If your child plays hockey, you are going to have to travel. Unless you can convince your daughter to try professional online gaming instead, hockey is going to have you on the road for a tournament. Here are some frugal ways to save cash during tournaments:
1. Have an honest conversation with the manager. Most tournaments want a certain number of hotel rooms at their (top cost) preassigned hotels. Ask the manager to let you out for 1-2 of the tournaments. Instead, book a low-cost chain perhaps a few miles further. You can always still hang with the team at the rink or their lobby in between games.
(Estimated savings = $50 a night)
2. Most hotels have a continental breakfast, but not all. Sometimes your tournament games are o’dark early and you have to leave before breakfast is out. Ask the hotel to brown bag a breakfast for you (fruit, muffin), or always have hard boiled eggs, granola bars and yogurt tubes on hand for quick and easy protein/breakfast. The coffee is always free, mom and dad.
(Estimated savings = $10 a person per day)
3. The team will most likely want to eat out and you don’t always have a say where. Be a good member of the team, but keep your family to a large appetizer or dessert option. Have some food ready on hand or in the car to eat a light bit before the restaurant to keep the family from being hungry. Share the time together, without the giant family food cost.
(Estimated savings = $40 a meal)
4. Skip the expensive professional photo people and the tournament shirt booths. Instead, take lots of pictures with a good family camera and make sure to print out the pictures when you get back.
(Estimated savings = $60 a tournament)
5. Lastly, plan for great food your family likes on the road. Stock up from your local warehouse store on their favorite gatorade flavors, good bags of chips, and beef jerky for the car ride. In addition to some breakfast fares, have sub sandwich fixings during the day, have the crock pot with frozen tamales or chili for the evenings.
(Estimated savings = $150 a weekend)
Happy memories and tournaments can be had without breaking your wallet. Focus on the memories and team time—leave the dollars in your wallet a little longer.