So I know quite a few of you are excited to see how to get to mettet and how to do it affordably. Luckily I have done this trip before without breaking the bank and would love to see as many of you guys get the opportunity to race there as well!
I'm not going to lie to you guys though. Doing this on a budget, specifically the budget I set for myself and used last year, does not equal a cushy vacation. What it does though is, gets you there, cheaply, so you can experience the largest supermoto event in the world.
First off lets get a rough checklist started with the bare essentials you'll need and then together we will go through each item and roughly what to spend. I will give you guys source links for all the pricing I find so this should make things super easy for you to plan out for next year.
1. Registration. (Not open until May usually)
This can be a little intimidating if you've never signed up for a big event before. Not to worry though, this is really not a big deal at all. Normally registration for the event costs about $477. There are ways to circumvent that cost though. If you are serious about going to mettet feel free to email me at email@example.com and I can help you get into the Event. My cost for registration ended up being about 50 euro or $63 for some final paperwork in the lobby. A small price to pay to be a part of something so big.
Running Total: $63
2. Bike Rental.
This one is slightly harder to acquire. That doesn't mean it's impossible though. I was able to source a bike through the Netherlands Supermoto School. If you're looking for a bike I would shoot them an email. It was a slow WR450 and I was able to borrow it for $1500. This is definitely the most costly thing you will need to purchase for your trip over to mettet and can vary wildly. For an extra couple hundred I could have rented a YZ450f and been more competitive but for me this trip was more about getting there, experiencing the event, and having fun as cheap as possible. The base WR was perfect for doing the event on a budget. There are a bunch of other teams that rent bikes as well. Unfortunately I do not have websites for them but if you'd prefer to ride a KTM or Honda; I can always help you guys source the bikes you're looking for. Also, if you would like to get some training/practice in before the event, I strongly suggest doing the Netherlands Supermoto School. It's one of the best schools I've done and helps you get used to the bike you would be using, although that would put us over budget for this exercise.
Running Total: $1563
3. Plane Ticket
Ah this is where things start to get easy. Personally I like to find my flights on Momondo. Last year I got a round trip ticket to Brussels for $526, which ended up being $730 after taxes. Not too bad for a round trip flight to Europe. If you're on the west coast reading this, I'm terribly sorry; it's probably going to cost you quite a bit more to get there. If you're near JFK though, good news! Cheap flights! I flew Aer Lingus, connected in Dublin and landed in Brussels, it was fantastic and for the price I couldn't beat it. Below is a photo of the cheapest flight I could find right now, If I wanted to go to mettet this year. You're roughly looking at $878 which would be drastically cheaper if you planned this trip months ahead, as I'm sure you're aware. I'd suggest landing in Brussels on a Wednesday and flying back home on the Monday following the race.
Running Total: $2293
4. Rental Car
Now If you follow my itinerary of landing in Brussels Wednesday and flying home on Monday, you should only need a rental car for 5 days. I rented one for 7 and it ran me $120. You can rent a cheapo Peugot 207 or Opel Corsa for $75 for the 5 days. These cars are cheap and slow. Perfect for trips on a budget. I found these using www.Rentalcars.com
Running Total: $2367
5. Hotel Room
Now this is where I will probably loose some of you guys. I wouldn't suggest it if I hadn't done it myself but a hotel room is not necessary for this trip except for sunday and Wednesday night. If you pack correctly, like bring a towel, the track has showers so you can stay clean. If you can also pack a tent and sleeping bag with you on the plane that would be ideal but for those of you that can't fit those in your luggage or don't own them then you can do what I did and sleep in your car. The seats will fold down in the rentals and bringing a pillow from home and some extra sheets are more than enough to get you through a couple days sleeping in the back of a car. Like I said this wasn't going to be a cushy vacation here. You will be infinitely more comfortable in your rental car than I was though. I got to sleep in the back of a sprinter van with no heat and a metal floor. I used my riding gear as a pillow and had no blankets. Id take the rental car any day of the week!
Wednesday Id suggest staying somewhere close and cheap. Check Here for close hotels. The cheapest is about 40 euros or $50. Book as soon as you register for the event to make sure you get a room.
For your last day I strongly suggest crashing at the Sheraton thats connected to the Brussels airport. Yes its expensive but it allows you to return the rental car on Sunday night and you can just walk to your gate monday morning. If your flight isn't until monday afternoon (it shouldn't be) you can always stay somewhere else which would bring the cost for a hotel down. The Sheraton runs about $225 a night, which is kind of pricey on this budget trip but will be oh so worth it.
Running Total: $2642
This one can be kind of tricky to price out. Currently you're left with $358 to use on food. Over the 5 days that gives you about $71 to spend on food everyday. I really cant imagine you coming close to this marker. They have pretty good food on track that you can buy and that should only end up costing you about $40 everyday you're at the track. Assuming that you have roughly $200 in your pocket for a little wiggle room on Wednesday once you land to buy some chocolate and food, maybe even a half way decent dinner on Sunday night.
Running Total: $3,000
Yes. This is a super tight budget. And It wouldn't hurt to have an extra couple hundred on you just incase. You are traveling to a different country and you never know what may arise. That doesn't mean this trip cant be done cheap and you guys have all the resources to make this happen. There are no more excuses now. If you want to race Mettet next year, you can follow this guide to getting your foot in the right direction. I can honestly say It was worth every penny and I would really love to see more Americans get there!