Heading to a new tournament can be quite the rush for teams. While everyone is caught up in the excitement, one crucial aspect of planning team travel often gets pushed to the last minute—booking accommodations. Here are 5 reasons we emphasize the importance of securing your rooms as soon as the booking link becomes available for sports travel.

Stay Ahead of the Game:

1.  When it comes to sports travel, the early bird gets the worm—or, in this case, the best hotel rooms. Popular events attract large groups/teams from all over the world, resulting in high demand for accommodations. By booking your rooms as soon as the booking link is released, you secure the advantage of choosing from a wider range of options. Waiting until the last minute could leave you with limited choices, potentially compromising your comfort, location preferences, and even your budget.

Ideal Location and Convenience:

2.  Proximity to the facility is a crucial factor to consider when booking accommodations for sports travel. Opting for a hotel within close proximity to your destination eliminates the stress and logistical challenges of commuting long distances on game day. Booking earlier also ensures you are able to stay with your entire team, if you wait and the booking block fills up you may not be able to get a room at the hotel where your whole crew is at. Additionally, staying nearby allows you to soak up the pre and post-game atmosphere, explore local dining and entertainment options, and fully immerse yourself in the sporting event experience. 

Competitive Pricing and Discounts:

3.  Another compelling reason to secure your accommodations early is the potential to capitalize on competitive pricing and exclusive discounts. We, at Pellucid Travel, work tirelessly trying to get the best rate possible for our groups. By taking advantage of this, you can secure rooms at more affordable rates, potentially saving you money that can be used for other aspects of your sports travel adventure. Waiting too long to book can end up leaving you with options above budget at other hotels because the booking block has filled up.  

Peace of Mind and Stress-Free Planning:

4.  Booking your rooms well in advance provides peace of mind and ensures a stress-free planning process. Knowing that your accommodations are confirmed allows you to focus on other aspects of your trip, such as transportation, sightseeing, and making the most of your time at the event. By avoiding the last-minute scramble for accommodations, you can approach your sports travel experience with a calm and organized mindset, enhancing the overall enjoyment of your trip. 

Flexibility and Cancellation Policies:

5.  While it's essential to book your accommodations early, it's also prudent to consider the flexibility and cancellation policies offered by the hotel. If the tournament/event cancels, Pellucid Travel has you protected when booked through us. When canceling or changing reservations you are able to do so up until the cut-off date through us. Unforeseen circumstances can arise, leading to the need for changes or cancellations. By carefully reviewing the terms and conditions at the time of booking, you can ensure that you have the flexibility to modify your reservation or receive a refund if necessary.

By securing your accommodations as soon as the booking link becomes available, you gain a competitive edge, enjoy a wider range of choices, and benefit from potential cost savings. So, mark your calendars, set up alerts, and be ready to pounce when the booking link is released. With your rooms secured, you can focus on what truly matters—experiencing the magic of sports travel to the fullest!

[Sarasota, FL -April 26, 2023] - Pellucid Travel, a leading sports travel and tourism company, is pleased to announce a new partnership with Nathan Benderson Park, a world-class sports and recreation destination located in Sarasota, Florida.

Through this partnership, Pellucid Travel will work closely with Nathan Benderson Park to offer an enhanced travel experience for all events that showcase the park's many attractions, including its state-of-the-art rowing facility, pristine waterside trails, and expansive recreational opportunities.

"We are thrilled to be partnering with Nathan Benderson Park," said Shannon Barrows, CEO of Pellucid Travel. "This beautiful destination is a perfect example of the kind of unique and authentic facility that we aim to partner with. We look forward to working with Nathan Benderson Park and the local hotel community to create unforgettable travel experiences for future events."

Nathan Benderson Park is home to some of the most exciting events in sports and recreation, including world-class rowing regattas, triathlons, and other outdoor activities. The park boasts a 400-acre lake with a viewing tower, miles of scenic trails, and a range of activities for visitors of all ages.

"We are excited to partner with Pellucid Travel to showcase all that Nathan Benderson Park has to offer," said Bruce Patneaude, COO of Nathan Benderson Park. "Together, we can offer a more comprehensive solution that meets the evolving needs of our customers.”

Pellucid Travel is not your average travel team. It is a full-service sports housing agency, focused on making good things happen for other people. We have easy processes, clear and transparent communication, and the knowledge and experience to find you the right housing solutions. 

This partnership is a recipe for success and Pellucid Travel is ready to start servicing more events in the Sarasota community!

This edition of Tournament Talk will feature special guests Pete Harvey, Mckenzy Lacko, Robert Ferguson, Lizett Castaneda, and Michael Cousins! Expect an in-depth conversation on the importance of CVB relationships with local hotels and how much it takes to pull off an event. Take the knowledge of these experts and apply it to your business!

