It’s nearly fall, and that means Oktoberfest season is upon us! These fall-time festivals celebrating German culture offer lots of fun times and great food, but also lots of spending opportunities. This year, keep more cash in your wallet with a few tips to save money on Oktoberfest events.
Tip #1: Buy discounted tickets or visit during free admission hours.
A few of the 2019 Oktoberfest events offering discounts are listed below.
- Wurstfest (Nov. 1 – Nov. 10, times vary) | This annual bash celebrating German heritage in nearby New Braunfels is the “Wurst” event on the Oktoberfest schedule. You can save a few dollars by grabbing advance purchase tickets online for $12 before midnight, October 31. (Tickets purchased after that date will be $15.) Even better! You can attend Wurstfest FOR FREE during specific times on certain dates. To view free Wurstfest admission hours, visit their website at Wurstfest.com/Buy-Tickets.
- Oktubrefest (Sep. 21, 12:00 – 7:00 p.m.) | In a unique blend of German and Spanish culture, Oktubrefest embraces San Antonio’s diverse heritage. This event set at Sunset Station offers Early-Bird General Admission, which will run you $15, and $60 if you want to purchase the VIP offering. Where you’ll save: On the children’s admission. Kids under the age of 12 can get into the festival for free!
- Octoberfest at Tower of the Americas (Oct. 5, 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.) | The first ever Tower of the Americas Octoberfest event will feature 24 breweries, live entertainment, costume contests and more. This event is on the pricier side of Oktoberfest festivals, but if you’re set on attending, you’ll receive a $5 discount for purchasing tickets early ($35 as opposed to $40). Military members and Landry’s Select Club members may receive additional discounts.
There will be several other events happening in San Antonio during Oktoberfest that offer advance purchase and promotional codes. It never hurts to search for coupons or discount codes before spending the money on a ticket!
Tip #2: Save money—Only take cash!
Save yourself a financial hangover and leave the credit and debit cards at home. Decide beforehand how much you can afford to spend and visit your financial institution’s ATM or branch to get cash. (You can find a Generations branch or ATM here!) This way, you’ll ensure you don’t overspend on food and drinks.
Tip #3: Carpool.
Parking becomes a nightmare at big events. Even when you do find a reasonable spot, the charge to leave your car in a garage or parking lot can cost you upwards of $10, $15, or even $20. Skip the headache and reduce the payment by carpooling with your friends and splitting the parking fee. Even better! Try using a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft and split the cost with your friends. Bonus: This is also the better idea if you and your friends plan to drink alcohol at an Oktoberfest event! You’ll all save money, and no one has to be the Designated Driver that night.
Tip #4: Eat and drink beforehand. (But not too much!)
We get it. The whole point of Oktoberfest is to indulge in the food and drink German culture has to offer. Just be aware—food and drinks are expensive at these festivals! To help curb your appetite and your spending, try filling up beforehand with a decent-sized meal. You’ll probably end up burning off a lot of calories anyway with all of the walking you’ll be doing. And if we could offer one non-money related piece of advice, it would be this: Start with a pretzel. You can’t go wrong with a nice, warm, salty pretzel to kick off your Oktoberfest experience!
Follow these tips, and you’ll save money while still enjoying the German culture of our San Antonio heritage. Please be safe and have fun. Cheers to an excellent 2019 Oktoberfest!
Samantha Salazar is a University of Texas at Austin alum who has worked in the finance and marketing industry since 2011. She has a background as a CUNA Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor and is a Class II graduate of the Latina Leadership Institute (LLA). True to her millennial nature, Samantha loves coffee, covers her home in hanging plants, lives a frugal lifestyle, and works hard so that her dog, Olive, can have the backyard she deserves.