Road Trips, Tailgating & Football
Don’t Let The Cold Hold You Back
If you’re constantly itching to travel, you may be wondering what to do during the fall and winter months. I’ve found that football games make an ideal and affordable fall or winter road trip.
For about a decade, I’ve made it a priority to road trip and attend multiple college or professional football games each year. Most of my trips have gone flawlessly, but I’ve learned and made improvements over the years.
Below you will find my top advice for making an unforgettable and affordable experience.
Time to Hit the Road
Local football games are great, but I highly recommend taking a road trip to an away game or visit a stadium you’ve never been to. Regardless of where you live, there is more than likely several Division 1 College or NFL teams within a couple hours travel distance.
Gas prices are still relatively low. Packing up your car and hitting the road is usually much cheaper than airfare. Plus, you can pack food and drinks to further cut costs for the weekend.
Hotels can get expensive, especially in cities hosting a major football game. AirBNB is a great alternative for lower-cost lodging.
Tailgating is a Ritual of Sorts
Attending a football game is only half of the experience. If you’re road tripping to a game, I recommend partaking in the tailgate festivities. Plan to arrive three to six hours before the game begins to tailgate.
Words of advice for first-time tailgaters; don’t over-pack, just take the essentials.
Food: A grill or cooking method can take up considerable space. They also take time to setup and properly take down (don’t be like Mr. Mayhem). Instead, start out with food that doesn’t need heated or cooked. Chips & dip, veggie or meat trays, pin wheels, and sandwiches make great pre-game grub.
- Drinks: Make sure you have plenty of drinks packed. Be sure to check the stadium rules online beforehand. Most stadium parking lots do not allow glass bottles. Also remember to pack bottled water. Tailgating is a marathon, not a sprint.
- Entertainment: I recommend taking some yard games or drinking games. They are a great way to get everyone in your group involved or you can challenge your tailgate neighbors.
It’s Game Time!
Nothing matches the experience of cheering on your favorite football team in-person, but you don’t have to commit to season tickets. One or two games a year will help get you through the slow and cold of winter.
Worried about ticket prices? It pays to be flexible and patient.
Today, I rarely buy tickets before leaving on a road trip. I find the prices are much lower the closer you get to game day. Even sold out games usually have some tickets available.
Stubhub and NFL Ticket Exchange make it easy to purchase and download tickets right to your smartphone. Make sure you do this plenty of time before the start of the game. Having thousands of other smartphones in the near vicinity can reduce or block your data connection making it difficult to purchase or download your tickets digitally.
Not to tech savvy?
There’s typically individuals selling tickets privately before the game that you can check with. We’ve often found great seats at an affordable price this way. Make sure you go with someone else and use common sense. If the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is, or the tickets may be fake.
If the game isn’t sold out, you can buy tickets directly from the ticket office. Be sure to head there early due to possible lines.
The Season’s Not Over
The 2016 season isn’t quite over. There’s still games left that would make an ideal road trip. The College Bowl Season adds an additional 50-plus games that are most all road trips.
Now get out there. Road trip, tailgate, and enjoy some football!