Building a holiday or city trip around an event such as sport or music is a great way to make the most of your time away. I’ve put together 5 tips that will make your next trip away as a sports tourist that little bit better!
1. Choosing the event
Picking the right sporting event to go to is an important starting point. Major global events such as the Olympics and the World Cup will always appeal to many and, as a result, it can be incredibly hard to get your hands on some tickets. You will face eye-watering prices on the secondary market and unlikely to have a choice on which event/game in the tournament you see.
To avoid this and make more from your trip, it is worth looking at smaller events. Much of the experience comes from visiting a new city, a different stadium and immersing yourself in local sports culture. You can do that just as much at a smaller, authentic event as you can at one of the major ones.
If you need some inspiration then the BBC publish an in-depth calendar here.
2. Where to stay
Once you know where you are headed, it’s important to check out where the stadium/arena is in relation to the city you are staying in. Venues, particularly modern ones, are often outside of city centres. You don’t want to find yourself stuck miles away from the event with limited transport as it will impact your match day experience and take the gloss off the big day.
Most venues will have pages on their website about the best places to stay and how to get to the stadium. Be warned that hotels will often pay these sites a premium to recommend their hotels and you are unlikely to get a good deal! Once you have a better idea on location, simply Google the venue name + “best hotels to stay” and read real-user reviews. TripAdvisor is a good place for this!
3. Staying connected
This is a tip from personal experience! When you are in a new area it is always nice to stay connected so you can easily navigate with the help of your smartphone. Lots of events now also have e-ticketing and it would be a nightmare to be refused admission because your phone has died with the ticket on it! If you’re 18+ and fancy a flutter on the event you’re watching, you can use 888sport online sports betting site or app on the move if your phone stays charged.
If you are spending many hours away from your hotel then the chances are that your phone is going to die. Get your hands on a quality portable phone charger that can do a minimum of 3 full charges on the move. You won’t regret it!
I love merchandise as much as the next person but prices of official merch seems to be going up by the day! One little trick to get your hands on something special to remember the event by without breaking the bank is to get the official programme. Not only is it helpful as a guide to the day, they are typically really well produced books that is solely focused on the event itself.
Take a Sharpie pen with you if you are in to collecting autographs. Programmes make for easy and relevant signing from the stars of the day!
Travel insurance is boring, I know! However, when you are taking trips for a specific event, it is worth getting the relevant insurance that covers you should the event be cancelled or have the dates changed. There are specific policies for sports trips like this so some research could end up saving you a lot of money.
We have information about insurance providers and types of policies available in our travel insurance guide.
Wherever you choose to go to watch sport, I hope you enjoy the experience and it inspires you to make it the first of many!