St. Louis native of the Negro League
St. Louis native of the Negro League
A model of the old yard
If you’re an avid baseball fan like me and like to go out on a road trip at least once a summer to the various ballparks, here are some words of advice from DodgerDrei when planning a road trip, whether it be a family trip, a trip with your best bud, a father-son/mother-daughter trip, a trip with your college buddies, and so on…. Be advised, that these are just my words of advice. Others who have done this probably have other ideas as well, and for those of you who do, please feel free to comment as well. Because when it comes to planning a road trip, there can never be enough ideas to toss around. So, here goes
1. Plan ahead. In fact, plan as early as possible. With all 30 teams having already released their schedule for the 2006 season, it is never too early to sit down and brainstorm your ideas. Heck, don’t be surprised if you spend more time brainstorming all your possible trips that you would on you’re acutal trip itself.
2. When planning trips, the best thing to do, since, if you’re like me, can’t do all 30 MLB Stadiums in one summer, is to do it regionally. The common road trip for people who come here from back east is the SoCal trip, which includes San Diego, Anaheim, and L.A. This is where the advance planning can really come in handy. Oh yeah, for those of you wandering, San Diego is 125 miles south of L.A., and Anaheim is 30 minutes south, so watching the Dodgers, Angels, and Padres is definately possible.
3. See what’s there to do in the city you will be visiting. Here in SoCal, you will have your obvious tourist traps, like the beaches, Hollywood, Disneyland, SeaWorld, etc…But it never hurts to ask a local, wherever you road travels take you, what’s there to do in their city. And since some of these attractions are not as obvious, they may not squeeze your wallet out so much either.
4. Take plenty of pictures. As an avid baseball fan, I’m sure you will agree with me that these are some of the best times you’ll enjoy in your life.
5. Econo hotels are just as efficient as your 5 star hotels. When on the road, a simple Motel 6, Days Inn, or any standard road side hotel will do your budget good. There is really no need to stay in a luxury hotel if you don’t need to. And with all the money you’re saving, you’ll have more to spend on the souveniers and the fine eats around town.
6. Chat with your fellow fans at the game. Whenever you’re at a game, engaging in baseball talk with other fans is like a community social. Oh yeah, don’t be afraid to where your favorite teams hat either. And when they hear you’re visiting their yard, chances are, they will welcome you with open arms. As for me, my favorite baseball town outside of L.A. has to be St. Louis. All the talk you’ve heard about the Cards fans being some of the best in baseball is definately true. But before you fully take this bit of advice, ask the fans around that teams fan forum and see if visitors are greeted warmly by the locals. In my experiences, for the most part, this holds true. But there are certain cities where the fans of visiting teams aren’t so welcomed. I won’t mention names, but I was expecting to be treated with Brotherly Love here.
7. Most importantly, have fun. Remember, it’s YOUR vacation. Though I could give more tips on how to enjoy your road trip, after all, it’s you that’s going to be taking the trip. And your experience will definately be different from all other baseball road trippers. Oh yeah, if you have the time, you may want to visit some minor league parks as well. As for me, I’m hoping to catch some local college games this year and post them on this blog.
For any one else out there who have done their share of road trips, what other ideas could you have that could be of use down the road?
This is the travel blog for Malcolm MacMillan, founder of TheBallparkGuide.com. Visit the website for comprehensive guides to Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball stadiums.
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