How Do You Handle the Hidden Fees Associated with Travel Hockey?
Scott said: Our son is now in his 6th season of travel hockey as a PeeWee Major. It’s hard to believe that it's been that long, but here we are....... again.
Being a returning travel parent has made it easier to anticipate "hidden fees" because of prior years experience. However, as a first year travel parent, it can be a little overwhelming in the beginning. My advice to new travel hockey parents is to stay very involved with your team manager prior to the onset of the season.
They are usually the ones who are responsible for making all the arrangements for tournaments, scrimmages and camps that are usually not included in your team fee. With the exception of scrimmages, most of these activities are planned very early, usually well in advance of when league play commences.
We have had the same team manager for the past four seasons, so she is a pro at estimating the additional costs. It has been customary for our team manager to collect money at the beginning of the season to prepare for these “hidden fees.” For example, we write a check for $500, which goes into a team account (usually an escrow checking account). The manager uses these funds throughout the season to pay for the "little things" that come up.
For a parent, it's an easy way to handle extra costs up front and not leave you with sticker shock later. Occasionally, we need to put in a little more in the pot, but usually, we end up with money left over in the team account at the end of the season.
Last year we had money left over, so we decided to have an end of the year party for the kids. The bottom line is, be prepared for hidden fees before the season starts. If your team manager is on the ball, there won't be any surprises later.
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