How for will you travel for a meet?

Parents... Coaches... Judges... Gymnasts...
DON'T LURK... Join The Discussion!

Members See FEWER Ads!
Join for FREE!
Not open for further replies.


We have a meet that requires a flight and stay over this year:eek:. I'm having a hard time justifying this meet for a level 4 girl. I can see when she is a higher level, but so young and so early is it really worth it?

How far will you travel for a meet?


I find that if you can coordinate staying in the same hotel and also plan enough time for other activities, it can be a real fun/bonding experience for the girls and the parents. We love travel meets and try and turn them into mini vacations since we never get to go anywhere otherwise:(

Last year, Vegas was awesome and the year before we had a great time in Florida.


Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
North Carolina
My DD is a L4, we would not fly for a meet at this point. I can't really see that for the lower levels. Besides we just don't have the $.

We did just drive 5 hours for one. We kept them home on Friday and made a long weekend of it. Did some sight seeing ( it was Savannah Ga- beautiful BTW)

Not sure we would go much further for L4 anyway


We did go the DisneyWorld two years ago (DD was a 1st year level 5). It was fun, but it was more about Disney. She had a great time. We explained it was a one time thing. We left the gym, but they went the next year. I don't think we would have gone again. I don't think we would travel again unless she was at least a L8. We have lots of big meet near us that are driveable. 2-4 hour drive would be the max for us.
Jul 20, 2009
Region 3
At levels 4 - 7, we went to only drive meets - the farthest being 4 hours away. The gym worked really hard to keep things less costly at these levels. Now, at level 8, we'll go to one fly meet, all but two of the others will require a drive of 3-7 hours. My daughter was only 6 when she started competing level 4 and I just wouldn't have been willing to fly at that point. I'm a bit hard-pressed to fly now, but will decide closer to the meet if finances permit attending that one.


This will be our first year with a real travel meet. For L4 and L5, the furthest we had to travel was actually for our state meets - both of which were about 5 hours away. We are going to Charleston Cup this year, which is a 7 hour drive. I am not sure I see the point in travel meets at L4. They become more important at the higher optional levels.

Feb 26, 2007
As long as the travel meet is optional it shouldn't be an issue. Finanaces would certainly dictate which meets we choose. Our meets are rarely more than 4 hours away, though I do remember one year it was 7 hours drive for Provincials.

As Teamdad said, to combine a meet with a family trip is the best solution.


MOst of our meets are at least 3 hours drive away not factoring traffic. If we have to cross Toronto it can greatly add to the drive. We haven't had to fly to a meet but if we did a family vacation sounds like a great idea.


Proud Parent
Apr 14, 2009
Region 8
I think staying local at L4-5 is really all that is needed. We go as far as Tennessee (Optionals only) and the rest of our meets are within 6 hours. We(parents) are trying to talk our Gym in letting the Optionals go to Las Vegas next year but I am not sure they will go for that.

Last year the (optionals) also got to go to Virginia for a meet but can't go this year as it is the same weekend as Tiger Paw Invitational. My DD was so disappointed because she was really looking forward to getting to go to that meet this year :(


Proud Parent
Oct 26, 2007
Our 4s and 5 stay at meets within a driveable distance. Unfortunatley the side of the state we live in does not have many clubs. Several meets are about a 2 hr drive and will will head to the other part of the state for at least 2 meets(one is states). And thats about a 5 hr drive. Thats about all I am comfortable doing for thes compularies levels. Next year if she is a L7 we will able the travel a little and our 8s, 9s and 10s travel even more. There is not a lot of competition for upper levels where we live.


Our level 4 & 5's don't travel further than an hour or 2 (except for a state meet across the state). This year in Level 6 the furthest we will be traveling is 6 hours to Boston. My biggest concern with that is it's in January and we have to drive through NY and CT to get there. It will definitely be a mini-vacation for all of us. :)

BTW ~ I don't think Level 4's need to travel that far to a meet, especially via airplane! My dd was 6 in Level 4 so there would've been no way.
We wouldn't fly to a meet until at least level 8. For 6 and under we definitely want to stick with driving to meets. Our girls are level 5s this year and I think all our meets are close. I don't want to think about all the money it will take at the higher levels - plane fares, hotel fares, food...ack! LOL
We dont fly. Our gym goes to one away meet a year. 4hrs and a hotel last year. 2 and 3 yrs ago 2hrs and we stayed in a hotel with the team just for fun. 4 yrs ago the gym went to like 6 hrs away but i didnt go to this one. oh and last years the optionals did about a 6 hr away meet. this year we dont have one. its only up to about two hours away maybe a teeny bit more but i dont think any hotels this year.
Our competing region is within a 3.5 hours drive. That has been it since our kids started competing 6 years ago at this gym. There were talks about an optional meet to FL last season but that never panned out because of the economic situation (we wouldn't have gone anyway). I have heard that one towards the direction of New England is in the works for the upcoming season but we don't have the schedule yet.

I personally don't believe in regular away meets that require long distance travel and huge expenses. I have experienced that with another activity and still can't buy into the concept. IMHO, it's worse yet when it comes to gymnastics because focus and physical condition are so crucial. A weekend event will turn into 5-6 days including travel time. That means it is at least 2-3 days away from the gym (and maybe school). Either kids will stay up late, get distracted and have a poor performance at meet day or they are so uptight about the meet that it makes the travel so unpleasant.

