For Parents Travel: What's the Deal (and I'm a little panicked about this)

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Okay, I just stumbled on the website of my kids' gym's booster clubs (they have two -- one for girls, one for boys). And in it was the meet schedule of the teams for the entire year.

As my eyes scanned down the list of locations, I couldn't believe what I was reading at first. I expected the meets that were in my state and in neighboring states. (I live in the northeast, I-95 corridor).

But then I saw meets in Chicago. Miami. Puerto-Freaking-Rico!

My jaw dropped. Is this for real, fellow gym-parents? In addition to the travel times across the state and to neighboring states, am I going to be expected to pay PLANE FARE for my gymnast to compete?

I don't know if I can cope! I didn't know this, didn't expect it at all. Is this what y'all meant when you told me to save my money when DD got invited to pre-team? I'm willing to pay for great coaching and added classes. But travel is another thing altogether. Is that the purpose of the Booster Clubs, to raise money for travel?


Proud Parent
Proud Parent
Sep 25, 2007
Most gyms don't travel like that until the optional levels and not all gymnasts make it to that level. At the lower levels they sometimes travel (usually in state or out of state if it is in driving distance), but I think mostly they do local meets.

I wouldn't worry about it right now. Gymnastics IS very expensive though. Tuition gets pretty pricey when they are on team. Then there are leotards, warm ups and also meet fees. I won't even GO to Booster Club requirements, except to say that many have a lot of time consuming requirements.

Those threads will give you an idea of the costs of gymnastics. LOL.


Proud Parent
Oct 13, 2008
Master -

Like Mariposa said, these kind of travel requirements are mainly at the optional level. Out here in the wild west, we do travel for compulsory levels, but only within the state and even then no more than about 3 hours each way; it actually makes a very nice family outing weekend. Our optional girls are traveling to Texas a couple of times, maybe Colorado and then the Regionals.

As for the costs, to put in a nutshell the higher level your daughter goes the more it will cost in terms of dollars and time. When our girls make the transition from Level 6 to Level 7 they get a whole new set of competition gear (leo, warm-up) and a whole new practice schedule (at least 5 days vs 3 per week). The more practice time, the higher the tuition.

Clubs that do have booster clubs are usually in the business of raising money to help offset some of the costs of competetive gymnastics, hence the desire to participate in the booster club.

Don't let things scare you away at this point; enjoy the ride and let your daughter have fun.

Take Care.

gym law mom

Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2006
I agree with Russ----don't panic yet. Check back on that website and see if it breaks out the meets and the levels that are competing. The out of state meets may be for optionals only. Our gym does not have the compulsory kids go out of state. All of their meets are usually within 2-3 hours driving time. About the only time you might need to stay at a hotel is if your dd has an 8am session and you would be up at say 4am to get on the road.

Our optionals do travel out of state---going to TX and Fl this year. The L7s only do 1 out of state meet, the L8s and up do both. Part of the reason to take these girls to big meets is exposure, getting used to competing in large venues so when time comes for regionals/sectionals etc. they won't feel too uncomfortable, and I think a little is a reward for continuing at a high level.

How all the travel is paid for varies from gym to gym. I know we have parents on here that have to foot the bill themselves and others have booster clubs helping out. Our major fund raiser is bingo and so far it has paid all meet/coaching fees plus we make enough to pay for the gymnast's plane ticket and hotel room for out of state meets.

There are some great links in Mariposamma's post---read through them, then ask at your gym about their booster club and when parents can get involved. Many booster clubs don't let you join until your dd is officially a team member. Now, take a deep breath and remember your dd is only pre-team for now and much of this is years down the road.

BTW--Russ, see you mentioned coming to CO for a meet? Which one? We live in CO and will be at Paige Smith and Pikes Peak Cup.
Mar 5, 2008
North America
Those are probably the optional travel details. Our USAG lower level teams at our gym do do some traveling out of state, however. The team my dd is on is the MDL which is kind of like a non-travel team (if you want to call it that) where the farthest they will go is about a 2 hour drive. We decided on sticking with this league because dd's cheerleading travel expenses for last year were INSANE and we wanted to take a break from the travelling and cost. Last year we travelled to Atlanta, Dallas, and Myrtle Beach and about 8 other local competitions and she was only on a Level 2 cheer team (we are also in the Northeast area).

So, I wouldn't freak out just yet. Talk to the director and try to get some clarification from them on the travel schedule.


