How Do You Plan Travel Around Major Events?

There are two schools of thought when it comes to planning a trip to a city hosting a major event such as the Olympics. One says that it provides a unique opportunity and is worth planning for; the other that you'll pay a fortune and are better off visiting when it's cheaper and less crowded. Which side of the fence are you on?

Picture by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

For my appearance on Ten Breakfast today (second-last time — sob!), I'm discussing places worth visiting in 2013 because they're the site of major events. San Francisco, which is hosting the 2013 America's Cup, is on the list. If you're a full-blown sailing enthusiast, that's going to be very tempting. If you're not, visiting San Francisco is always worthwhile, but avoiding the city in late September 2013 might be wise.

As a journalist, I often end up in locations where major events are on in order to report on them. The buzz is always enjoyable, but if I'm planning a trip purely for my own purposes, I'll tend to aim for off-peak travel to save money and minimise on the crowding. Which side of the fence are you on? Share your thoughts in the comments.


Comments

    I definitely agree with Angus. If there's not a particular reason I have to be in a particular place during a major event, I prefer to work around it to avoid the expense and the crowds. The exception would be things like the Sydney New Year's Eve festivities. Before I lived here, I would deliberately travel to Sydney on Dec 30 for a couple days, to experience that.

    Yeah, I'm that gal you'll see in the office every day during the second half of December, because I don't see a point to travelling when everyone else is out there, adding to the crowds and the costs of transportation and lodging. If I'm on holiday, I want as little stress as possible, and those things aren't conducive to that goal.

    Organisations that have a forced closure during the last week of December are the bane of my existence. Thank goodness I no longer work for one of those, as I considered it an absolute throwaway waste of several days of my vacation time.

    It depends on the flavour of the event and how dispersed it is through the city. I visited Edinburgh during festival month, and was so taken up with seeing something over 40 events that I stayed a second month to actually see the city as it really was. On the other hand I hit Helsinki during Eurovision unintentionally, but apart from the difficulty of finding accommodation, the madness was very localised and didn't disturb my exploration of the city.

    Last edited 19/11/12 9:59 am

    I'm of the view that, life shouldn't be boring.

    So I love to go when the big events are on - it adds a bit of ooomp to your experience of that city, you want to feel the beating of the city when everyone is really excited, happy and celebrating.

    To me that is the essential ingredient of travel. Otherwise I would just stay at my lovely home town - Sydney, if I was just looking for humdrum.

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