Key considerations for events worth travelling for
It was a fantastic day at the races yesterday for Dubai World Cup, the world’s richest horse race, and after meeting plenty of people who had travelled into the UAE just for this event, I was inspired to think about the popular events that I have travelled overseas for. From taking well-timed trips back to my home country of England to watch the horse racing at Ascot or the rowing at Henley Regatta, to weekend breaks in Bahrain to watch the F1 Grand Prix, Hogmanay visits to Edinburgh, or the meticulous planning of trips to Japan and Nepal to tie in with traditional religious festivals, these kind of high-profile events can often give a much deeper insight into a country and its people than at any other time. For this reason, I would highly recommend researching popular events in any country you visit and trying to time a visit to fit with these.
There are just a few key things to remember when travelling for events however:
1. It’s going to be expensive – Prices will be bumped up for everything from transport and accommodation, to food and basic amenities in some places. Suck it up, if you want the experience, you’re going to have to pay more.
2. It’s going to be busy – Make sure you book plenty of time in advance as flights and hotels are likely to be booked up pretty far in ahead for the most popular events.
3. Transport may be difficult – With such a swell in demand, most places seem unable to provide adequate transportation solutions. Book a hotel in walking distance where possible (it may be worth the extra pennies), check what time trains run till and how far the station is, and see if buses will be available and from where. Don’t rely on taxis.
4. There might be rules – Do your research and check out the website, some events may not allow you to take food and drink in, some may expect it, others may not allow photography, and some events may only take cash. You want to be prepared and make the most of the event, but not waste time and effort with anything unnecessary.
5. Weather has a massive impact on the day – Think about the possible weather conditions for the country and time of year. Make sure you dress appropriately and take anything extra that you may need for the weather or the event itself (jackets, umbrellas, waterproofs, sun cream, earplugs – for the F1 – etc)
These might be obvious, but for anyone thinking about travelling abroad for a specific event(s), it’s worth bearing in mind and making sure you book with plenty of notice. My next event-focussed trip will be in the summer when I am going to the UK and Spain for a couple of weddings and to try to catch Wimbledon for the first time – better follow my own advice and get booking!