaper, Young says.

The more information you have, the more likely you are to make smart spending choices. Download the festival's own app as well as apps like Festival Ready, which includes navigation and weather forecasts. Yelp and travel apps like Travelzoo or Expedia can also help you find your way around or get last-minute discounts on spots around town.

Carpooling is one of the best ways to save, Young says, and there are even some hidden benefits when festivals seek to reward carpoolers. At Coachella earlier this month, for example, carpoolers with four or more people in the car could print out a sign for their dashboard that said "Carpoolchella," and were entered into a contest that could result in winning VIP tickets to Coachella for life and other prizes. Check with the festival you're attending to see if it does anything similar.