The Rising Costs Of Youth Sports - 5 Ways To Cut Costs
HBO’s “Real Sports” recently took a deep dive into youth sports tourism. They found that travel teams have fueled what it calls “an unprecedented sports tourism boom” over the past decade. Real Sports reported that families spent more than $10 billion on the road in 2016 alone.
When they asked Angie, a Virginia-based parent, why they are willing to spend so much time and money they responded, “It’s so competitive, and if you don’t keep up with what someone else is doing, you’re going to fall behind.”
As youth sports become more competitive, costs will inevitably continue to rise. Parents know this and many have seen this trend first-hand, so the question becomes:
What can you do to help lower costs?
1. Fundraise More
Raising money for your team doesn't have to be hard work. The easiest way to get started is to utilize social media to build a community.
Youth sports teams are made up of extremely passionate, organized parents that already have the team at the center of their universe. These parents usually have extensive networks within their families and communities.
Delegate one parent on the team to take charge of social media with the main goal of fundraising. You will quickly see your community grow from 25 parents with kids on the team, to hundreds or even thousands of people in their extended networks who are happy to help the team succeed.
Here are a couple great companies that can make fundraising easier - Snap!Raise, RallyMe, GoFundMe, JustFundraising, and many others.
2. Cook Your Own Food
Eating at restaurants is rarely thought of as budget-breaking activity but reality is that these costs really add up. Over the course of a weekend, food can easily cost several hundred dollars and it's nearly impossible to keep a balanced, healthy diet when you go out for every meal.
One of the best ways to cut these costs is to start hosting barbecues at the hotel your staying at or a local park nearby. It's a great team-bonding activity and you can cook foods that are healthier and frankly better tasting.
3. Travel With Others
The cost of gas, hotels, and other travel services (like flights & car rentals) end up being a substantial component of team expenses over the course of a season.
Carpooling and sharing hotel rooms is an easy way to cut these costs by a huge margin while building more meaningful relationships with other parents/team members. You can also alternate weekends with other parents for chaperon duties.
4. Compare Hotel Prices & Set Up Group Room Blocks
Most parents think that booking directly with a hotel is the most efficient way to purchase hotel rooms but this is not always the case. In fact, 3rd party websites are cheaper more often than booking directly with a hotel (Source).
If your team is going to use 10+ room per ngiht, get bids from hotels for group room blocks. Hotels will give you a big discount because you have leverage considering the amount of revenue your team will make for the hotel.
Lucid Travel is a great tool for travel teams. They consolidate rates from all the top 3rd party websites (like Priceline, Expedia and Hotels.com) as well as rates directly from hotel properties. The best part is that your team earns up to 7% cash back every time you make a reservation so it can be a great way to fundraise as well.
Lucid Travel also has a very simple tool to help you collect bids for group discounted hotel room blocks (10+ rooms per night). You simply fill out a hotel request form (here) and your request is automatically sent to all the hotels near your event. Bids come directly into your email inbox, you still can talk to the hotel manager and even still pay them directly.
5. Buy & Sell Used Equipment
Kids grow fast & technology changes quickly... Rather than pay a premium price for the newest technology on the market, buy last year's model or even buy it used.
If you're one of those people that have to have the newest and greatest model, you can still sell your used equipment to help offset these costs. Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace and Sideline Swap make it very easy to do this.
This article was written by Ben Knosby, Founder & CEO at Lucid Travel. Lucid Travel is changing the way teams book hotels, room blocks, car rental and flights. They pull rates from all the top 3rd party travel sites and directly from vendors so you know you're getting the lowest price every time you make a booking. On top of helping you find the lowest possible price, teams also earn up to 7% cash back as a way to fundraise & save money.
Create your free Lucid Travel page today and start saving money & time on travel.