THE BIG LEAGUE TOURS BLOG

Other Baseball Tours vs. Big League Tours

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Fri, Jan 06, 2012 @ 04:30 PM

We received a short email today about our baseball trips from a prospective customer, who we'll call BP. BP's response to an email from us said,

"I think by looking at other tour groups, you guys are a bit too expensive."

It's great to get feedback like this. And if BP is thinking this, others might be thinking it as well. Here was the response I sent to BP:

Thanks for giving us your feedback. I'm curious to know why you feel that we're too expensive? It's true, our baseball tours do cost more than the other guys but the things Big League Tours guest with Bill "Spaceman" Leeincluded in our tours are quite different. For instance, consider the seats at the ballgames. We don't buy group tickets that place you four rows from the top out by the foul poles. Instead, on our tours you'll sit in lower level seats, most of the time between the bases.

Also consider the hotels. When we have a tour to New York, for instance, we stay in the heart of Manhattan. Other tour groups stay in New Jersey or Connecticut. The price difference is quite significant but so is the experience. You can walk to Times Square (and many other attractions) on our tour but you'll be listening to jets landing on their tours.

There are other differences, too, including special stadium access, our player meet and greets, and the care we take in developing our itineraries that allow you to experience the cities we visit. Click here to see some testimonials from our customers and customers from other tour providers.

We know that other tour operators are good at what they do. And if you aren't concerned about where you sit at the games, where you stay, or how much time you spend on a bus, then I'm sure you'll be happy traveling with them. However, we think there's an experience level that's much different on our tours that's worth the difference in price. And if it's an experience that you are looking for, we hope that you'll consider joining us!!

I hope my response helps and welcome your thoughts and questions.

Catch you later!

Glenn

I really hope that I answered BP's concerns and possibly some that you might have had as well.

Tags: tour operator, baseball tours, baseball stadiums, baseball vacation package, testimonials

Nationals Park in Washington, DC

Posted by Big League Tours on Tue, Jan 03, 2012 @ 05:38 PM

Guests arriving at Nationals ParkJune 16, 2011 - Not to jinx it, but so far we've managed to dodge the rain for all the games on our tour. In fact, as we left our hotel in Washington, DC to go to Nationals Park, it started to rain slightly and then the skies opened up and poured. But the rain stopped about an hour before game time and allowed the teams and groundscrew to get ready for the game on time.

While we've had other baseball tours to NationalCenterfield bar at Nationals Parks Park over the last couple of years, I personally haven't been back since it's inaugural year in 2008. The community around the ballpark, while it still needs some work, has improved immensely in the 3 years since my last visit.

Here are some photos of our guests arriving at the ballpark and some photos from around the stadium. Couldn't help but take some photos of the Capitol Building and the Washington Monument from inside the park, too.
Capitol Building from inside Nationals ParkWashington Monument from inside Nationals Park

Tags: Washington D.C., Nationals, tour operator, sports travel and tours, baseball trips, ballpark tours, big league tours, group tours, Nationals Park, Baseball

Museum and Stadium Tours in Baltimore

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 12:00 PM

The Warehouse Building in Camden YardsOn Eutaw Street beginning our escorted tourGuests in the dugout at Orioles ParkRuth Museum
June 16, 2011 - Whenever we're on the road with our group travel tours, we try to schedule baseball stadium tours to get a behind-the-scenes look at how things operate in the bigs. So while in Baltimore, we took in the guided tour of Orioles Park.

The tour that they give is probably one of the best tours in the majors based on the amount of time that they give you as well as the information that they share.
Inside the museum
The tour starts on Eutaw Street and visits the club level, luxury and party suites, media room, press box, the field and dugouts. All in all it's a great tour that's worth the visit.

We also stopped in the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum which is just a few blocks from Orioles Park. The museum is rich with history of Babe's life, not just his formative years in Baltimore. Here are some photos from the Museum.

Tags: group travel, Orioles, tour operator, Baltimore, baseball tours, baseball stadiums, ballpark tours, group tours, Oriole Park

Should You Purchase Travel Insurance?

Posted by Big League Tours on Sun, Nov 20, 2011 @ 08:30 PM

More and More Travelers are Purchasing Travel Insurance
December 2, 2008 - Did you know that recent surveys have found more travelers are purchasing travel insurance? Did you know that Big League Tours offers travel insurance? Travel insurance can take a great relief of stress off of travelers while traveling in escorted tours or purchasing a vacation through a consultant. 

