THE BIG LEAGUE TOURS BLOG

Baseball Road Trip-- An Office Escape

Posted by Kayla Wininger on Wed, Aug 29, 2012 @ 12:32 PM

Looking for a way to ditch your cubicle and get outside for a day?  One of the best parts of our job is working with companies who enjoying spoiling their employees with some staff bonding and baseball!  Lucky for Indy companies, their location is perfect for a weekday getaway to Chicago or Cincinnati.

Reds Game resized 600

This month we hit the road with Service Concepts who awarded more than 30 employees from around the state a day outing to see the Cincinnati Reds.  I don’t know many people who can classify jumping on a bus, having an unlimited lunch buffet and watching a MLB game as a bad day at work!  

Here’s what Mandy K. had to say about the event:

“Attending a Cincinnati Reds game with my coworkers was so much fun! Big League Tours made the day so enjoyable. All we had to do was get on the bus, sit back and relax! Everything was wonderful — from the coach bus ride there, to the unlimited buffet lunch and the special meet-and-greet with former Reds player Chris Welsh, who now announces games for the team. The day was well planned, and it was a great way to spend time with coworkers outside of the office. The stadium was awesome, with a beautiful location overlooking the Ohio River. I can only hope our company will consider taking another Big League Tours trip in the near future!”

Sharing the day with Mandy was also special for me; we went to a high school with less than 250 students TOTAL and hadn’t seen each other for more than four years!  Words can’t describe my surprise when I stepped on the bus and heard “GO JUGROX” from the back of the bus.  Wondering what the Jugrox are?  You’ll have to find that one out on your own.

High school reunions aren’t guaranteed on future trips but everyone here at Big League Tours can guarantee your company outing will be just as successful as this one!

Interested in planning an outing for your sales team or management staff?  Now’s the time to start planning for next year.  To set up a company outing for your crew, email me at kayla@bigleaguetours.com for more details.

Tags: baseball road trips, Reds, Great American Ball Park, company outing

Major League Baseball Road Trip of the Week

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Fri, Apr 27, 2012 @ 05:37 AM

I've had in mind this idea of featuring players or teams that have a great week on the road, largely because I think the tie-in to baseball road trips that we offer is pretty cool. But if you've traveled for a week or two, you know how easy it is to get off your rhythm. Imagine doing that for six months and being expected to perform at your best. So here's our first Road Trip of the Week!

Rangers: The Rangers were absolutely on fire this week. They won eight games in a row on the road at Target Field, Fenway Park, and Comerica Park until finally losing to Detroit in the second game of their double header on Saturday. 

Philip Humber: Doesn't get any better than perfect! This week Philip Humber became only theHumber reflects on perfect 21st pitcher to toss a perfect game. His perfecto came on the road while pitching at Safeco Field against the Mariners. Very classy ovation from the Mariners fans, too. (Incidentally, we had a group tour at US Cellular Field in 2009 when Mark Beurhle pitched his perfect game. What an amazing thing to witness!) 

Reds 10,000th win: Dating all the way back to their membership in the American Association, the Reds closed out their 10,000th franchise victory while at Wrigley Field joining the Giants, Cubs, Dodgers, Cardinals and Braves at achieving this milestone.

Congratulations to the players and teams featured this week. Since 2006, BLT has provided the ultimate baseball tours to fans who want to truly get inside the game by providing great seats, player appearances, behind-the-scenes stadium tours, special stadium access, and great travel accommodations. Plan your next baseball vacation with Big League Tours, the team that knows a great Road Trip!!

Tags: Comerica Park, baseball road trips, baseball stadiums, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, Safeco Field, U.S. Cellular Field, Target Field

See What Our Fans Say About Big League Tours

Posted by Doug Lawson on Thu, Apr 26, 2012 @ 01:40 PM

Join the Fun with Big League Tours The 2012 baseball season is in full swing, and the staff at Big League Tours is looking forward to hosting our first baseball vacation packages starting in May.  We really enjoy seeing our old friends and making new ones as we travel around the country visiting all the great cities and ballparks.  If you haven't traveled with us, but are still considering booking a Big League Tours baseball vacation, take a look at these "reviews" from some of our customers.  We think they tell the story best about why a Big League Tours trip is so special:

GREAT HOST! Great seats at each game. Everything was first class. Very well organized. Travel time and events, during the tour, flowed very well. We would definitely join the tour again and would highly recommend Big League Tours.  Tom and Judy K., Indiana

The accommodations and seats on our recent baseball trip were excellent. Glenn, our tour director, went out of his way to assure we were comfortable. The parks visited were excellent, as well as the baseball stadium tours. Trip to Hall of Fame was excellent with ample time to see all. Would we go with BLT again? Absolutely! John G., California

