Organising a rugby tour for the whole team is not an easy task, finding a suitable rugby tournament for the traditional end of season tour many teams alternate between one at home meaning in the UK and then a tour abroad and so forth. The players have high expectations and want the full on team tour with a little rugby thrown in for good measure and it often gets somewhat tricky in trying to satisfy and meet the so called high expectations of all club members. Not to mention that having a great rugby weekend away from home depends equally on the people you take with you and the people who organise it for you!
Krakow rugby festival 2017 video from Krakow Rugby Festival on Vimeo.
So what should be the main points for choosing the right tournament, the right destination and the right organiser?
- Flights availability – make sure you destination is easy to get to and well connected with the low cost airlines rather than spending a fortune on flights it’s better to spend it on entertainment and beer.
- Look for tournaments played in or around big cities cities always offer a vibrant nightlife which is a great addition to any rugby tour. And they are also well connected in terms of flights.
- “Golden mean” – make sure you get the right proportions and the rugby festival you are going to attend offers not only rugby but also beer and the other way around as well ! Jokes aside make sure the Krakow rugby festival (on which you can learn more on polandrugbyfestival.com) you will be joining next season takes care of both the rugby and the fun part. A pub crawl for an opening party is a great start to any rugby tour as well as a ceremonial gala dinner which on the final night. Add live music concerts, pitch-side entertainment, a karaoke night and you will hit the sweet spot!
- Accommodation – you don’t want to end up overpaying for pricy hotels, as you will be spending majority of your day (and night) outside, so find accommodation which combines a good price and a central location. This is usually met if you’re booking at either a hostel or an apart-hotel. However, if you’re feeling a bit rich or simply prefer a higher standard, ask your tournament organiser if they can help you with booking a quality hotel. If the answer is “no” you can either look for a deal on the Internet accommodation search engines or you can turn to a professional DMC company, a tour operator which usually offers special rates for group bookings at hotels (e.g.: when visiting Poland one such recommended travel agency is ITS-Poland ). Also DMC companies are required to have a valid tour organiser license, which also includes insurance against bankruptcy, which means your money is safe should something go wrong. Safety is a very important factor, especially when dealing with the money of your club mates!
- Alcohol – since beer is the blood of any rugby player you want to make sure you get as much as possible included in the price you pay for the tournament package deal. The best solution is to have an open beer bar pitch-side and during the nightlife organised events. Few tournaments offer this option, but if you make proper research on the Internet, you can find them
- Transfers – dealing with local bus companies in foreign countries can be a drag, so save yourself this stress and go for the easy option ask your tournament organizer to provide you with both airport transfers and pitch shuttle transfers. This way you can focus on playing rugby and having fun rather than trying to figure out how to get to the pitch and not be late for your game”
- Avoid “sausage parties” – for a good reason, the best rugby festivals are the ones that have both male and female teams.
- Ask your organiser for a list of attending teams, as variety is the spice of life as they say. The more international teams attending the better the festival will be. The games also get more intense as you have a feeling of representing your own country when competing against the other teams and not to mention that you make new friends for future collaboration which may result in your next rugby trip to an oriental destination you have not considered before.
- Check Facebook opinions of the festival you’re planning to visit, unlike traditional web reviews with Facebook you can check whether team comments or reviews are genuine and you can contact the previous years’ teams directly and ask them how they found the tournament and what were the pros and cons. Genuine testimonials are your best option to check the tournament’s credibility
- Speak to the organiser, in fact, make a telephone call or an online media chat with the person who is organising the services for you. Ask them difficult questions and see how easily they come up with the answers to see if they are just selling the tournament or they truly live it.
Hope these 10 pieces of advice will help you plan and organise your next rugby trip. Have a kracking time – drink beer and play rugby!