"Planning is half the fun"

Gentlemen of Leisure (GOL) are a bunch of childhood buddies that enjoy going on sports road trips. We have been doing this on and off for a long time but the GOL really took off when we revisited doing a yearly college football trip in 2011.

GOL Trips: Past & PresentClick on a school to take you to that school page

After going on numerous college football trips with the GOL, I have compiled a Tailgating Top Tips list.Tailgating Top Tips1. Get your lodging as early as possible. Most college campuses don’t have that many hotels close to the action. Plan 10-12 months ahead of time if possible. Call all the local hotels or rent a house if you have enough people. I have found that the best location is close to campus bars/restaurants. This is the most important of the Tailgating Top Tips.2. Google Maps is your friend. If you are the primary planner, you will be on Maps many times.3. Best websites if you want to rent a house:
vrbo.com, collegeweekends.com, rentlikeachampion.com, airbnb.com. Guystriplive is a newer company that acts as a concierge service for guys trips including lodging, meals, nightlife, and sporting events
4. Try to pick a nice weather or relatively nice weather game. Try to go to a game in September or October. No downside to nice weather.5. Fly in/arrive on Thursday. The extra day is always worth it. You’ll never say, “We should have done one less day”.6. Start tailgating on game day as early as possible. There is NEVER enough tailgate time. You will run out of time.7. If you want minimal effort tailgating on game day, search for tailgate groups on Google or Facebook and send them emails or messages. Most of these groups will be happy to host you. I usually ask if we can chip in monetarily. Tailgreeter is a digital marketplace where you can find and join a local tailgate.8. If you want to do your own tailgate, research tailgate areas/tents ahead of time. A lot of campuses have areas where they set up tents and you can reserve a tent area and then have food catered for or do it yourself. Research this early so you can get the best location. RevelXP/Tailgate Guys is a growing business that supplies tents at over 50 campuses.9. Research to see if there are any must-sees on and around campus. You might not make it back to that venue so make the most of it. There might be other college sports (soccer, volleyball) that are going on during your trip that might be fun to attend. Also, check if there are any NFL games the following day that are close by and at a venue you have never been to.10. Research any special restaurants/bars you might want to go to on your trip. Make reservations ahead of time. Check out their websites. They might have some fun things going on during football weekends.11. If you plan on hitting the bars, try a 4-bar bar crawl. It’s more fun and something to talk about with people you might meet.12. Research, research, research13. Hand pick your traveling buddies. Trips don’t have to include a lot of people to be great fun. Make sure everyone has the same goals and expectations. I usually try to cap it at 6 guys. We rent a big car and the camaraderie is great. Any more than that, logistics can get tricky (transportation, reservations, tickets)14. Have a group leader and a flexible itinerary. It can be time consuming to be ready for dinner/bar and not have a clue where to go. Have a group leader who can delegate responsibilities ahead of time. It’s easier to say here are the 2 or 3 restaurants/bars that looked the best.15. Make sure everyone is happy with their room assignments. Generally, two people to a room.16. If people are starting to get on each other’s nerves, take a break from each other.17. Appoint a group photographer to take pictures and put them on Google Photos or another sharing site. Other pictures taken can be added as well. Consider hiring a local photographer for game day tailgating.18. Do play “Credit-Card roulette” for every meal. Nothing is more thrilling than a free meal or the agony of having to pay for the whole group.19. Make a general rule that if a friend can’t go for some reason, the trip goes on.20. Always root for the home team.21. Take a nice leisurely stroll on campus on Friday afternoon. Make that trip to the bookstore and ALWAYS bring team apparel home to the wife and family. Know everyone’s sizes beforehand.22. Don’t worry too much about the accounting until after the trip. One person can pay for everything, or expenses can be split. Keep receipts. After the trip, do a spreadsheet on what everyone owes.Feel free to contact us if you have any Tailgating Top Tips to add from your own experiences.