My son and I LOVED the entire Big League Tours experience, and look forward to going on another one very soon. The cost was worth every penny, considering the location of the seats, the 4-5 star hotel, and all of the other package perks! Big League Tours certainly lived up to their name, as this experience was BIG LEAGUE all the way!! Tom H., Texas

The hotels were all located within walking distance of the ballpark (15 minutes or less), and all our tickets were in the lower level. In one case, at Pittsburgh, the seats were right behind the visitors' dugout, and in Cincinnati, we were three rows from field level right by third base. On this tour, we had a sit-down visit with baseball great Dave Parker. This was a great experience for us. Parker was such a personable, down-to-earth person who acted as if he really enjoyed talking with us and answering our many questions. He was especially good with the two 10-year-old Little League boys on the trip. This, to us, was the exclamation point to the whole trip. We would recommend traveling with Big League Tours, and this is a non-paid endorsement from the heart. Bob W., Texas and George W. California

That's just a few of the many great comments we get from our guests.  If you would like to join us in 2012 just click below to go to our website and select your tour package.  We look forward to seeing you in the Big Leagues this season.

Big League Tours 2012 Packages


East Coast Tour Special Ends Friday

Save 10-20% on the Full East Coast Tour- Touch 'em All Out East. This special and bookings for the tour end on Friday.  Click below for all the details.

East Coast Tour Special  

Tags: baseball vacations, baseball road trips, baseball trips, baseball games, baseball travel, testimonials

3 Great West Coast Baseball Tour Options for 2012

Posted by Doug Lawson on Tue, Apr 10, 2012 @ 01:47 PM

For the first time, Big League Tours is offering 3 different versions of our West Coast Tours.  You, our fans, asked for more West Coast options and we obliged with our full West Coast- Touch 'em All Out West Tour; the Baseball on the Bay Tour; and the Southern California Tour.  At every stop, we'll be staying in first class hotels, sitting in great lower level seats, and doing it up the Big League Tours way. 

The BLT Group with Legend Vida Blue Each tour features
our exclusive Big League Tours Player Experience where our guests get to interact with a former major leaguer.  Check out this video to learn more about our Player Experience- Big League Player Experience Video.

Also for the first time, we've added in-tour flights.  We want to make sure our guests spend more time enjoying the great cities we visit and not spend countless hours on a bus like they would with other baseball tour companies.  So, we're flying from Seattle to San Fran, San Fran to LA, and San Diego to Phoenix.  It's all included in the tour price and we'll take care of the details.  Check out our videos about Sensible Itineraries and Tour Flexibility by clicking these links- Sensible Itineraries Video    Tour Flexibility Video 

Want to see all the details or download a brochure for our West Coast tours? Just click on the tour page links below:

Full West Coast Tour- Touch 'em All Out West

Baseball on the Bay Tour

Southern California Tour

Tags: baseball vacations, baseball road trips, baseball trips, baseball games, baseball tours, baseball stadiums, baseball vacation package, big league tours

In the News: Big League Tours Featured in the Indianapolis Star

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Tue, Mar 13, 2012 @ 05:17 PM

The following article appeared in the Indianapolis Star today. It's a very nice feature of our company history and the unique baseball trips that we offer. 

Big League Tours arranges special trips for baseball fans

It took awhile, but Glenn Dunlap has figured out how to pitch deluxe package tours to major league baseball fans.Ron Kittle meets with fans prior to a game at US Cellular Field

Sell East Coast games to West Coast fans. Schedule frequent tours to historic Wrigley Field and Fenway Park. And promise customers short bus rides, stays in convenient downtown hotels and meet-and-greets with ex-big leaguers.

"It's inevitably one of the most popular things our guests experience," Dunlap said of the drop-in visits he arranges with former baseball stars. "It just gives you a different perspective when you talk to (ex-Pirate) Dave Parker about hitting and you are standing on the field."

Dunlap's Indianapolis company, Big League Tours, expects its formula to produce its first profitable year this season, after the recession of 2007-09 threw his 6-year-old business a curve.

Based on pre-bookings, sales this year should be 10 percent to 20 percent higher than his best year of 2008, said Dunlap, who works a day job as a business consultant for startups.

Dunlap's tours aren't for the faint of wallet, which is one reason the recession hit the business hard.

Big League Tours' most popular option (offered four times this year) is a combo package of games at Fenway Park in Boston, and New York's Yankee Stadium and the new home of the Mets, with a stop at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., thrown in. The cost: $2,440 per person, including hotels and meals.

Dunlap found he can market to a sub-section of baseball fans he dubs "stadium hunters," who want to visit as many of the 30 major league ballparks as they can, often taking children, spouses or parents along for a family bonding experience. To keep logistics simpler, Dunlap limits tours to 15 to 20 people. Repeat visitors make up 40 percent of bookings, which tells him his concept is a hit.

