The first step in planning a successful international tour is to get together with your team, or some key coaches and parents to discuss your goals and objectives. What do you want to experience and ultimately what do you want to get out of your trip? To help you with this process we have identified 10 Key Questions to discuss:
What country are we most interested in?
Each country we offer has unique features that may be more or less important relative to the goals of your tour. Some lend themselves more to an intensive sporting experience, while others may offer unique cultural and sightseeing opportunities, or simply time on the beach! Our sample itineraries give you insight into typical activities offered or available at each destination, but serve as a guide only. Ultimately every tour will be customized to suit the exact needs of your group.
What time of year do we want to go?
Most tournaments tend to be in July and August as schools are out of session all over the world. There are however tournaments in some destinations at other times of the year. Friendly tours are typically available at any time and can be a more budget friendly option due to lower airfare outside of the summer months. Spring and fall are great times for European trips providing of course that the players that make up your group can get the same time off school. If you are looking for some winter sun, Costa Rica is a great and affordable destination during the December holiday period.
How long do we want our trip to be?
The length of your trip will be a major factor in cost as hotels and buses are the most significant portion of the cost. Most of our sample itineraries tend to be 7 or 8 nights as this gives enough time to travel, acclimatize and have an action packed trip. Of course we can extend a trip as long as you desire, or shorten accordingly to meet budget objectives.
Do we want to enter a tournament or play competitive friendly matches?
This is a very important decision as both options have pros and cons. Tournament play is exciting and gives any tour a specific focus. It can be a real test for serious competitive teams looking to push themselves to new levels. However, you are committed to playing the teams that enter the tournament and your itinerary is somewhat at the mercy of the tournament schedule (which as you know can change unexpectedly). It also requires you to stay in one place for the duration of the tournament. You must also be realistic about the playing level of your team to ensure entry into an appropriate level tournament. Competitive friendly tours offer flexibility on a number of levels. You are not tied to a tournament location and can move between destinations as you please. Opponents can also be hand-picked to suit the ability level of your team to ensure healthy competition.
What mix of sports and sightseeing do we want?
This can often depend on the make-up of the group. We recommend that groups primarily consisting of players and coaches follow an intense sports specific itinerary, without missing out of course on the many sightseeing opportunities that our itineraries offer. For groups travelling with more parents and family members we tend to incorporate more sightseeing and fun family opportunities to ensure it is a vacation that all family members will remember.
Do we want to attend any professional matches?
Seeing a sport played at its very highest level by professional athletes and supported by fervent fans can be one of the most exciting components of any international tour. It is can also be inspirational for aspiring young athletes with dreams of one day being that athlete they are watching! We recommend taking in a professional match wherever possible to complete your international sports experience!
How many players will be traveling?
Hopefully we can plan a tour and a budget that enables every player on the team roster to attend. Our simple and effective fundraising program offers the chance for an international tour to become a reality for everyone. Team travel is most cost effective for groups of approximately 40 - 50 so why not share the opportunity with another team in your club!
Do we want families to travel or just players and coaches?
All of our destinations offer the opportunity for a fantastic group or family vacation. We visit some of the most famous and historic cities in the world which are perfect for experiencing as a family. We also appreciate that many teams and especially coaches want to stay focused on training and playing and would like a more intense sports experience without distractions. Of course there will be time for fun and relaxation on all out tours! Whatever are your goals we can match them with the right itinerary.
What is our budget?
It is important to have an approximate budget when beginning to plan your trip. International tours can vary greatly in price from shorter trips out of season to longer trips at peak times. Having a clear budget in mind allows us to advise you most effectively from the very beginning stages to plan a trip that is financially viable for everyone on your team.
Do we want to arrange our own flights?
Many groups are comfortable planning and organizing their own flights. However this is a service we are very happy and willing to provide. After customizing your itinerary and quoting you a firm land price we can then work on your behalf to secure the best possible airfare, working on your preferred criteria.