A recent blog post following an online event mentioned what I now call The Bridge Game Parking Problem. I won’t say which post, and I won’t even say which event or player – but I will say that the post mentioned the cost of on-site parking at the hotel where the event was held as exorbitantly high. (It was bad enough in US dollars: Converted to my own currency it could be a week’s worth of groceries at the very least.)
Here are a few solutions to the Bridge Game Parking Problem which might help if you’re attending a bridge event.
While you’re still planning to attend the event, it’s always a good idea to call ahead and find out what the specific parking arrangements (and costs) associated with the event will be. This way, you aren’t hit with a nasty financial surprise when you get to the event – and you can either prepare to pay for the on-site parking or make alternative arrangements instead.
Services Like Uber
Booking an Uber (or similar service) from the hotel to the bridge event might – and I say might – sometimes be cheaper than arranging for special valet parking at the event. If you aren’t sure, call up a few different services and ask about their pricing. (With this, especially internationally, make sure that you’re dealing with reputable transport companies only – there are more than enough horror stories out there of wayward taxi services that won’t get you near where you need to be, but might get you mugged.)
Surprisingly, there are some parts of the world where your credit card might not be as good as back home. As I write this, China is one of them – and the World Bridge Team Championship is taking place there right now. Owing to regulations, Visa and Master Card is unlikely to work at the hotel. Always check the regulations if you’re playing outside the country you know – again, that way you won’t get a sudden surprise.
Smaller clubs might benefit from clubbing together for a lift club. (Yes, that’ll be the Bridge Club Lift Club…) If you travel to events on a regular basis and you can get more than one person to agree on the issue of the parking problem, then you might as well all drive to the event together – though if you lose, there might be an uncomfortable silence on the way back.
Booking a Closer Stay
Have you mapped the area yet? Check the location around the event for possible parking spaces, or just book a hotel stay that’s a little bit closer to the event at a cheaper venue instead.