You’ve just signed up for an international golf trip, what to do next?
1. Trip Insurance. Over the last 6+ years of traveling abroad, I have encountered more than one experience where trip insurance became an integral part of the funds lost due to illness, injury, death. Generally, the insurance company will reimburse you for any unused portion of the trip. I’ve seen thousands of dollars back into the pocket after claiming the trip insurance policy. Do your research to find the one that is suitable to your needs. The company you purchase the organized trip will generally offer a policy.
2. Airfare. Most golf trips do not include airfare. Once you are fully signed up and the trip is deemed full, I’d look at airfare. Be creative. Look at various companies and try using mileage. If I take a large group overseas, I’m generally the only one sitting in coach. The rest of my group uses their mileage and loyalty to get upgraded.
3. Shopping. It’s time to purchase some necessary items.
- Rain Gear. Depending on where you travel, it is inevitable that rain will be a part of your schedule. You’ve spent a lot of money on your trip, including those tee times, so plan to play in the rain. In Ireland and Scotland, it’s half the fun. Look for rain pants, a rain jacket, a rain hat, (2) pairs of rain gloves, and an umbrella. I’d also confirm your (2) pairs of golf shoes are waterproof.
- Golf Balls. Are. Not. Cheap. in. Europe. A sleeve is three times the amount we pay in the United States. Depending on the length of your trip and the difficulty of course, I’d plan to bring at least a dozen.
- GPS or Laser Rangefinder. It’s difficult to predict whether a course will have sufficient yardage markings. Plus, outside the United States, you generally see the markings in Meters. By having a laser, you will be able to read to any point on any golf course- in yardage, particularly useful on a golf trip. The various GPS devices are good, sometimes. GPS devices only work on golf courses that have been mapped, so you may encounter some places where your GPS unit doesn’t work.
- An extra battery for your rangefinder. Those suckers are hard to find anywhere. Most golf courses don’t carry the proper battery. Disclosure- Valderamma in Spain sold them in the proshop!
- Comfortable Shoes. I mentioned waterproof shoes above, but also make sure they are comfortable. You will be walking in Europe, most likely. So be prepared with extra socks and comfortable shoes.