Proud Parent
Oct 13, 2008

Glad to know you are close by!

Since my daughter is a L6, I didn't try and commit our optional schedule to memory, but I think they usually do a meet in C.Springs - don't know which one. Thankfully, we have another year to plan for that. I do know that our optionals are going to the Kurt Thomas week after next. We have several more in-state meets here in NM for both compulsory and optionals through Jan and Feb with the State meet for both in March sometime. We really stretched the season out this year and it hasn't been too bad other than throwing our daughter into an older age bracket for the whole season since her birthday is 3 days before the State meet.

Take Care.


Proud Parent
Mar 1, 2007
Try not to stress about all of it quite yet. Most gyms start their USAG teams at L4, L5 and L6 (Compulsory) with minimal travel. My DD is a level 4 and the farthest we have traveled for a meet was about 1 1/2 hrs. As a L5 and L6 the distance will increase to about 2 or 3 hours with doing some meets with the optional girls. But still most meets are within our state and only about 1-2 hours away. Our gym usually does one big "travel" meet per year for Optional levels 7,8,9 and 10 and announced almost a year before so people have plenty of time to plan and save!

I also agree with Mariposa mom. Gymnastics is very expensive. I really had no idea when my DD went onto pre-team that in a couple years it would cost me in gymnastics the same as it would for a trip for a family of 5 to Disney! But, my DD loves it, is addicted, and we do what we can to keep her in it for as long as we can.


Another thing you may want to check with your club is how the coaches fees and travel are paid for. Some pay out of the booster club, some divided it by gymnast attending and pay that way. That can really add up if you are not only paying for your gymnast (and likely you and/or your family), but also have to foot the bill for the coaches.


Don't freak out too much yet:)! It is all a little overwhelming, I understand. Our gym for the most part only competes in state. Some of those meets are five hour drives, though. Our coach last year threw in a Southern California meet as a non-mandatory "fun" meet. Maybe that was what the Puerto Rico one was:confused:. Our gym takes all the fees from a meet and splits it between the gymnasts, but it still ends up being $60.00 to $115.00 each meet. I wonder if there is a little "padding" going on there:rolleyes:! It is a costly sport, but I think it is worth it - as long as I don't have to fly to Puerto Rico (haha):eek:!
Jan 22, 2008
I wouldn't freak out too much. I know our team does two travel meets every other year. One is in VA beach one year then they do FL the following year. I think doing the travel in moderation is ok. I am fourtunate though DH travels for a living so I have a HUGE reserve of free flights. If this year was the FL trip we were going to travel just to support the team, but it is not. :-(


Best bet is to ask your booster club. Sometimes they will bill the parents for everything boosters doesn't cover. Like leos, bags, etc.

Some gyms don't have booster clubs, probably means you end up having to pay for it with the option of not going. Not really a big deal.

I purposedly didn't schedule any away meets so as not to trouble the parents for away meets being the cost and time off. Heck, not like I really wanted to go that far away with my schedule.


Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Aug 22, 2008
our gym travels out of state for the lower levels but they are not required meets for the girls. The owner schedules these out of state ones because they are bigger and give the girls a different type of experience - being in a larger arena, more spectators. And they say the competition atmosphere is more fun. This is our first year so I don't know about that. We will be going to one of the out of state meets but no the other. Then there is regionals (we are prep op so there is regionals even at the lower levels) and that's out of state as well.

Our booster club helps raise money for the meet fees and apparel expenses but not the travel expenses, as they aren't paid by the gym itself.


Granny Smith

Proud Parent
Jun 21, 2007
I agree with the others, don't panic yet!

The way dd's gym works, is that you don't travel until level 8 and even then it is optional. They sent out emails asking if you are interested in going to certain meets, if you responded yes and the meet was scheduled, then you were obligated to go, if you responded no, then there was no obligation.

My dd is a level 8 and she is travelling to Chicago this yr (from Northeast also). She is 12 yrs old, if I didn't have the money to do it, I would of said no. It really isn't that important that she travels at 12. It's not like she has to be seen by college coaches or anything. I mean, it is making for a nice weekend for mom and her, but as far as her gymnastics career, it really isn't important that she goes. Our team decided back in September to go to Chicago in February, so there was plenty of time to save.

The hard part for us is that there is no booster club, no raising of money to help out, everything comes out of my pocket. If your dd has a booster club, some of the costs might be funded by the club - that is another thing to look into.

Good luck and breathe easy (for now! ;))
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