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Finding Gold Medal Accommodation During The Olympics

By Matt Lu

I’m a British Expat currently living in Beijing, China and have recently been looking into Olympic travel packages for my family to attend the 2008 games. I know it seems early to be planning such a trip, but as avid sports fans my family have attended three Olympics and through bitter experience have learned that you can never be too early when preparing for such a major sporting event.

Through my research I came across several international sports travel companies that offer Olympic packages. These packages normally include accommodation, hotel transfers, transportation from the hotel to events, three to five event tickets and a sightseeing tour of Beijing.

One such company, Roadtrips, offer a five night stay for US$7500 in a standard hotel. Their five star packages come in at US$9150. Another company, Sports World, provides three different packages. The price of their Bronze, Silver and Gold packages differ depending on the standard of accommodation but are similar to Roadtrips.

Both of these operators provide good packages however I was shocked by the price particularly as packages provided no flexibility regarding hotel location. Now, I know for a fact that Olympic venues are spread throughout Beijing. Traveling from one area of the city can be taxing at the best of times, let alone during the Olympics when a million or more visitors will descend upon the city. Therefore I expanded my search and came across Gold Medal Tours website.

Their packages offer customers huge flexibility, allowing customers to build individual tailor made packages where accommodation, transportation and extra services can be selected according to budget or location. Price wise they were considerably cheaper than the other package providers while still offering the same services. I was particularly impressed with the additional services they offered which include sim cards pre programmed with useful phone numbers.

Gold Medal Tours not only offer services in Beijing but they can also arrange trips to other parts of China as part of your Olympic experience. When I called them to enquire about their services I was reassured to discover that they are run by a team of experienced tour operators who have more than 10 years experience in Beijing.

The established sports travel companies offer a satisfactory service however I think that a tailor made package is the key to a successful Olympic holiday in Beijing. Furthermore, international sports travel companies have little experience of Beijing and may lack the understanding of the city and Chinese culture. After my comprehensive research I chose Olympics Beijing Travel to organize my family’s Olympic experience.


Booking Travel for Your Volleyball Team

By Patrick Soch

If you are involved in youth volleyball as a coach or team parent, you know how stressful it can be to make group travel arrangements for your volleyball team’s tournament travel. Certainly going to the most competitive tournaments possible and testing your girls’ skills against the best teams is exciting and worth every minute. This article suggests a few ways you can make your team travel a little easier, both on your team’s pocket books and on everybody’s nerves.

If you make travel arrangements for your volleyball team and their families, you may need 5 to 10 hotel rooms or more, depending on the size of your team. Your team might easily qualify as a group booking, which may entitle you to group hotel rates, group amenities, and other services. This is important to keep in mind. If you book with a group travel professional, he or she can secure these group benefits on your behalf. Most hotels will also Pre Key your rooms for you so that once you arrive at the hotel all your room keys are already ready to go. This makes checking in with your group much easier and helps cut down on delays at the front desk.

Another easy way to ensure a successful team trip is by the hotel you choose. The first hotel important hotel consideration is a hotel with interior corridors (hotel room doors that do not face the parking lot or outside). This makes your job as a coach or a chaperone much easier because, as you know supervising teenagers is part of the job when you take a team traveling.

The second consideration is to choose a hotel that offers free breakfast. This is a great way to conveniently and quickly have your first meal of the day as a team, all in one place, and without leaving your hotel. Everyone gets to eat, and then you can quickly load up and make it to your games on time.

Do not forget about location when choosing your hotel. If you can book a hotel within walking distance of the sports venue for your tournament, that is a very convenient option. However, if your tournament is in a big city, hotels in and around downtown can be quite expensive. You may be able to save a bit by booking a hotel slightly further out, but if you can stay within ten miles where you are playing you should be in good shape. Sometimes you can run into city-wide hotel sell-outs for large tournaments in smaller markets. Some volleyball teams and other sports teams have ended up staying 50 miles or more from the stadium or sports arena. The best way to avoid this is to book as early as possible, especially if you know well in advance that you are going to a particular tournament.

About the Author

Patrick Soch, Senior Marketing Manager,

There are many free services out there to help you with group travel arrangements for your sports team. That includes, which offers the ability to book online for all your sports team travel.