BLOG: Managing Higher Education Athletic Travel

For many colleges and universities, at least half of the annual travel budget can be attributed to athletic programs, which means there can be a lot of pressure to control those costs. In addition, booking all of that travel is extremely time consuming. For those reasons, most higher education institutions choose to outsource the management of their athletic travel to a qualified travel management company (TMC).


Access to supplier discounts is one of the many benefits of outsourcing athletic travel management. While the spend levels of an athletic department may be significant to a university, they might not always be enough to warrant discounted rates from suppliers. However, a travel management company can provide access to their agency negotiated rates, effectively reducing travel spend.  Another benefit is that the TMC will monitor your spend levels and when they approach the threshold for securing your own supplier discounts, they will advise you and can take on the supplier negotiations for you on behalf of your institution.


Consider the effort it takes to book each sport’s travel for the season, monitor reservations for changes, and modify trip plans if inclement weather causes a trip disruption. There are a lot of moving parts to take into account and if the planning isn’t done right, it often lands on the coaches and administration staff to figure things out, and that’s not what you want them focused on. A qualified travel management company will assign agents to your athletic travel that will know your teams’ coaches and players, their expectations, and will take care of planning the season’s travel needs well in advance, and handling any trip disruptions you may encounter.


Imagine handing all of your athletic travel planning off to a qualified travel management partner. They’ll get you the best rates, plan all of your teams’ travel, and deal with any trip disruptions that might come up, 24/7/365. That way, travel to and from athletic events can be spent with athletes and coaches concentrating on game preparation or dissecting a win or loss – the things that matter most. Contact Travel Leaders / Destinations Unlimited for assistance with planning your athletic travel.