Just as some sights are worth travelling for, some sporting events make a good reason for a trip. To some people, going on a long-haul flight to see an athlete compete may seem extravagant, but to a huge sports fan, there’s nothing like watching their favourite game directly from the stands.
Travelling adds a special touch to the experience, and sometimes it’s not only the sport but also the culture that makes your trip memorable. In some cases, culture and sports are intricately connected, such as the Ashes, the Grand Prix, or even the Olympics.
The thing is, not all sports are created equal. Of course, it depends on preference. But while there are hundreds of competitions happening worldwide each year, only a handful deserve a splurge. So, here are the top five luxury sporting events worth travelling for.
The Grand Prix Motorcycle is the leading and highest class of motorcycle racing events. Simply put, MotoGP is for motorcycles, as F1 is for cars. This sporting event is tailor-made for thrill-seekers who want to see the planet’s fastest riders outrun each other on some of the world’s most challenging circuits.
Regarded as the world’s oldest motorsport championship, MotoGP has existed since the early 1900s. However, it wasn’t until 1949 that the first formal race took place in Japan.
Presently, MotoGP has around 20 races held in a variety of countries around the world, including Italy, Spain, Germany, Portugal, Malaysia, Thailand, Qatar, Argentina, and the United States. Its season runs from March until November.
Each MotoGP race lasts about 45 minutes. It is a showdown of speed from start to finish, without stopping for tyres or fuel. Riders cover a distance of between 100 to 130 kilometres.
Whether or not you’re a motorsport racing fan, MotoGP is worth travelling for, if not for the tight competition, then for the impressive talent of the riders, the immense challenge they face, and the bikes packed with the latest technology.
Attending the Olympics can easily be a once-in-a-lifetime experience worth travelling for. It is, after all, the king of all sporting events, featuring summer and winter games wherein thousands of the best athletes from around the globe battle out in various sports.
But let’s face it, travelling to watch the Olympics is expensive. The influx of tourists to the host country causes airfare and hotel rates to soar. Then, there’s the ticket price for the event, which ranges from $26 to $710, depending on the sport and day.
Yet, the Olympics remains one of the most attended sporting events in the world, and who can blame the fans? The Olympics is exhilarating, moving, extremely fun to watch, and full of drama. We’ve all felt the rush of emotions – from pride and dismay to triumph and loss – by watching the daring efforts of athletes compete for their homeland.
Finally, the Olympics creates a sense of connectedness and unity by bringing people together regardless of political beliefs, religion, age, gender, or economic status. Hence, the Olympics is a celebration of humanity. And who wants to miss that?
The first Olympic games occurred in 1896 in Athens. The 2024 Summer Olympics will be in Paris, France, while the 2026 Winter Olympics will be in Milan and Cortina D Ampezzo, Italy.
The holy grail of car racing, Formula One is arguably the most famous motorsport competition since its inauguration in 1950. An F1 season includes a series of races called the Grand Prix, which takes place in various countries worldwide.
Perhaps the top reason why F1 is so fun to watch is the edge-of-your-seat thrill it brings to the audience. Imagine the sheer intelligence and mind-boggling skills it takes for the drivers to navigate tight corners and sudden turns at breakneck speed.
Then, there are the cars. Nothing screams innovation and cutting-edge engineering like F1 vehicles. Formula One is among the few sporting events in the world where the engineers are as important as the athletes. And when you attend a race, you can witness up close and personal the science that went into the car design.
If you’re an avid traveller, purchasing tickets to F1 events means you can visit various places around the world.
Cricket, The Ashes
To understand The Ashes, we first have to understand test cricket. Test cricket is a five-day match between two competing teams to assess their ability, endurance and strength. The Ashes is a series of test cricket matches between Australia and England.
The main draw of The Ashes series is its competitiveness and unpredictability. On top of it all, it illustrates the historic and iconic rivalry between England and Australia, a cricket feud that dates back over a hundred years. In fact, the term Ashes stemmed from a mock obituary published in a British newspaper after England lost to Australia for the first time at The Oval in 1882.
Traditionally, The Ashes consist of five test matches. England and Australia take turns hosting the series, which takes place once every two years. In 2023, England will host the Ashes from June to July at Edgbaston, Lord’s, Old Trafford, Headingley, and The Oval.
Tennis, The Australian Open
Kicking off the Grand Slam season, the two-week-long Australian Open precedes the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open. It is the most anticipated tennis tournament in the Southern Hemisphere and the only Grand Slam in the Asian and Pacific regions.
The Australian Open is best known as the happy slam, a title coined by tennis superstar Roger Federer. Tennis is physically demanding, and players often get injured or overfatigued as the season progresses. But because the Australian Open is the first of the four Grand Slams, the players are fresh and well-rested when they arrive for the tournament.
Why choose the Australian Open over the other Grand Slams? Rain or shine, there’s no stopping the competition at the Australian Open, thanks to the savvy retractable roof of its stadiums. Plus, it exudes an electric atmosphere that television screens can never duplicate.
As an added perk, Melbourne, where the tournament happens, is less crowded, more laidback, greener, and friendlier than its counterparts, London, Paris, and New York. The metropolitan is vibrant and exciting without being chaotic.