Round up your friends and start an annual tradition of visiting one new stadium each year to watch your home team play. Plan your yearly getaway until you've tailgated at all 32 stadiums!
If you have a group of friends who all root for the same team, then you've found your perfect travel team. But you can also look past the obvious and use this as a way to help strengthen family bonds between generations -- get Grandparents, kids, brothers, sisters and close cousins involved to create meaningful memories that will last a lifetime.
How to Plan a Destination Tailgate
Choose Your Destination
Once you've formed your group of tailgaters, it's time to pick your first destination. Here are some suggestions on how to do it:
Create a Game Plan. Would you like to start on one coast and make your way over to the opposite one? Go North to South?
Decide How Many Games to Attend Each Year. You may decide to aim for at least one traveling game (by air or a long drive) and one or two closer games.
Check the Schedule. Once you know how many games you plan to attend, check the game schedule against the group's. You'll come up with a shortlist of games that are contenders for the upcoming season.
Be Democratic. As always, the best way to choose your destination is by majority vote. If there's one place you would love to go in particular, lobby your case before the vote. But once the votes have been cast, remember -- majority rules.
The best way to do this is to divide the tasks up amongst the group. Delegating chores takes the stress off everyone by assigning each person a job rather than putting all the responsibility on a single person.
Have one book airfare or organize the route if you’re driving. Another can find the best hotel deal and book the rooms, someone else can buy the tickets needed.
Have one person responsible to getting all the food, drinks and stadium wear (blankets, coats, etc.) you’ll need.
Have everyone keep track of their portion of the expenses, and make a pact to settle the bill on the trip back home from the game. That way no one has to worry about shelling out and not being paid back.
Before You Hit the Road...
There are three things you'll want to remember to do before hitting the road for your travel tailgate.
1. Check the Weather
If you're in a new town you likely aren't familiar with their weather - check the forecast before you leave so you can dress accordingly.
2. Remember the Tickets
This sounds obvious, but its easy to forget to bring something that you ordered six months ago that has been sitting in an envelope under a stack of junk mail.
3. Bring Games
Since you'll be tailgating for a few hours, its fun to have some games to play. Throw in a football to toss around as well as items for traditional tailgating games like beer pong and flip cup.
Travel Tailgate Essentials
There are some things you should never leave home without when you go on your traveling tailgate!
Game Day Gear
Whether it's team jerseys or a group tee-shirts - make sure you coordinate the group's garb to mark this special tailgate.
Make Friends with the Locals
Instead of researching restaurants and bars online, make friends with the locals for great recommendations. Ask them about good places to go before and after the game, where to get food and drinks, etc. You can end up at a really great hole in the wall you'd never have found. Plus, half the fun of traveling is experiencing the local flavor.
Don't Forget Your Camera
After all your hard work organizing, planning and tailgating, document your achievement. Make sure to get one really great group shot that includes everyone in the tailgate with the stadium in the background.
When you get home, blow up the best shot of the crew and get one framed for each guy. This makes a great keepsake and will remind you of all the fun times you've had together. Hopefully one day you will have 32 of them hanging on the wall!