When you make a reservation at a hotel through Pellucid Travel, it is common practice for the hotel to require a deposit to secure the booking during an event. This deposit is typically a portion of the total cost of your stay, and it is included in the advertised rate that you see when making the reservation. The purpose of the deposit is to ensure that the hotel has a guarantee and to discourage no-shows or cancellations. Your deposit can vary depending on the event you are attending as well.  

When you arrive at the hotel, the remaining balance of your room rate should be charged to your credit card or paid in cash. This remaining balance should be the advertised room rate minus the per-night deposit that you already paid. Typically it does not show the deposit on your hotel receipt which is where a lot of confusion stems from.  As long as the math is correct you are good to go. Also, this deposit is a separate charge from the servicing/processing fee. It is important to know that the deposit can be refunded only before your booking cutoff. However, in some cases, you may find that the room rate charged at the hotel is not the remaining room rate that you were expecting. This could be due to a mistake by the hotel, a miscommunication, or some other reason. 

If you do encounter this situation, it's important to reach out to the hotel staff and ask for an explanation. If you are not satisfied with their response, or if you feel that you have been unfairly charged, in the case of Pellucid Travel, you can email info@pellucidtravel.com and our team will be happy to assist you in resolving the issue. Our goal is to ensure that you have a smooth and enjoyable travel experience, and we are always here to help if you encounter any problems along the way.


Check out our FAQS for any other questions!

In recent months our team has been crushing it with conventions. Pellucid Travel will be wrapping up our fourth convention this year at the end of February! So you can say we are becoming experts. After attending United Soccer Coaches Convention, Laxcon, and Sunshine Sports Council Think Tank, our team has prepared some pointers for those heading to a convention and who are unsure of what to expect.

Tip 1: Plan your trip ahead of time!

Plan ahead as much as possible, this means setting up your travel accommodations and planning with your team. Do you need any collateral to bring, what is your goal when meeting with others, who do you want to see there, and setting up any marketing material ahead of time.

Tip 2: Buying a booth is not always necessary.

Our team has found that it can actually be beneficial to forgo the booth and walk the floor the whole time handing out cards and chatting with others. This way you saved some $$ and get to talk with more like-minded people.

Tip 3: Attend a social hour.

After attendees walk the floor and finish for the day you can often find them in a more casual setting like a happy hour or grabbing food where conversation can be more relaxed. You would be surprised at how many great conversations and even partnerships come out of these social gatherings. It takes the edge off being in this type of setting while still being professional.

Tip 4: Announce your attendance online!

Before any show, we like to announce that our team members will be in attendance on social media. Now people can make appointments ahead of time, you can reach your goal quicker, and it gives you a schedule when people do make appointments.

When heading to a convention it is always best to be prepared and work it well. Never forget to have fun in between though, a lot of the multiple-day conventions will put on exciting activities for everyone, and it’s a great way to amplify your experience. If you found these tips useful share them with someone you know who is getting ready to head to a convention!



On this version of Tournament Talk, we chat with our very own team members Jason, Kelly, and Dave. You can expect pro travel tips from each of our experts to send you off into a successful travel season. This information is something you do not want to miss out on. Watch below!

Most people like to start the new year off with a bang, while we want to end it with one also. This holiday season we have gotten the greatest gift of all.. 3 new employees! All of which bring so much talent and personality to our growing team. 

Introducing David Oakes as a new Client Relation specialist David graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor’s degree in marketing. He is an experienced professional who has been in the customer service and Account management field for the last 15 years. His passion for customer service always leaves customers in a better place than where they started their experience. David has a strong passion for sports, in between playing men's league and coaching his son's youth team, you can find David watching his son's baseball games, or spending time with his wife and daughter.

We didn’t stop there though, adding another Client Relationship Specialist in the mix, meet Aaron Maciejewski! Aaron has been in customer service for over 15 years, spending the majority of that time in luxury retail and fitness.  When working with his clients, Aaron is always looking to elevate their experience and help create moments that will stay with them for years to come.  When Aaron is not at pellucid, he can be found instructing at Spoke Cycle + Fitness in the Rochester area.  There, he leads spin and row classes; pushing his members to take steps toward achieving their fitness goals.

Our next new hire is now coming into a position we have never had at Pellucid. Welcoming Sara Meadow to our team as our first Brand Manager! Sara graduated in 2020 with a degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology from Florida Gulf Coast University. However, since graduating she has pursued a career in marketing having 3 years in the industry and continues to grow. To Pellucid's advantage, Sara has grown up around the hotel industry giving her knowledge of what we are all about. With Sara's go-getter mentality she strives to set her team up for success! Outside of work you can find her traveling around the US as she seeks adventure or laying low with the thing that makes her happiest (her cat VV).

