I’m guessing, as you are here that you are either dreaming of visiting Burning Man or actually planning your trip. If so, you came to the right place. As a Dutch burner with her first trip safely in the bag I would like to share a few budget and preparation tips, so you make the most of your first Burning Man adventure.
Read up and talk to burners
To prepare yourself, start by reading The First Timers Guide on the Burning Man website and get accustomed to The Ten Principles. These will almost certainly make you smile and shouldn’t cause anxiety (if they do, this might not be the right festival for you!). Talk if you can to experienced burners; I promise it won’t spoil the fun. I like to travel to unknown places and prefer to be unprepared. However, Burning Man is so unique, as a first timer you really need time to prepare yourself and get your travel essentials together. Besides, planning your trip is half the fun.
Make sure your budget is Burning Man proof
Before you go, check if Robin Hood can guide you to the festival if you’re in need. Depending on your location, also check your Visa or ESTA requirements. I can’t answer the question of how much does Burning Man cost exactly, because this depends on your wishes.
Basic preparation for your Black Rock City adventure:
€ 750 for a return flight from Europe to San Francisco or Las Vegas. Choose San Francisco if music is your first love and Las Vegas if you would like to experience landmarks you know from the cinema screen.
€ 180 for two to three nights in Las Vegas or San Francisco. Also keep in mind that you’ll need food and drinks. Of course you can make this as expensive as you want, but take at least € 100 for three days. Besides, you might want to go out for a drink or two and visit famous theatres or bars.
- Recreational vehicle (RV)
€ 675 for the RV, fuel included. If you want to save some money you might consider sleeping in a tent. Although cheap it’s not to be recommended, this is far too hot and you’ll really need your rest! Add a small contingency for vehicle cleaning as an option, when you are returning your RV the dust can and will be everywhere. After the festival you might be energized but also tired at the same time so a cheap vehicle wash could save some stress.
€ 275 for a ticket, depending on when you buy it. Tickets for the August festival go on sale the preceding February. Make sure you check out the different tariff plans; this could save you money. Burning Man has been quickly sold out in the past so make sure, from the moment you decide you are going, that you know when tickets go on sale and get in quickly.
€ 250 for food and drinks at a supermarket like Walmart for festival use (don’t load the RV with too much fresh stuff, it won’t last). Take an ample supply of water you are staying in a dessert after all. Take beer or liquor but enjoy this with moderation, as dehydration is no fun. Make sure you have enough salty snacks.
€ 50 for a simple one found in a shop in Reno. Having your own bike is a real bonus. Of course, you can ride the green bikes provided at Burning Man, but remember you can’t lock these. So make your choice do you want to walk or bike for miles? If you bring a bike decorate it well. Toys, paint, fluffy stuff, teddies, everything is allowed to create your extravagant vehicle.
- Clothing, make-up and accessories
€ 70 for gear to rock your new look and make your alias work. Be aware that second hand shops can be expensive in the US, so try to find some outfits back home. With your dream costume in the bag you only need some killer accessories. Bunny ears, a wig, cape or rainbow tights, anything that makes you happy will be just perfect.
Total = 2350 euro *
(*) The amounts above are estimated per person. Dollars are converted into Euros. Keep this in mind.