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cleung
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 31 Oct 2004
Posts: 194
Location: Montreal, Canada
Styles: Kung Fu, Wushu, Free Style Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Kickboxing

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 6:00 am    Post subject: Budget Travel for Martial Arts Tournaments Reply with quote

Once martial arts competitors and coaches decide to follow one of the large karate circuits like NASKA or NBL, it will soon be realized that participation in this sport can be very expensive. Many years ago, I attended a seminar conducted by Charlie Lee and he said that the only main difference between many national and local competitors is that the national ones have the funds to travel. Iíve been on both the NBL and NASKA circuits. Iíve also dabbled in international overseas competition as well so Iíve learned a few tricks over the years to help save some overall costs involved in competition.

Competition Fees

Most Karate tournaments offer some savings through pre-registrations. With many promoters adding online registration capabilities recently, pre-registering is a snap. Of course, thereís the risk of losing your entire fee if for some reason you donít show up at the event. Even if you have made commitments to attend certain tournaments, other circumstances can prevent you from going.

For example, I have missed tournaments due to flight cancellations because of bad weather. It is also possible for flights to be delayed or missed due to reasons beyond your control. Of course, unforeseen emergencies at home can always cause trip cancellations. So even though one can save some good money over the course of a year by pre-registering for all events, it is a risk to take.

Hotels

Most tournament promoters also work out special room rates at designated tournament hotels. These special rates usually range from about $100 to $125 which are quite good considering that most event hotels are top major chains like Hyatt, Sheraton, Hilton, etc.

However, I have found that if one is willing to do some research, even more significant savings are possible with accommodations. I almost never stay at event hotels anymore. Instead, I will do research to find out hotels that are close by. Yahoo! Maps is wonderful for this. At their site, enter the address and city of the tournament hotel. Do a search of other hotels close by and the site will show you where they are on a map as well as how far they are from the event hotel.

I also use travel websites like Travelocity and Expedia to verify other nearby hotels. Many hotels are often much less expensive - especially the ones that are one level lower in quality.

In addition to the travel websites, I would also check room rates directly with Choice Hotels (Comfort Inn, Econolodge, Quality Inn), Holiday Inn, Days Inn and Motel 6 via their websites. The rooms at these chains are not as luxurious as those at major hotels but they are clean and comfortable. They are not the bottom of the barrel like some independent motels are. Rates can be 50% lower than even the tournament rates at the event hotels. My average rate for rooms has been about $50 and that often includes free breakfasts which event hotels seldom offer.

Many lower priced hotels are within walking distance of the tournaments. Even if a hotel is not within walking distance, a small cab fare is usually worth the room savings. Iíve even stayed at airport location hotels and then utilized the free hotel shuttles of both the place I was staying at as well as the event hotel to get around. Of course, all this is not as convenient as staying at the event hotel but if you are willing to plan ahead a bit, good savings are possible. Of course, for events where Iím extending my stay for vacation purposes, a rental car will allow me to stay wherever I want.

Another way to chop off half of your hotel expenses is to leave right after your competition is over. You will miss the evening shows but if you donít mind that, then you will have to stay overnight for only a single night rather than two. Over the course of a year, single night trips can result in significant savings.

Flights

Driving would be the most economical way to travel to tournaments but if the locations are too far, then flying would be the most realistic way to get there. One could also explore trains, too. As for flights, one could wait for seat sales to purchase tickets.

Another strategy is to fly in or out of different airports that are nearby the event city. There could be significant savings in prices for flights if you are willing to use alternative airports. Some cities have more than one major airport in the region. Alternative airports can reduce travel costs for competitors who have to cross the U.S./Canadian border as well. Canadians driving to U.S. airports right across the border could save up to 50% sometimes for flights.

Travelers should join all frequent flyer programs but try to stay with one or two main airlines if possible. Points do add up which can result in future free flights. Of course, points from hotel stays, car rentals and credit card use also help.

Transfers

As mentioned previously, I try to use free hotel shuttles whenever I can. If my hotel doesnít have a free shuttle and it is close to the event hotel, sometimes I would take the event hotelís free shuttle and then walk to my hotel. I often use the event hotelís shuttle to catch a ride back to the airport, too.

Many cities where large tournaments are held have very efficient and safe transit systems right from the airport. For example, instead of paying for cabs or airport shuttles that charge, taking the local bus or subway train for about $1.50 will get me to the tournament just as easy.

So as you can see, there are different ways to take a bite off the overall expenses of Karate and martial arts tournament travel. You just have to do your research for every trip. As for meals, you could always stuff yourself silly for a very reasonable price at those Chinese buffets found almost everywhere.
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Patrick
KF Administrator

Joined: 01 May 2001
Posts: 27039
Location: Los Angeles, California

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your submission.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 27759
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is a very informative article, cleung. Thanks for sharing. I am sure everyone can use useful tournament budget tips like these.
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boyo1991
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 06 Apr 2007
Posts: 214

Styles: judo, tkd, boxing

PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thx!!!
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learning kempo-karate
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 18 Feb 2007
Posts: 158
Location: Big Island of Hawaii
Styles: Universal Kempo-Karate, Shotokan Karate, Judo

PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello, Have you consider having your own online travel business? Write off all the cost of your travel expenses? Easy low cost to start.

leave a message? Aloha
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lordtariel
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 19 Jan 2006
Posts: 1709
Location: Oregon
Styles: (Past)Judo, Yang Family Tai Chi, (Current)Shito-Ryu Karate, Kobudo(Tonfajitsu)

PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

learning kempo-karate wrote:
Hello, Have you consider having your own online travel business? Write off all the cost of your travel expenses? Easy low cost to start.

leave a message? Aloha


Specialize in tournament traveling... Karate Travel Agency

Interesting article to read. Thanks
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 27759
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lordtariel wrote:
learning kempo-karate wrote:
Hello, Have you consider having your own online travel business? Write off all the cost of your travel expenses? Easy low cost to start.

leave a message? Aloha


Specialize in tournament traveling... Karate Travel Agency

Interesting article to read. Thanks


Hey, it could be an opportunity!...
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