How to Manage Travel Sports and Summer Vacation

travel sports

Molly Gold at ESPN WWS
copyright 2013 molly gold

Today its all about travel sports. If you are a busy Mom raising athletes, you just might find that your summer was completely scheduled long before there was a warm day before 80 degrees. For me, this schedule lock down happens in January and I can’t wait to kick things off with the first Showcase Baseball Tournament, followed by the first swim meet, and then the weekend after both a showcase and a tennis tournament. And the truth is, we wouldn’t have it any other way. Our kids love their sports, they happen to be summer athletes, and so it goes. So I have a few things for you to keep in mind if like me, you are starting off summer knowing exactly where you’ll be, all summer long.

Create a Travel Sports Budget

If you haven’t already done so, create a travel sports budget now. We’ve got great budget planning worksheets in our DIY GO MOM!® Planner and you can’t afford not to keep track of expenses. Its really easy to spend mindlessly, especially on food, and if you are taking everyone to each travel sports event, you want to have enough resources to make room for some fun.

Leave Younger Kids at Home

Do you all really need to go? Lets face it, sometimes its just better to leave younger siblings at home. If the weather is miserable and the location is the pits with nothing to do, why punish yourselves by making everyone go? Your expenses will be lower, everyone will be happier, and you’ll actually have the chance to focus on the athlete who is competing instead of the children who aren’t happy and needing to be entertained. My husband and I split up often when this happens and there’s nothing wrong with hiring a babysitter for the day if you have to.

Schedule House and Yard Work for Weekdays

If your travel sports schedule has you gone every single weekend, there are a few things you need to make sure still happen, like house and yard work. When it comes to housework, create a cleaning schedule that happens during the week instead of the weekend. The same thing goes for yard work too. Let your kids know that they have a responsibility to help out, that because of their activities your family doesn’t have time for chores on the weekend and they have to step up and pitch in as part of the crew. Yard work and mowing the lawn can be easily done as a team during the week,

Hire Key Services When Needed

If your kids are competing in travel sports but still too young for using the lawn mower, don’t hesitate to hire a neighboring teen who would be happy to make that extra money. And if things really get nuts, you can always call in a one time cleaning service or more and get help for bigger projects when needed too.

Make Time for Family First

Family time.  It has to be the most important thing about all of this. Just because your travel sports event might be in a fun place doesn’t mean you automatically get a lot of true family time together so you need to work hard to make that happen. There’s no question if your child has the opportunity to compete at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports, it would be very worthwhile for your entire family to make the most of those discounted travel packages and you’ll definitely make memories that last a lifetime. But if that’s not on your radar, you are going to have to work hard to find that extra time if you are all together and have fun. Or to create that time and bring eveyrone together you keep family first.

Its not worth it if your child doesn’t have fun.

Its not worth it if it’s not your child’s dream and they don’t want to work this hard.

Its not worth it if it causes friction among your family because of the logistical stress.

So do yourself a favor and get out that planner to mind your budget, your housework, look to be flexible and don’t insist on everyrone being together when its not optimal, and then look for those golden nuggets when family time will be the focus and you’ll all have a blast.

So be creative and stay organized ~ that’s the life of a sports mom! And tell me…

When it comes to travel sports and summer vacation, what are your best tips to make sure its a summer you all enjoy?

We will have lots more coming this year thanks to my own personal experience raising three athletes and just like so many of you, figuring it out one season at at time. Check out our Team Mom Pinterest Board for ideas we love and please leave us a comment ~ we’d love to know your favorite resources too!

Thanks so much for stopping by ~ we’ll see you next time!



  • Danielle Smith May 29, 2013, 10:46 am

    Molly – it is like we are living parallel lives (though I am just a few years behind you). Thank you for sharing these tips!

    • Molly Gold May 29, 2013, 1:10 pm

      Yes Danielle! Its so much fun and for us, so many sports from baseball to softball, tennis to swimming, and more for the youngest ahead I am sure. I love this life and know you do too =) Thanks for commenting!

  • Jodi @ Mom's Favorite Stuff May 29, 2013, 3:56 pm

    Mine are younger, but I am just starting to see that this is going to be our summer probably starting next year! Thanks for the tips!

    • admin June 5, 2013, 10:08 am

      Jodi you are spot on with your kids ages ~ that’s when the crazy can begin and as long as they are doing what they love and you navigate it with joy too, everyone will have a blast. Thanks for commenting!

  • Niri May 30, 2013, 9:47 am

    Kids are so young now but I am so nervous for having more craziness to the mix

    • admin June 5, 2013, 10:07 am

      I know Niri! Its hard to envision but the most important thing is to only join those sports leagues that match your child’s personality. If they aren’t super competitive in their own right, then don’t follow that league but instead find one that suits their interests and brings them joy. Thanks for commenting!

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