Uniform? Check. Cleats? Check. Bat Bag? Check.
Okay. On to the other kids. Chairs? Lunch?
There are so many things to consider when prepping for a big weekend tournament, especially when you're traveling to another location and have to consider what you'll eat, where you'll stay, if you have everyone's bags packed, and so on!
We've come up with this list of THREE essentials you need to consider for your travel baseball or softball tournament weekends.
1. Travel Bag
What is a travel bag in this context? A travel bag is a bag that has all of the essentials. Each family is a little different, but here are the contents of our families travel bag:
Travel Bag Necessities
1. Snacks for all the kids
The cost on the road for snacks and drinks etc is ridiculous, especially for a family of 5.
2. First aid kit
If it could happen it will happen. Cuts, bangs, and bruises
3. Sunscreen & after-sun aloe
It isn't abnormal to be on and off a ball field for 12 hours in the summer. Players, parents, little ones, fans that forgot (that was me).
4. Extra swimsuit for each kid
You never know what hotel is going to have a pool, whether it will be open, or packed. Sometimes there are little water parks and sprinkler set ups next to ball fields which can give a hot sibling or a player a nice break from the heat of the day.
5. Extra cell phone chargers with portable rechargeable battery
We definitely don't want the little ones running out of juice for their entertainment.
6. Bluetooth speaker
We all like a little in between game picnic music to keep the players mood, and you know there is always that “dance mom” breakout move that could give great content for your FB page if someone catches it on video.
7. Yard mat or blanket
Something that will roll out and allow little ones to play without being in the grass or mud.
2. GroupMe App
Simple and easy to use to share pics and messages about the game with family and friends in real time.
We recommend only using it for that team or sports in general to keep the clutter out of the text messages.
3. Invest in a GOOD COOLER
The cost is crazy when traveling with other children. You can save a a ton of money if you always have what they will drink and eat on hand!
Check this out:
Away Games in a season - 24
Total Trips - 10
Family Size - 5
Example - Weekend Tournament
|Concessions||No Cooler or snack bag||Cooler and snack bag||Total Savings|
|Case of water||$24||$3||$21|
|Fruit and veggie snacks||$20||$6||$14|
|Lunch||$45+ (eating out)||$20 (Lunch meat, bread, chips, condiments and fruit)||$25|
|Snacks/drinks at hotel||$25||$5||$20|
|Savings during a 2-day tournament:||$180/weekend|
|Savings during a 2-day tournament for 5 kids:||$900/weekend|
|Savings during a x5 double header or travel one-gamers:||$450|
|TOTAL SAVINGS (Before cooler costs)||$1350|
|Minus cooler costs:||$250|
|TOTAL SEASON SAVINGS:||$1100|
As you can see, there is a LOT to be saved just simply by purchasing a nice cooler and getting some groceries ahead of time. Sometimes in the chaos of tournament preparation, it can be easy to slack and just decide to purchase everyone's food at the locations if needed, but you can save a ton of money if you just add a little extra time to your planning!