Early last week, I decided to head to Sydney for 24 hours to watch the Sydney Swans v GWS semi final at the Sydney Cricket Ground along with the Cronulla-Sutherland v Eastern Suburbs straight after next door in the Sydney Football Stadium. Being the avid adventurer and always having trips on the go, my funds were tight so I was only able to make this mini adventure work out if there were cheap flights going. Thankfully, my luck was in and Tiger Air has flights with 7 kg of carry on luggage available for $49.95 each way. Departing at 10 am Saturday morning from the Gold Coast and returning from Sydney at 8:10 am the next day.
The big money saver came in the form of my gym membership as it covered my erm, “accommodation” for the night. You see, I go to Snap Fitness and part of the membership deal includes access to any of their gym’s worldwide and Sydney has a Snap Fitness in the heart of the city with showers, toilets and even a room to put your head down for a while. Of course, it’s not ideal but the hotel rates on short notice were asking upwards of $200 alone for a room so there was no way known that I was going to spend that kind of money for a room that I would only utilise for 5-6 hours. You see, by the time the second match finished and I walked back into the city, it was 11 pm and I was due on the 5 am train out to the airport. This is why Snap Fitness is my friend. I got a workout, shower and a quiet place to hang out in the heart of the city for precisely $0! Winning!
So what did I spend the other $100 of the budget on? Well, I only paid $47.95 for both match tickets. I buy student priced tickets online because nobody at the ground ever checks your ticket which meant my Swans ticket was $25 all in and the NRL ticket was $22.95 after booking fees (none for the Swans game) saving me $45! A bargain if ever there was one!
Next up was the actual transport from Sydney Airport into the city and back. Normally, a return ticket on the air train would cost $34. A highly expensive option for a ride that takes all of 10 minutes each way. Instead, I walked to Mascot Station which is located just 2 km’s from the domestic terminal and paid $2.75 on my Opal travel card. Returning the next morning was actually free because at 5 am on a Sunday morning, there are no ticket guards on duty at either Central Station or the Domestic Terminal so why pay bullshit money to the privately owned Sydney Airport Corporation who earn billions in profits every year when you can ride for free?
So far in the total cost is just under $150 and I still haven’t paid for food or the movie I was going to see! Well, the movie was free too because I had a gift card for Palace Cinemas that meant I was able to avoid the midday rain and see “You Were Never Really Here” starring Joaquin Phoenix. A marvellous if somewhat brutal film too.
The food option was easy. Once in the city, I headed to Woolworths and bought some crusty bread, ham, cheese, drinks and a shit load of snacks for $30. You see. A meat pie, chips and drink at the ground would cost almost $20 alone so buying up before hand essentially saves one heaps of money. And, at 3 am on Sunday, in Sydney’s CBD, I spent $10 at McDonalds for food and again, when at the airport, another $8.75 at McDonalds for a hot cakes breakfast. Better still, I had plenty of leftovers from my Woolies spend to bring home with me for snacks.
Now, I know many of you will think that buying student tickets and riding airport trains for free is unethical and immoral and yes, once upon a time, I would have agreed with you. However, as I grow older, I constantly see unethical and immoral practices in place through corporations, banks, governments & institutions as CEO’s fleece millions off shareholders whilst the politicians continually shove their heads in the trough like pigs so fuck it! If you can’t beat them, join them! The world we live in is a dog eat dog kind of place so you have to look after yourself and do what you have to do. Playing by the rules gets you nowhere in life. To get ahead and enjoy your life, you have to think smart and know how to milk the system in your favour.
Had I chosen to do this trip the way most people would done so, my flights in the middle of the day would have cost $280, airport transfers over $30, a hotel for the night in the city would have set me back $200 and buying food & drinks at the stadium’s and restaurants would have easily chipped away another $80. The whole adventure would have then rattled up over $600! Madness if you ask me.
In spite of the Swans getting bundled out and Cronulla losing (I hate Eastern Suburbs), it was a grand adventure that I would do all over again in a heartbeat. It sure beats spending a Saturday night plonked in front of a television set doesn’t it? And I mean, after all, why do you live? Think about that.