You’ve heard of eco-tourism, adventure tourist and morbid tourism…but have you ever heard of sports tourism?
It’s an ever growing movement where people travel for the sake of seeing their favorite sports events in person, rather than on the big screen.
Just like traveling for special events like Octoberfest or the Aspen Food & Wine Festival, tourist flock to sports events every year to watch their favorite team compete to become the best of the best.
And why not? It’s a hell of a ton of fun intermingling with fellow sports fans and eating a couple of hot dogs while downing some beers. Meanwhile, Germany’s making that winning goal to win the World Cup.
So if you’re feeling the urge to stand in the stadium’s, drink a beer and cheer on that special team, then here are seven must-experience sports vacations that you will not want to miss out on in your lifetime!
Best sports vacation to take
One of the four Grand Slam tournaments of tennis, the Australian Open is held each year between January and February, usually in the last week of January. A standard vacation would include lodging, transportation, and tickets to the event.
Make sure to budget enough for food while traveling the country, as Australia can be quite an expensive destination. Need some tips? Then take a look at my 5 tips for visiting Australia on a budget. 😉
The World Cup of Soccer is the most-watched sports event on the planet, attracting billions of viewers and thousands of visitors to whatever country it’s held in. For soccer fans, it’s a pilgrimage that should be made at least once in a lifetime. Any less than that and it’s a disgrace.
The event is held every four years in different cities around the globe. Make sure to start preparations the moment the host city is announced, as lodging and tickets sell out years in advance!
Wimbledon is THE tennis tournament to see in your lifetime. While it’s just one of the major four, it’s perhaps the most well-known, and certainly regarded as the classiest. It is also the only one of the four Grand Slam tournaments that is played on a grass court.
Held each year in London, it is the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world. Besides visiting this event, would you need any other reason to visit such a unique part of the world? I thought not!
If you’re an American Football fan, the Superbowl is the major finale of all football games. Held at the very end of the season between the two teams which have beaten all others, this event garners more fervor and excitement than nearly any other sport in the country.
Held in one of the 48 continental state capitals, the Super Bowl is a major event that increases the revenue it’s held in for years afterward.
The 24 Hours of Le mans
For racing fans, there is no other event that even comes close. The 24 Hours of Le Mans tests a driver’s skill, speed, and stamina in an event that lasts a full day, with racers passing each other across 8 miles of track in the French countryside. It is the ultimate destination for those who like fast cars and fierce competition…surpassing the Daytona 500 on all scales!
The Olympics test the strength, skill, and stamina of every athlete there, and is a well-regarded competition dating back to the time of ancient Greece. Much like the World Cup, the event is held every four years, with a sub-event (the Winter Olympics) held in between. Once the destination is announced, tickets begin to sell out quickly, so be prepared to move fast if you plan to attend.
For baseball fans, the World Series is the equivalent of a Holy Day. Including the playoff games leading up to the championship, the World Series tests the skill and cohesiveness of every team that participates. You can expect attendees to be full of baseball knowledge and statistics from years past, with an equal amount of passion for their favorite teams.
All of these events attract fans far ahead of time, so if you decide to attend, make sure to prepare ahead of time.
What is the biggest sports event you’ve traveled for on vacation?
Traveling to attend a big sport event sounds really like great fun, even if you’re not that big of a sports fan, I’m sure I would get swept away by the spectacle and atmosphere. Still, I would love it even more if I could participate myself in some big event, like the Marathon des sables or some other big (crazy?) event. But, since I’m really out of shape by lack of sports lately I would surely die trying. 🙂
Haha I hear you. You should give a go at something that still adventurous yet requires not (too) strenuous involvement. Have you ever gone skydiving, zip lining or even rafting? There are a plethora of activities to travel for all around the world. 😉
Being married to a professional basketball player our whole life and travels are around sports and seasons! Luckily it’s been a lot of fun and we have seen sports all over the world ~ my husbands dream is the next World Cup ~ we didn’t make this one but I’m sure it was wild and lots of fun! Great post !
I had a friend who was actually able to make this years World Cup. She said the energy there was truly ecstatic! I’m totally with you though, I’d love to make one in person. The people at the pubs go crazy over the games; I could only imagine what it’d be like in person!
What about the Indy 500?
Oh yeah, I forgot all about the Indy 500…I think that would be really cool to travel for as well! As far as racing is concerned though, I’d LOVE to go see a rally car race!
I’ll skip the superbowl, thanks (one pro football game here cured me for life), but the rest of these are great suggestions! I’d love to see the Australian Open and I’ve been itching to choose which Olympics I’d like to attend.
Yeah standing in the football stadiums sure isn’t for everyone! I remember my first time, I was literally stuck at the highest and hottest spot possible! As far as the Olympics go, I would LOVE to attend one as well! I attended the Winter X Games on several occasions in Aspen….now that was a good time! 😉