Ron Kittle, a former slugger for the Chicago White Sox and other teams who does public appearances for the White Sox, has spoken to several of Dunlap's tour groups.

"He's created a pretty good reputation for himself," Kittle said of Dunlap. "It's great what he offers."

Fans especially like the ballpark tours and early admittance to the stadiums that Dunlap arranges, Kittle said. "Not everybody gets a chance to be in a stadium and see things up close. Nowadays, with security procedures, it's hard to get in early."

This year, Dunlap added two one-day bus trips, both leaving from Indianapolis to see the Cincinnati Reds play. He's marketing the day trips to companies to give to employees as motivational rewards.

So far, Dunlap sees little demand for spring training tours, despite rising fan attendance at spring training camps.

Dunlap is tour guide for some of his trips and hires three guides to handle the others.

The business gives Dunlap, a baseball fan since boyhood, the chance to pursue his personal goal to visit all 30 major league parks. He's up to 24, with two set to be added to his list in 2012.

What: The business offers baseball vacation packages to major league baseball games. Thirteen baseball travel tours are offered this year.
Headquarters: Indianapolis.
Owner: Glenn Dunlap.
Founded: 2006.
Customers: Forty percent are repeat customers. Less than 5 percent are from Indiana.
Trivia: The company has had only two rainouts in six seasons.
Online: www.bigleaguetours.com.

You can learn more about our 2012 Baseball Tours by following the link.

Tags: baseball road trips, east coast baseball tour, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, MLB tours

Baseball Road Trips Are Just Around the Corner

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Sat, Feb 25, 2012 @ 07:19 PM

Ah, yes. Players have reported to camp, Spring Training games begin in about a week, and baseball news has heated up. All those things mean that baseball trips are just around the corner!Yankee Stadium just before a game

I'm personally hosting a couple of our tours and have started putting together my plans for the non-baseball portions of our itineraries. For instance, on our West Coast Tour, I'm looking forward to seeing Pike Place Market in Seattle, touring Alcatraz in San Francisco, and eating authentic Mexican food in San Diego.

I'm also really looking forward to meeting up with Big League Tours' customers in their hometowns and at their home stadiums. They can always give us a local take on the ballpark, the team, and the city's sites and attractions. I'm in the picture to the right just outside of Yankee Stadium with a couple of guests from California. We're planning to catch a game together at AT&T Park when our baseball tour comes through town. Can't wait to re-connect!Trip brochure link

So it's not too early to begin your tour planning for the 2012 baseball season. Find the tour that suits your needs and start laying in all the "extras". Let us know if you need help planning that perfect baseball vacation package!

Check out our 2012 Baseball Tours, Download a trip brochure, and Sign-up for the baseball experience for a lifetime of memories!

Tags: San Francisco, west coast baseball tour, baseball road trips, baseball stadiums, ballpark tours, AT&T Park

Cool Foodie App for Travelers - Group Travel Tours or Flying Solo

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Wed, Feb 15, 2012 @ 06:45 AM

We often talk about how much we enjoy exploring local restaurants when we're on our baseball tours across the country. Besides asking the locals for recommendations or just stumbling into our own finds, we often map out our meals based on places we've seen on Food Network or the Travel Channel.

Now that job has just been made easier...

Cheddar biscuits and gravy at Lucky's CafeHere's a site, TV Food Maps, that allows you to search for restaurants based on the show, the episode or the location of the business. This is great if you saw a show featuring a business that you wanted to see but you couldn't remember the name.

For instance, Guy Fieri featured a Baltimore pit barbeque shop on Diners, Drive-ins & Dives, but I couldn't remember the name of it. A quick search on this app reveals that it is Chaps Pit Beef. So now as I plan my trip to Baltimore on our East Coast Baseball Tour this summer, I can be sure toHiatt w blueberry float at Lucky's Cafe in Cleveland incorporate a visit to Chaps.

We've enjoyed some great dining experience on our tours as a result of these shows. Here are some past blogs that featured our stops: Lucky's Cafe (Cleveland), The Stand (NYC), and Flip Burger (Atlanta).

Here's a shot of the Cheddar Biscuits and Gravy (above) that we tried at Lucky's Cafe in Cleveland last year. They were fantastic. After talking with Chef Heather Haviland for a few minutes, she brought out a blueberry float for my son to try. It must have been good because he didn't let anyone else at the table have a chance to sample it! You know that our tour guide will be making their way over to Lucky's on our Midwest 2 tour again this year!

So check out the TV Food Maps app and use it when you are planning your baseball trips and tours this summer. Or better yet, join up with us on a 2012 baseball tour and we'll experience them together!!

