Need rooms for your team? Get group hotel rates without making a call!
Competitive sports teams travel near and far to play in tournaments all year long. When you belong to one of these teams, travel becomes a requirement for the athlete as well as the parents.
In almost all cases, the parents are responsible for their own hotel rooms, transportation, food, and airfare.
Sometimes, the travel is a simple round trip that takes a day, and other times, it can be a week long tournament in a city that’s two thousand miles away.
Regardless of the duration, if someone in your family is on a competitive team (Baseball, hockey, gymnastics, etc.), you are going to be on the road a lot. And it can get quite expensive.
Team travel is expensive
When you factor in the food, gas, hotel, and airfare, you can spend thousands of dollars traveling with a sports team over the course of one season. One of the largest and most frequent expenses is staying at a hotel.
With the average hotel room being over $100/night in the US, a weekend stay at a moderately priced hotel will cost a small family over $250 including taxes.
So is there a way to save on hotels when traveling with a sports team?
The biggest mistake team parents make when traveling together is that they don’t get group hotel rates. Each family books their own rooms without realizing that if the team had booked the rooms as a group, they could have saved anywhere from 15-70% on their hotel stay.
So how do you get group rates for hotels?
A decade ago, you would have had to call a dozen hotels just to get rates. You would have played lots of phone tag, left a bunch of voice mails and been very frustrated. Not so anymore.
Nowadays, you can get group rates for hotels without making a phone call. Simply fill out this group hotel rates request form, and hotels in your desired city email you their group rates (for free). Discuss the hotel offers with team parents and block rooms at one hotel.
What are the advantages of blocking hotel rooms?
For one thing, you and your team are not in eight different hotels. This way, everyone can gather at night and hang out poolside or play in the courtyard.
Another advantage is that when you block hotel rooms as a group, you will receive better amenities.
For example, on our last trip to New York City for a gymnastics meet, we were provided with free WiFi in our rooms. That alone was a savings of $15 per day. Add that to the 30% discount we got for booking as a group, and we saved a lot of money.
Other amenities that we have received in the past are rooms near each other, free breakfast, and in one case, a free Pizza party. The trick to getting some of these amenities is to ask for them when you are shopping around for rates.
So how many rooms do we have to book to make a group?
Generally speaking, most hotels will consider you a group if you are blocking more than 10 rooms. That is not too large a hurdle to cross when you are traveling with a sports team. And the more rooms you book, the larger the discount.
Is there is fee for blocking hotel rooms?
In almost all cases, there is no fee or deposit when you block rooms at a hotel for a sports team. When you are filling out the group hotel rates form, just add the following in the comments section:
“We are a sports team looking to get a courtesy room block at a hotel near [enter event location]. Each person in our group will be paying for rooms on their own. We would prefer to get a hotel that offers free WiFi, free breakfast, and has an indoor heated pool.”
Blocking hotel rooms as a group is a win win for both the group and the hotel. The group ends up getting group rates and the hotel get a piece of business that they otherwise would not have gotten.
The next time you travel with a team, make sure you get group rates for hotels. You can start by entering your dates of travel below.