I believe, kids can bond outside of the gym just as easily at a local meet if the parents are willing to hook up (or let them hook up). The family can see different places in a much efficient and economical manner if they plan their own vacation. And, it doesn't involve a competition and schedule that they need to work around.

Granny Smith

Proud Parent
Jun 21, 2007
Up until this yr, level 7 and below did in state only. This yr, level 7 is travelling because now their competition season is the same as the 8s, 9s and 10s and they use the same coaches, so it only makes sense for them to go to the same meets. The flyaway is optional for all 7-10 gymnasts. You can't force people to partake. This yr's flyaway, the flight for 2 costs about $750. I still have to pay the meet fee, the hotel, the car rental and then for everything once we are there. You just can't expect everyone to be able to afford that.

When my dd was in the lower levels, I always wanted her to go "away" for a meet, I thought it would be fun. But now that she competed 8 last season and we did a full season of travelling (1 flyaway and a few out of state driveable meets) and stuff, I'm so glad she never travelled at the lower levels. With the exception of it's fun, it really wouldn't be necessary at the lower levels. The costs really start to add up and then when you add the additional costs onto the monthly gym costs and my everyday expenses, plus expenses for my ds's sports.... oye, it really adds up. :eek: I am now very happy that our HC didn't travel the lower levels... :p


I think the thing that's being overlooked here is that doing 1 flyaway meet per season at the compulsory levels is for experience.

Next thing you know, your an optional, flying to a big meet where the competition can be some of the best teams/gymnasts in the country and it's all new to you. It can be a little overwhelming if it's your first time. I think having already been there/done that can help with budgeting time, preparation, nerves and maybe even just knowing how to get to the meet on time without rushing and having everything that you need.

Traveling is part of the sport. If as a compulsory, you know that you are going to do 1 fly meet a year, then you have a year to save for expenses. $25 a week might be easier to handle than coming up with all the expenses last minute.

That said, if your team is traveling, they want you there and need you to be there to support your team if you can. These meets can also have fun additional competitions like coaches choice type stuff. We went to one meet as a L5 where DD was asked to represent her team on bars. She was teamed with an optional level girl and it was a great experience for her and a real confidence booster. She was thrilled to be recognized by her coach for having had a great meet.....which I don't think would have been possible had she not already done a fly meet as a L4 and knew what to expect already.

Granny Smith

Proud Parent
Jun 21, 2007
Big meets can be experienced just the same without flying. For almost everyone, I won't say everyone because I know it is not true, you can get the experience of a "big" meet without incurring the cost of flying. At a compulsory level I personally do not believe that you have to fly to get experience. Most can drive and achieve the same experience within a few hours from home. JMHO.


So when you go to regionals, it's guaranteed to be driving distance? Personally, I wouldn't want regionals to be dd's first fly meet ever.


Here's a cut and paste from Which Gymnastics Meets for Gymnasts

Deciding Which Gymnastics Meets to Attend
Coaches should be the ones to decide which meets for their gymnasts to attend on the basis of their progress and development. Factors in the decision should include skill and routine preparation and readiness, physical and psychological readiness, opportunities for success, exposure to higher levels of competition, need and opportunity to qualify.

Secondary Considerations
Secondary considerations should include the costs, quality and organization of the meet. Travel expenses for both gymnasts and parents should be considered. Opportunities for additional non-gymnastic activities after the meet are another factor to be considered.

Routine Ready Year-Round
The question of routine and skill readiness often looms large in coach’s decisions. Except in extraordinary circumstances like injury or illness, you and your gymnast have known you need to be skill and routine ready for the entire year. Especially in the beginning of the season, it is a common feeling to not feel ready. But your job is to have them ready to compete routines year round and certainly by meet season.

Need to Compete to Learn to Compete
But gymnasts need to compete so they can learn to compete successfully. There is no other method as good for learning how to compete as actually competing in as many varied competition situations as possible. So the first answer, to which meets to compete in, is all of them.

Start Slow
Some coaches find it advantageous to start off the season with a meet in which they are confident of success. A dual meet with a weaker team or a home meet to which weaker teams are invited can guarantee a successful beginning.

See What the State Competition is Like
After that, gymnasts need to be exposed early to their competition within the state so they and you may judge what it will take to win. Invitational meets attended by the strongest teams from the state should happen early in the season and again a month or so before States.

See What the National Competition is Like
Gymnasts also ought to be exposed to the level of competition in the Region and the entire country. Large regional and national invitational meets expose gymnasts to the competition level they need to rise to meet.

Qualify in the Easier States and Regions, If Necessary
Judging is by no means uniform throughout the country and it may be a strategic decision to take gymnasts who have not qualified to an area where scores tend to be higher. This tends to be in weaker regions of the country, but there are many variables.

Expand the Meet Experience
Meets should be a highlight experience for gymnasts and there are many considerations outside of the sport that can contribute positively to this. Having the team stay at the same hotels (with a pool and hot tub, of course), eat at the same restaurants, go to movies, theme parks, cultural events, etc. can enhance the meet experience. So plan ahead and make sure your gymnasts have a positive experience.
Last edited by a moderator:
Not open for further replies.