Tags: baseball road trips, sports travel and tours, New York, Cleveland, Baltimore, east coast baseball tour

Big League Tours' Custom Options

Posted by Doug Lawson on Sun, Jan 29, 2012 @ 09:24 PM

Big League Tours is happy to customize your baseball vacation package to fit your travel requirements. On longer tours, like the West Coast, East Coast, and Midwest 1, we can take a day or two off the beginning or end of the published tour. Just send us an email, or give us a call, and we will be happy to provide a price quote.

We can also customize your standard tour with additional options. For instance, just let us know if you would like to take a city tour, visit a museum, or check out the local food scene. We'll be happy to recommend our favorites, as well as, take care of the details. Just let us know.

West Coast Tour Promotion Ends Tues., Jan. 31

Get a free hotel night on the West Coast Tour when you book before the end of the day Jan. 31. It's a free hotel night the night before or the night after the tour dates. For instance, if your flights will make it difficult to get to Seattle in plenty of time to comfortably get to the hotel, check in, and then get to the first game, come in a night early and we'll pick up the room cost. The other option would be to stay an extra night in Phoenix before flying home. But hurry, this promotion ends on Tues. CLICK HERE to reserve your spot.


GET A WEST COAST TOUR BROCHURE

 PETCO Park in downtown San Diego

Tags: Chase Field, baseball vacations, baseball road trips, baseball games, baseball vacation package, big league tours, AT&T Park, Dodger Stadium, PETCO Park, Safeco Field

8 Things I Love About Our Baseball Tours (and Can't Wait For!!)

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Thu, Jan 19, 2012 @ 11:30 AM

As we're putting our finishing touches on the 2012 Baseball Tours (and as the snow flies outside my window...), I was thinking about all the things I love about taking our tours and thought I'd share the list with you:

8) Family Time - I love going to games with my family. In fact, that's largely what got me into the business. Sometimes I'll travel with one family member, make it a guys trip, or take the whole clan. It doesn't really matter to me. Quality time with my family at the park is always a great time.

7) Food - So I like to eat. Nothing's as good as Dad and daughter with me at Yankee Stadiumexploring new restaurants around the country and trying out new cuisine. We have found some great places this way. If you are a foodie, too, let us know and we'll help you find something that suits your tastes.

6) New Stadiums - Most baseball fans have at least one stadium on their bucket list - if not all 30! I'm no different. I have just a couple left on my bucket list so I'll be completing it soon. It's always a treat to make it to a new stadium.

5) My Team - My team is the Cincinnati Reds. If I'm not at the ballpark for one of our tours, I'm typically watching or listening to their games. It's great to see them play at home or on the road.

4) New Cities and Sites - One of the best parts of travel is getting to see new cities. Every place has its own culture, feel, and vibe. And whether it's the first time or fiftieth, there are always new things to see and do.

3) Seeing Families Connect - I knew that starting a baseball travel business would allow me to travel with my family and experience things together. What I didn't expect was how much I would appreciate and enjoy seeing our guests connecting. Hearing a grandpa tell his grandkids about players, stadiums, and games from a different era has been great. Added bonus! (And tell me those kids won't remember that forever..?)

2) Meeting New Ballplayers - We arrange player meet & greets on all of our tours which is always a guest favorite (and mine, too!). Talking shop with Big Leaguers and getting their take and perspective from inside the game is very interesting.

1) Fenway Park - What can I say? Fenway is my favorite park in all of baseball. I love the neighborhood, the atmosphere, the age and smell of the park, the Green Monster, wood seats and 100 years of history and nostalgia. It's hard to match that experience anywhere else!

That gives you a few hints about my plans for the summer and what I'll be doing on our ballpark tours. How about you? What do you like about baseball road trips? What do you look forward to the most? Drop us a note so we can share it and potentially incorporate it into our tours!

Tags: baseball road trips, bucket list, Fenway Park, MLB tours, family tours

2012 Baseball Tour Packages Brochures

Posted by Doug Lawson on Thu, Jan 05, 2012 @ 01:11 PM

Get a 2012 Tour Brochure

We are pleased to announce that we now have brochures available for 10 of our 2012 baseball vacation packages.  All you have to do is click on the link to the tour below, then press the "get a tour brochure" button on the tour page.  Just fill out the short form and you will receive a printable brochure right away.  The brochure has all the up to date information and some items not yet listed on our website.  Feel free to forward the brochure to your friends and family so they can join you in the Big Leagues with Big League Tours.  Here's the link to the baseball tour pages that have brochures:

Chicago/Milwaukee

Baseball on the Bay

Hall of Fame Tour 1

Big Apple Tour

Hall of Fame Tour 2

Midwest Tour 1

Hall of Fame Tour 3

Midwest Tour 2

Southern California

Hall of Fame Tour 4

Tags: baseball vacations, baseball road trips, baseball tours, baseball travel, baseball vacation package, big league tours, hall of fame