I am always trying to encourage friends to go on a storm chasing trip. But more often than not, the responses I get amount to “I would love to, but it’s too expensive.”
Storm chasing will remain a pipe dream for many people due to financial concerns, but for others, it’s a matter of dedication. Ask yourself, do you really want to go? Do you absolutely, positively have to go?
If so, then all it takes to make your dream a reality is to set a date. Write down a date or a month in the distant future and budget a small amount of money to tuck away each week to save up for your trip. Prioritize this enough and it will be a goal that you can attain.
What type of storm chasing trip is the most budget-friendly?
Storm chasing certainly costs lots of money, and if you are a total amateur, your only feasible option is to book a spot on a storm chasing tour. Prices vary greatly depending on which company you go with, but you can expect to shell out at least $1,500 for a four-day tour.
Alternatively, you can elect to go on a one day tour, which may run as cheap as $300. But the catch is that you must be near the target area or be able to fly out on a moment’s notice. When all is said and done, you may easily end up spending $600 or more including plane tickets and lodging.
Wait patiently for discounts
Some tour companies will offer discounted rates in the Winter when there are only a few seats left to sell. You may also find early bird promotions in the Fall, or last-minute discounts to sell off the last remaining seats in March or April.
You may not end up with the most ideal set of dates, but the rates will be cheaper. Also, keep in mind that some tours give discounts to veterans or those who are willing to share hotel rooms.
Set yourself up with a writing gig
If you consider yourself a decent writer, consider reaching out to newspapers and local culture magazines to offer to write a feature about your storm chasing trip. You may be able to barter your writing services in exchange for a full-ride or partial payment of your expenses.
Most publications will likely want to see writing samples first. If you don’t have any, you can pick a few topics to write about and send a few samples to them along with your inquiry.