Thursday, June 21, 2018

Budgeting for Traveling Sport Tournaments


 As we get closer to the Hockey season budgeting is in full swing. When you make a traveling team the expenses seem to multiply. In my first Sports post (How I became a Hockey Mom) I mentioned Hockey was an expensive sport. Such an understatement!! 
To fully equip our puck chasing player, it cost us, around $500! I promise you I purchased items off clearance racks to help lesson that figure. For tryouts onto the team we needed to pay a non-refundable $100. Along with the purchase of a black and white jersey. Once you have made the team you are required to travel to and from games every other weekend. Along with getting in your volunteer hours for the Season. Now, I know these figures are just what the locals here pay and many players pay twice as much!! My point in discussing finances with you? How can one budget for these expenses??!
1. First piece of advise I can give you-->is seek out other families who enjoy the sport. Often times you can find second hand items for cheap! I went to a yard sale last week and a gentleman sold me a $300 Hockey stick for $2!! He knew how much it was worth but honestly just wanted to get rid of it. His daughter no longer plays and I promised him it was going to a good home! 
2. Buying equipment in the "off-Season" save a BOAT LOAD!! Everyone has started to clearance out their stock in preparations for the new Season.
3. Pay for practice time during "off season". For our local arena they charge anywhere from $7 to $10 for 1-2 hours of ice time. During the Summer time they drop those figures down $2 or so. 
4. Start booking your Hotels NOW for the traveling months ahead. Prices are 20-30% cheaper when you book 2 weeks or longer ahead of time!! I often search hotels in a "incognito" browser just so websites cant pick up on the dates and raise my rates before booking! I have found booking hotels in a new location can give you some stress. You really want to make sure you are staying in a safe, secure area that is convenient to the arena your kids are playing at! 
I book with websites like Hotels4Teams because they do NOT charge a booking fee! Not only that they also have a great resources about the area you are about to visit. Including #TeamTravelGuides that provide suggestions on activities and places you might be interested in visiting while in town. They also have some team bonding suggestions if you are busing the entire team and not just your player!!
5. Plan your meals ahead of time!! Book hotels that have free breakfast and that will save you a TON!! When you are running from home, to practice, to a game use a Slow cooker!! I have slow cooker recipes that just about save my life on our busy days!! I should also mention that Hotels4teams also has a section of "Snacks & Meals" you can check out as well....four words for you....

6. My last suggestion to all you other "newbie" Hockey parents...bring a blanket. Did I mention you WILL freeze your butts off no matter if you wear long pants or not!?!? 

Every time...every time my friends...don't be ME... remember a blanket!
Whether you are just starting to plan for Traveling Sport Tournaments or in the thick of it budgeting really helps. Saving money here and there really adds up. By saving money on our hotel stays, not eating out all the time I can afford other things! We can splurge on more hockey gear or buy gas cards for future trips we have coming up.
What are some of YOUR Budgeting tips for Traveling Tournaments??
How do you save money when booking hotels online??
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