This is only a small snippet of who they are but they jive perfectly with our team. All three of these awesome people have hit the ground running in their first few weeks and are ready to accomplish our goals of making good things happen for others.  

Visit our team page to see the pellucid team continue to grow!

On this version of Tournament Talk we chat with Sean Flaherty the Co-Founder and CEO of Playeasy. The conversation focuses on Sean's career, the origin story of Playeasy, what is next for their platform, and how it positively affects the sports tourism industry.

We are excited to spotlight our partner, Ashley Gersuk Murphy with Summit Lacrosse Ventures. Her organization is a leader in nationwide lacrosse events and programs for boys, girls, men, and women, with a clear focus on the responsible and sustainable growth of the game. They deliver exceptional value and first-class experiences for their customers, with an emphasis on the development of life skills, alongside athletic skills. She is a 4-time team captain and National Champion from Northwestern. With 15 years of experience in the industry, we are excited to share a small part of Ashley’s story. 

What is your earliest sports memory?

  •   My earliest sports memories are a combination of playing every sport under the sun with my brother and neighbors in our neighborhood cul-de-sac, throwing the baseball with my Dad, and begging my Mom to lobby the local Boys & Girls Club to allow me to be the first girl to play baseball little league, rather than softball. She succeeded!

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

  •   I always wanted to be in the FBI, and also to be a college athlete.

Did your involvement in sports change your approach or motivate you to do anything differently during your time with Summit? 

  •  My lifelong involvement in sports is fundamental to who I am, and most everything I do in my adult life – team orientation, work ethic, motivation to succeed, leadership, accountability – these all stem from the experiences and skills developed as an athlete who was always a part of something bigger than myself, with a great drive to be better, and makes those around me better.

What has been Summit Lacrosse Ventures' best achievement and biggest challenge so far? 

  •  Summit Lacrosse Ventures (SLV) was formed in 2015 as an umbrella organization to manage various existing events, and engage in new event opportunities. Our best achievement thus far has been to maintain the character, integrity, and history of our traditional events (ex. Lake Placid Summit Classic, est. 1990 and Northstar Midwest Showcase, est. 2005), while streamlining, professionalizing, and standardizing our operations to create an ‘SLV standard’ to meet the expectations of today’s customer and our industry’s evolving landscape. Our biggest challenge was in the face of the global pandemic – to ensure the survival of our organization, and maintain the jobs and livelihoods of our small team, while protecting the customer relationships that we value tremendously. I am proud to say that we survived, rebuilt, and are well positioned for long-term sustainability.

What is your vision for Summit Lacrosse Ventures in the future?

  •   SLV will continue to operate high-quality events in desirable destinations because we firmly believe in the enduring value of team and family-oriented experiences, in special places. We strive to give young athletes a platform to develop tools for success in life, and we believe that the experiences offered through quality youth sports are a fundamental piece of the puzzle.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to run events in the youth amateur sports industry? 

  •  You must have a passion for youth sports and their value to our next generation. From there, (some) keys to success are sound strategy, relationships, diligence, transparency, and adaptability. The adage – “do it right or do it twice’ – holds true!

Recently the sports tourism industry has been discussing the issues surrounding securing and retaining referees for events. Two of our partners, Eugene Binda of Refrees Crease (EB) and Ryan Morgan of Soccer Management Company (RM), answer some questions to give their perspective. 

  1. What is your current role and what was your career path to get there?

EB- I am the President of Referees Crease. I started to schedule referees in high school and then worked with multiple leagues outside of the city. I found there was a need for a central scheduler and started asking leagues if they wanted one central assignor to control the assignments. The company grew from that point on. 

RM- I am currently the Southeast Director for Soccer Management Company. When I graduated college, I started working for a local soccer club in Virginia coaching a few teams and also running 2 tournaments. After 3 years, I started working for Soccer Management Company running multiple events throughout the country. Now I oversee all Southeast Events, managing 12-15 events per year, mostly in Florida. 

  1. How long have you been working with and scheduling referees?

EB- Since 1976 for the South Boston Youth Hockey League.

RM- I have been working with and scheduling referees since 2013. From 2013-2016 that was just in Virginia. Since 2016 I have worked with referees from 10+ states. 

  1. What is your process to secure referees?

EB- The process depends upon the levels. 

For youth hockey, my main objective is to get new officials as many games without burning them out. The assigning process at the youth level also helps me with those who can follow simple tasks. For example, are they coachable, can the official make adjustments to improve their skill sets? Skating, rules knowledge, positioning, and communication are the key factors for advancement to the higher levels. 

