As your children grow older, their passion for sports will either diminish or accelerate to new heights. For those who become more passionate about their sport, family travel will most likely become a frequent weekend activity. Travel sports offer a greater challenge to young athletes as it opens the playing field to competition across local and state borders. Here are a few tips for families in travel sports to follow to become pros at the travel sports lifestyle.
Always be sure to pack extra equipment, like extra batting gloves, in case your child or a teammate forgets any gear at home. As for the rest of the family, pack according to the weather and the sport. If you are going to a spring baseball tournament, prepare for it to be a little chilly outside still. If you are traveling to a summer hockey tournament, you will need light summer clothes for downtime and warm clothes for time spent at the rink.
More than likely, a hotel will be chosen by a team manager or coach where everyone on the team is required to stay. Regardless, there are still a few things you should look out for. First and foremost, make sure you are booking a room with enough space for your family. Hotel rooms can be tight, and you will need to have enough room for your family as well as extra essentials such as your child’s gear and extra food. If a traditional room is too small to accommodate your family and belongings, consider upgrading to a suite or reserving two traditional rooms for kids and parents to have their own space. You should also make sure your room is equipped with a fridge and microwave. Having these appliances at the ready means you can pack and prepare healthy food options for your athlete, such as fruit or oatmeal.
When possible, traveling by car is the best way to travel for sporting events. Air travel can be costly, especially when needing to pay for an equipment bag and a rental car to get you to the weekend’s sporting events. Traveling by car allows you to pack as much as you need, but you should stay conscious of travel time, routes, and traffic patterns to ensure you make it to the tournament on time. Leaving with plenty of extra time will help calm nerves if you hit a traffic jam.
Tournament weekends can mean long boring hours for the rest of the family. Bring books, portable gaming devices, and other methods of entertainment to keep everyone busy in between games. If there are long hours of downtime between events, research fun activities in the local area to enjoy the destination.
Joining a travel sports league requires much more planning than just showing up on game day. By following these tips for families in travel sports, your family will be travel sports pros.