It's no secret that youth sports are expensive. Beyond league fees and uniforms, every season parents can spend upwards of thousands, especially when it comes to travel sports. Sports at this level are usually highly competitive, players and parents alike take this very seriously! So much so, that they are willing to make a full financial commitment, season after season. However, any sports parent will tell you, it's not an easy undertaking. Not everyone has the means to pay for their kids' sports. So what can parents do to keep travel sports expenditures down?
Here are 4 ways parents can keep youth sports expenses down, when traveling or just in general!
Pack sandwiches, snacks and drinks ahead to avoid concession stands and fast food. Head to the local big box retailer and buy items in bulk. Sports drinks, water bottles, cold cuts, snacks and more, can be purchased in large quantities, usually at lower prices.
Who says you have to be home to have a homemade meal? Plan for easy make-ahead dinners and store in thermos' to keep them warm. Or if traveling by car, why not take a mini microwave (check for adequate electrical outlets), a crock pot, and maybe even a mini fridge, if your hotel doesn't already have one.
Look for a hotel that offers a free breakfast buffet. This is a great way to fill all of the tummies with a warm meal before heading out for the day. Don't forget to pack a bagel for later!
For more ideas on how to spend less while traveling for sports, click here.
Choose a hotel chain that allows you to accumulate rewards points. This is a great way to score free nights or other perks such as meals.
Be sure to order a block of rooms and have the other families only book from that lot. Hotels like blocks and will typically offer a per room discount.
Ditch the hotel altogether, and try a vacation home rental. There are so many options these days that are usually cheaper than paying for a hotel. Share the home with a family or two and save even more. Split the groceries, and take turns cooking dinner. A great way to get to know other families, or bond with those you are already close to!
GET A SIDE HUSTLE
Adding yet another responsibility to an already long list may seem daunting, but hey, everybody's doing it! These days so many stay at home or even working parents have a side gig, usually online, that it has become common place. Use that trend to your advantage and earn some extra cash for your kids' sports.
A few ideas are:
- Refurbish and resell items online sites, or locally on social media
- Multi-level Marketing (MLM) businesses offer so many options; jewelry sales, weight loss programs, essential oils, and many more
- Sign up to be a travel agent. Book travel for your team, and earn commissions and discounts
The internet has made it possible for these businesses to thrive. Find something that you are passionate about and give it a go. All of the extra income can go straight to travel sports expenses.
Fundraising is great! Help your team to set a financial goal for the season, and ask every family to help achieve it. Ask local businesses to sponsor in exchange for publicity. Raffles, bake sales, and even mini makeshift concession stands set up at each game (if allowed) can really help!
A garage sale is a great way to get funds too. Each family cleans out their garages and holds the sale at one place. Or, have each hold their own sale on the same day. When you spread the word that all proceeds go towards the team, people tend to want to help!
Have a Casino Night--ask for a host or hold it at a local community center, and invite the town. Accept donations for raffle prizes, food, and drinks.
Create a 'fundraising committee' made up of a couple of parents and have them come up with a monthly fundraiser.
There are so many ways to keep travel sports costs down! The best way though is to not let them get out of hand to begin with. Don't buy new equipment, unless absolutely necessary, and be mindful of shopping sales only, or with coupons. Every bit helps!
With careful planning, and a little effort it is possible to keep expenses down. What are some more ways to save on travel sports costs?
Barbara is the mom behind the blog, Modern Sports Mom. She began writing a craft and lifestyle blog in 2012. As life evolved, and her boys became more involved in sports, she aimed to create a site that would resonate with moms like her, and in 2017 Modern Sports Mom was born. A baseball and football mom, she is fueled by her strong faith, dedication to her family, and coffee. Lots and lots of coffee! Barbara lives in beautiful Southern California with her husband, kids, dog, and cat.