05 July 2013

FinCon 2013: Getting There

If you may recall, I purchased my ticket for FinCon 2013 way back when they were first put on sale. However, I've yet to obtain transportation and lodging to the event. Since FinCon will be held in the Gateway City this year, it's quite a bit farther from me than last year's offering of the Mile High City. As such, getting there will be significantly more involved, both in time and money, than last year's would've been had I gone. I've been investigating options versus reality. The obvious first choice for many would be to fly, but I also am quite a fan of road trips. Or even ride trips.

Things I'm considering go beyond just FinCon. In addition to attending the conference, I would like to maximize my time in the region to visit people I don't normally see. That tips the scales towards driving. With a (my) car, I'd be able to easily visit people on the way over and back, something that's kinda hard to do from seat 19E.

Once again, the plane wins out.
At the same time, driving from SoCal over there is no small feat. I've driven a similar trip before, and it wouldn't be cheaper nor more time-efficient than flying. Last road trip, I averaged about 23-24 MPG, so we're talking almost 200 gallons round trip at whatever gas will cost then. Even if my car were doubly efficient, it still wouldn't even break even in gas alone, and that's before considering in the cost of the wear for a 4000+ mile round trip. (But it does make insurance and registration into bigger bargains.)

So with all that in mind, I am leaning very heavily toward a hybrid strategy: fly to STL for the conference, then rent a car to visit my family and friends. After visiting, I can return the car and fly back home. That allows me the flexibility of a car without having to worry about parking it in the city, being tired from driving all the way over there and back, and possibly getting stranded in my car rather far from home.

Now that I've made a decision, implementation is in order. Plane tickets need to be researched and bought, car needs to be planned. However, those are topics I'll cover in another post. But it's time to hear from you! Are you planning to go to #FC13? If so, what options are you considering to get there? Leave a comment and let us know!

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