The NCAA March Madness tournament is right around the corner, and fans are gearing up to travel to college campuses and other locations across the country to get an up-close and personal view of the games.
Whether you’re a die-hard fan, a sports bettor checking the latest March Madness odds, or just looking for a fun road trip, traveling for March Madness is a great way to experience the tournament. Below is a list of tips for each part of your traveling journey for the March Madness tournament.
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When planning your March Madness trip, timing can be key. It’s important to plan ahead to ensure that you get the best possible deals on flights and hotels. Additionally, it’s important to note the dates of the games, as the tournament spans multiple weekends and different round-by-round locations.
Some of the locations listed for the 2023 tournament are in Ohio, New York, Iowa, Florida, California, Colorado and more for the preliminary rounds. For the Final Four, the cities mentioned are Houston, Phoenix, San Antonio, Indianapolis, Detroit, Dallas, and Las Vegas.
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Ways to Travel
When it comes to traveling for the tournament, there are a few options to consider. If you’re looking for an easy and convenient way to get to the games, consider booking a flight. You can usually find flight deals if you plan ahead and book in advance. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option and want a true road trip experience, you can also consider driving.
Once you have made it to your destination, there are multiple transportation options from Uber/Lyft to renting a car or taking public transportation. Depending on where you are staying, it may be easiest to Uber/Lyft, so you don’t have to worry about parking fees at your hotel or at the arena itself.
If you are staying further away from downtown or the arena, renting a car might be the best option, as Uber/Lyft may be more costly than it would be to pay for parking. If you happen to live in or near one of the host cities, you can choose a form of public transportation or drive a vehicle of your own.
Places to Stay
When it comes to finding accommodations for your March Madness trip, there are a few different options to consider. If you’re looking for an easy in-and-out booking, you may want to book a hotel. You can usually find discounted rates if you plan ahead and book in advance. This also allows for any sort of budget, as someone may want a luxurious hotel while others may want a budget-friendly option.
If you’re looking for another budget-friendly option, you can also consider staying in a hostel or couchsurfing with a friend or family member that lives in one of the cities you plan on traveling to. If you plan on traveling with a bigger group, look into Airbnb, as they offer homes for any group size and for any type of budget.
Additionally, for games hosted on a college campus, some universities offer affordable housing for temporary visitors.
Food and Entertainment
When it comes to food and entertainment, there are plenty of options available to you. Many college towns have a variety of restaurants and bars, so you can usually find something to satisfy your cravings.
If you are looking to find a bar with plenty of TVs for the game, find a sports bar, as they typically have plenty of screens and offer all the available games. The most important part of finding a place to eat is figuring out the best local dishes the city has to offer.
For example, Chicago is known for its deep-dish pizza, so finding the best places will be key for a well-fed meal.
Outside of the games, you may want to explore the city you are traveling to, especially if you have never been there before. Make sure you research the best sights and attractions that your destination has to offer, from museums, theme parks, shopping, live music, and more.
As matchups are still to be determined in the remainder of the NCAA college basketball regular season, for now, your planning will need to be based on what city or arena you would prefer to watch games.
If you don’t care what teams you see and only care about the city/arena you will be attending a game at, plan ahead, so you get the best offers for flights, hotels, etc. If you are a die-hard fan of a specific school, you might need to wait closer to when the tournament matchups are announced. Plan ahead as best you can so your trip can be stress-free and nothing but fun!