A Poor Girl’s Guide; Getting To The Monaco GP

Since 1929, the Monaco GP has been the highlight of the motor-racing calendar. Synonymous with glamour, supermodels and superyachts, the Monaco GP attracts the worlds rich and famous who travel to enjoy champagne and caviar with a soundtrack supplied by the roar of the worlds fastest cars. However, how accessible is the race if you don’t have a spare million or two? This guest post from Durham resident, Josie Smith, gives some excellent hints and tips for those planning to get here on May 25th-28th on a shoestring budget.

The Monaco GP is one of the most lavish events on the F1 calendar. It’s a staple race that is on the bucket list for many a fan, myself included.The combination of racing and elegance/extravagance appeal to both my race-fan side and my princess side.

However, although I have the mindset of a princess, I severely lack the wealth. As a student veterinary nurse earning 16 grand a year, I’m hardly using £50 notes for toilet paper.

When it came to booking Monaco, there were 3 main things we had to consider:

  • Accommodation
  • Travel
  • Race Tickets

Naturally, as there are three of us going, the cost was split between us so….

Step 1: Find a race buddy (or several)

A race companion or a group will not only spread the cost of the trip but it will make it more enjoyable… as long as you can stand to be in the same proximity for over 72 hours.

Race squad = life squad.

Step 2: Where to stay

Consider the area. Monaco is VERY expensive for both hotels, apartments and AirBNBs alike so think outside the box. Nice, Beausoleil and Menton are both short journeys from Monaco with lots of affordable hotels to stay in.

We opted for a beach side apartment in Menton for our week long trip with access to a pool. A good view, close to a metro station and within walking distance of shops for food stock up, it’s pretty nifty really. It’s a good little set up and at only £1,135 between 3 of us for the week, it’s not a bad price.

A word of caution when using AirBnB for a race weekend. Never judge by the price they advertise, always enquire. The price tends to nearly double for the GP weekend so don’t be caught out by enticing low prices in the advert unless they state they are race weekend prices.

Step 3: Travel

Direct flights may be more convenient but they’re often more pricey. Depending on what your timeline is like, do you need to get home ASAP or can be do a bit of waiting, you could save a bit of dosh.

Flights from the UK at least are reasonably priced but return flights can be more than double the cost for the direct flights. By stopping off at Brussels on our way home, we’ve saved more than £100 each. Compromise!

Step 4: Insurance

If you’re healthy, lucky you – it’s dirt cheap. If you’re like me and you have medical conditions then you need to shop around for the best deals.  £23 for a group of 3 via MoneySupermarket.com. Not bad!

Step 5: Race Tickets

There is no way around this, absolutely none. Buy legit. Go for Formula1.com so you don’t end up with fake or worse; nothing. A general weekend ticket isn’t a thing for Monaco so you buy each separately. If you want to splash out for the weekend and go grandstand, take your pick. If not, General Admission at Le Rocher for Saturday and Sunday and Monte Carlo/Main Straight for Thursday *there is no GA on a Thursday*.

I hope that helps the more thrifty of you to plan a lovely trip to Monaco.

I will be writing another post after the Monaco GP about surviving the race weekend itself on a shoestring budget!

For now, a bientôt!

Josie’s original post can be found here