Peanuts and crackerjacks are just the start. Inside every diehard baseball fan is the dream to travel the country visiting all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums, and of course, not care whether they ever get back. Whether it’s done in one summer or broken up over a number of years, it’s on the bucket list of many of sports fans. As with every fun vacation, good planning is a must. So what are some things you should consider before your baseball road trip?
Make a Game Plan
Planning a multi-city, multi-stadium trip is much trickier than a standard vacation. You should start planning at least three months ahead of time. The vacation length, distance between ballparks, and teams’ schedules go into trip logistics. Luckily, you aren’t the first to have done this (nor the last), and there are resources online to help. There are websites that allow users to enter criteria that meet their needs. Keep in mind that cities without domes or retractable roofs can be rained out so you may want to give yourself an extra day or two in some instances. Also, reserve trips for colder regions during the middle of the summer; April and May can still be uncomfortably chilly in some parts of the country and save trips for hotter regions for the beginning and end of the season (you don’t want to be in Phoenix when it’s 122 degrees).
Hone Your Game Plan
Once you have the basic outline of your road trip it’s time to think about some of the finer points. Finding hotels and places to eat is easy, what happens when you’re in the middle of Texas and need an oil change. Plan ahead, if you know you’ll need an oil change by the time you’re watching the Rangers play the Angels, call Toyota Ft. Worth a couple weeks ahead of time and schedule your vehicle for maintenance. Some cities and ballparks are easier and cheaper to plan than others. There are online guides that rate the difficulty and price of different ballparks that can be extremely helpful. Use these guides to help you pick out specific accommodations, food, and the best way and price for tickets.
Fine Tune Your Budget
At this point you’ve already planned some of the major expenses for your trip (tickets, gas, hotels, food), now it’s time to consider the small stuff. Parking, souvenirs, ballpark-priced food, a couple drinks, and non-baseball related fun all need to be accommodated in your budget. These types of expenses are small, but add up over a long road trip and ruin the most carefully crafted budget. Different ballparks have different rules regarding the type of food and beverages you’re able to bring along with you.
A multi-city vacation coordinated with baseball schedules is much harder to plan than a standard vacation. There are online resources that can help, but it still takes an incredible amount of consideration to be done correctly. It’s important to give you plenty of time to plan and budget. The hard work pays off when you get to take yourself out to the ballgame — all 30 of them.