Some program options Travel Guard insurance can give you on your sports vacations:

  • Cancel for any reason optional coverage
  • Cancel for work reasons optional coverage
  • Children age 17 and younger no additional charge (Must be related to the primary insured)
  • Medical evacuation home OR optional coverage of your hospital choice

Some other coverage travelers will receive in unforeseen trip related expenses:

  • Trip Cancellation, interruption and delay
  • Lost, stolen or damaged baggage or travel documents
  • Luggage Delay

If you are planning family tours in 2009 consider travel insurance to give you the ease of knowing you're covered in the case of an unforeseen incident. Check out our website to see what Big League Tours and Travel Guard can offer you.

Tags: group travel, tour operator, sports travel and tours, baseball travel, big league tours

Check-In and Travel Tips

Posted by Big League Tours on Sun, Nov 20, 2011 @ 12:00 PM

November 3, 2008 - A lot of us dread going to the airport these days. It takes a lot of time to get through security, which means we must arrive earlier and it can sometimes be very frustrating. Listed below are some tips you can use before arriving at the airport to speed up the check-in process and help with an all around better experience.

Airport Tips
Before Your Tour Vacations
  • Check your itineraries for seat assignments and make any ticket changes you need.
  • Handle any special needs you might need before you get to the airport.
  • Check to make sure the contact information they have for you is correct.
  • Take care of any passports, visas, or any other important papers you might need way ahead of time.
  • Know the check-in requirements for your airport.
  • Know the requirements for the security checkpoints where you'll be traveling.
  • Check security check-point wait-times and allow plenty of extra time for busy holiday periods.
Baggage Tips
  • Put your name and phone number of your destination on the inside and outside of your bag.
  • Don't wrap your gifts since all luggage is subject to inspection. (If during a seasonal holiday please be aware of theft and consider sending your gifts by mail.)
  • Travel light when you can.  Try bringing one carry-on bag that will fit underneath the seat in front of you.
  • Carry valuables, medication, and travel documents in your carry-on baggage.
A great way to check for travel alerts and updates is the Transportation Security Administration website.

Tags: tour operator, sports travel and tours, baseball travel, group tours

East Coast 2 Baseball Tour, Part IV

Posted by Big League Tours on Fri, Nov 18, 2011 @ 01:00 PM

What Makes Baseball Vacation Packages Special?
June 20, 2008 - Sometimes it's choosing the right tour operator who puts together sports travel packages that include some really cool features. But sometimes, the things that happen on the package tours can't be planned.

One of those unplanned events happened on our latest MLB tour when Josh Hamilton spent time signing autographs for fans along the third base line at Nationals Park. Josh became a favorite of ours last year when he made such a tremendous come back with the Cincinnati Reds. We hated to see the Reds trade him this past winter but it has been a trade that has worked out really well for both clubs.

The Reds received Edinson Volquez, who has just pitched lights out for them and leads the majors in ERA. The Rangers received Josh Hamilton who is a legitimate contender for baseball's coveted triple crown. And, it seems that the Rangers are doing everything they can to help support Josh's clean walk. Kudos to the Rangers ownership and management.

Here he is signing my son's baseball. Thanks for helping to make this baseball road trip special, Josh!

Tags: tour operator, Rangers, baseball road trips, baseball tours, Nationals Park

Big Apple Tour, Part VI

Posted by Big League Tours on Thu, Nov 17, 2011 @ 10:00 PM

Rain Out At Shea
May 9, 2008 - Today the inevitable happened. When your business revolves around outdoor sporting events, you know that at some point you're going to get wet and that at some point you're going to have games canceled or Our tour group huddled up at Shea Stadium w Citi Field in the backgroundpostponed. That day finally arrived. After dodging rain outs all across America for a couple of years, we suffered our first one at Shea Stadium. All wasn't lost, though.

Part of the attraction of MLB road trips is to see the stadiums. While it was raining most of the time we were there, we were still able to walk around and see quite a bit of the stadium. In fact, it was quite nice. Most of the fans stayed away from Shea so we were able to check it out without fighting a large crowd. We essentially turned the time into our own baseball stadium tour. In addition, you could clearly see the new stadium, Citi Field, from inside the old ballpark. Here are some of the folks from our group. That's Citi Field in the background.

About half of the guests on our package tour were staying an extra night in New York City and were able to return to Shea to see the game (and it was a gorgeous day!). Unfortunately for me, I wasn't one of those lucky enough to see the game...

