Your travel guide to SXSW — 6 ways to save money
By Aimee Heckel
March is for music-lovers, at least in Austin, Texas. One of the biggest music festivals in the nation, South by Southwest Music and Media Festival, runs March 8-17.
With more than 1,400 bands playing between March 12 and 17 at dozens of locations — not even counting the exhaustive interactive and film offerings — the event can be overwhelming, even for a seasoned SBSXer.
Here are six travel tips to help you make the most of your Austin adventure.
1. Come prepared. Don’t just show up and hope for the best. Familiarize yourself with the website and the offerings and prioritize. Also visit other useful, related websites, such as lynrd.com, sched.org and sxshhh.com.
2. Create a realistic schedule. You can’t do everything or you will be too stressed to enjoy yourself. But also be prepared for things to fall through. Be flexible.
3. Download SXSW GO, the mobile app that allows you to build and share your schedule, connect with other visitors and navigate your way around.
Tip: Save money by booking through ShopAtHome.com, which has a long list of travel deals, such as save between $20 and $100 on hotel bookings with hotels.com, plus six percent cash back (up form 4 percent).
5. Learn about Austin, too. With so much to learn and plan about the festival, don’t forget to prepare for the city itself. Visit Austin’s visitor’s website for great travel tips and recommendations. Looking for a great place to eat? Try the award-winning Japanese restaurants Uchi or Ushiko.
If you’re looking to save money on food, go where the college kids go, near campus. Chow.com offers a list of its favorite SXSW restaurants in Austin, including Franklin Barbecue for lunch. Tip: Get there early. There’s often a wait.
6. Consider booking your tickets through American Airlines, the official airline of SXSW. Here’s why: SXSW attendees can get discounted airfare through American. Book it through www.aa.com/sxsw and use the promotion code 6533EH.
Save more on airfare by checking the travel deals through ShopAtHome.com.
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Photo courtesy: Extreme Airshots