For the advanced level’s juniors, college, and professional rank, the selection for advancement there are a lot more moving parts, time commitments, and travel, are some of the keys to advancement. The good hockey is not coming to you, you need to go to it! And for some that is a commitment, they cannot make, family work and other commitments are key factors in some officials not wanting to advance. 

Other key factors you must be an excellent skater and be in great physical condition to work at the college and professional levels. Skating is the key, you must be able to skate to put yourself in the next possible position to make the correct call.

RM - We hire a referee assignor that is often local to the area with an extensive knowledge and database of the local referees. We keep the referee assignor updated on expected number of teams/games so they can plan accordingly for the necessary number of referees. 

  1. In past years, what challenges did you have in securing and retaining referees?

EB- Hockey has expanded at twice the rate of the officiating pool, in years past, past we had enough officials to cover the game. In the 1990s and early 2000s we still had ex-players wanting to join the officiating ranks to stay connected to the game and get a pretty good workout doing it. Not so in today’s game. 

RM - Overall, the biggest challenge is just the number of referees needed compared to the number of referees available in a certain area. In some areas across the country, there is a large pool or referees, but in most areas, it is definitely a challenge trying to fill all the games with enough referees. 

  1. Recently, have those challenges changed?

EB- Yes, there is more hockey and fewer people want to join our ranks for several reasons. There are more opportunities for the players to keep playing. When I came through the system you were done after high school for the most part there were not a lot of other playing opportunities like today. 

There were not many junior and D3 college teams so playing at the next level was out of reach for most of us, you had to be an exceptional player to make it. 

Now there are several minor leagues as well allowing players to stay in the game longer, and when they are done, they go into the real working world and start families. Most players do not come back until they have kids playing and coaching instead of officiating. 

  1. If so, what are the most pressing issues?

EB- We need to make it easier for new officials to join our ranks, some of the current requirements are too time-consuming are overwhelming for some, then the start-up for equipment and fees does not make it attractive. 

The system is going to crash, we have a lot of veteran officials leaving in record numbers and not enough new officials coming in. With the veterans leaving along goes the game experience these officials have. It takes about three years for an official to have the skill sets to make a difference in managing a game. 

RM- Easily the most pressing issue is referee abuse. As the older generation of referees starts to finish their career, it is hard to get the younger generation of referees to stick with it due to the harassment that some officials receive. The number of tournaments/games that happen every year is constantly increasing while the number of referees available have not been able to keep the same pace, often times decreasing.

  1. What is your opinion as to why these challenges have occurred? What is your strategy to overcome them?

EB - Sportsmanship is nonexistent. Players, coaches, and parents are hurting the game, and the behavior goes unchecked, no one is willing from an administrative standpoint to remove them from their organizations. Allowing this type of behavior to go unchecked to me means it is acceptable! 

We need to continue to drive more training sessions and opportunities for advancement. If there are and ex junior, college, or pro players we have the ability to fast-track them up the referee ranks. 

As far as the behavior --- if the administrators do not figure it out soon, they will be doing the games! 

RM - Obviously, it starts with the behavior of parents and coaches as far as respecting the referees. Treating referees better will keep them in the game. As far as getting more interest from younger referees, youth clubs can host referee courses and provide an avenue for younger players to become referees. 

  1. What should tournament organizers consider when scheduling and working with referees?

EB- That is a loaded question, quality, service, price -pick two. Realistically outside of the players, the officiating is the next most important tournament directors need to figure out. 

We all know subpar officiating can make or break an event. For the most part, I have a great relationship with the tournaments I am involved in. 

However, there is a new quick-hit market for tournaments, and they shop around for the lowest game cost, and like anything else you get what you pay for. A lot of officials are not willing to listen to the coaches, players' parents for a minimal fee, that is a new reality. 

RM- One factor a tournament organizer must consider when scheduling is the number of games per field. You have to schedule enough games for a referee to make it worth the time to come out, but also can’t schedule a referee for 8 straight games in the summer heat. Tournament organizers also have to consider keeping referees hydrated during the day and also providing them with snacks/lunch throughout the day. Tournament Organizers work closely with Referee Assignors to find the right balance of number of games and age groups for each referee. 

  1. Closing thoughts? Any other information you want to share that would be pertinent to the sports tourism industry?

EB - Find a good referee scheduler and plan ahead to make sure you have enough officials to cover the event because the last thing you want is to have games go dark because you do not have enough officials

When all participants have an enjoyable experience at the tournament venue, they are more likely to come back and spread the word about what a great time they had at the event. 

RM- Soccer is a growing sport, with the number teams and games being played increasing every year at a rapid pace. Especially with the World Cup 2026 approaching, which will be hosted in the United States, the sport will continue to grow. In addition to developing pathways for players and coaches , referees will need the same amount of attention to allow for the continuous growth of the great game of soccer in this country.