In my opinion, seeing Shea Stadium isn't worth a trip on it's own. If you are going as part of a baseball vacation package or baseball road trip of your own that includes other baseball stadiums, then it's worth making a stop. If nothing else, it will give you a greater appreciation for the new stadiums that are built with the fans in mind.

Tags: stadium tours, Citi Field, tour operator, baseball stadiums, MLB road trips, Mets

Is Travel Insurance Necessary? Sports Travel Tips.

Posted by Big League Tours on Thu, Nov 17, 2011 @ 05:00 AM

April 19, 2008 - There have recently been a number of airlines that have filed bankruptcy or have been forced to stop flying leaving travelers stranded or unable to leave. Learning that your flights have been canceled and that your airline is no longer in business can not only be a nuisance but it can also be costly as well. So as we swing into the height of the sports vacation season, travelers should question whether or not travel insurance is right for them. There are a couple of things to keep in mind as you plan your summer baseball road trips.

Paying By Credit Card
Consumer protection laws allow you to dispute charges on your credit card for up to 60 days. This is a useful tool if you've been charged expenses within two months of your trip. It won't, however, provide you any relief from expenses incurred 61 days or longer from your trip. In addition, it won't assist you with additional expenses that you will incur as a result of a delay, such as extra nights at a hotel, meals, etc.

Travel Insurance
Most travelers planning a trip with sports travel packages, purchase the trips much farther in advance than 60 days. Consumer protection laws won't be helpful in those instances. Travel insurance, on the other hand, can assist you by covering all aspects of your trip. If your flights are canceled or your airline files bankruptcy, trip insurance can cover the cost to replace the flight and additional expenses that you incur.

Travel insurance can also protect you from unforeseen events in your life that could prevent you from traveling. Consider an illness that affects you or a member of your family tour or small group tour. If travel insurance is in place, each member of the family or group could be reimbursed for their costs if they can't make the tour.

The price for travel insurance varies based on the cost of your package tour and the age of the travelers. For example, a traveler between the ages of 35-59 who purchases a trip for $1,500, would likely pay $70 - 75 for travel insurance. Not an expensive premium for the coverage it provides.

What About Rain Outs?
Since our tours revolve around baseball vacations, we're often asked if travel insurance covers rain outs. Unfortunately, the answer is no. Travel insurance can't guarantee that everything will happen as planned but can only guarantee that you'll get there and back.

Tags: tour operator, baseball travel, baseball vacation package, group tours

Setting Up Group Travel Tours

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 16, 2011 @ 03:30 PM

April 1, 2008 - Many times, we talk with individuals in an organization or group who are put in charge with organizing a group travel tour who doesn't normally handle travel - i.e. customers are coming into town, the "team mom" is planning a trip, an incentive package is offered to employees, or a group of friends wants to meet in a new city.

If you've never planned a large or small group tour, the task can be daunting, especially if the tour is in a city with which you are unfamiliar. Sports tours, particularly sports travel packages, can be a great way to minimize your effort and stress and allow you to relax while you successfully host the group tour.

Whether it's a baseball road trip you seek or some other sports tour, consider working with a tour operator who can offer you a package tour customized to your group, many times obtaining discounts because of their travel network, and providing you a service that will save you valuable time.

Tags: group travel, tour operator, baseball road trips, sports travel and tours

Sports Travel Gaining in Popularity

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 16, 2011 @ 01:30 PM

March 30, 2008 - Fans of all sports are interested in traveling to see their sports played out, taking sports vacations at ever increasing rates. Part of the mobilization of fans is that the Internet has made it possible for fans to buy and sell tickets at every major venue, even up to "near last minute" travel planning. Also many travel sites have made the planning easier than ever.

However, many fans are looking for assistance when putting together their sports travel packages. Even with all the information available online, there can still be some guess work about where to stay in a particular city. I've had clients tell me their night mares about choosing hotels based on limited or no knowledge of the areas and feeling like they've put themselves in great danger.

One other key element is the location of the tickets to your sports event. If you've never been to a particular stadium or venue, you can make choices that you might regret once you're in the park.

Whether it's a small group tour, family tour, or something you plan to do on your own, you might consider seeking out some assistance to plan your next sports vacation by purchasing a sports package from a tour operator.

Tags: tour operator, sports travel and tours, baseball trips, baseball games, sports vacation