Preparation guide

What can you except from your European basketball trip? This guide will help you prepare before takeoff. But don’t forget that the best trips are the ones where you leave some things only to be explored on location. Once arrived at your destination, lean back and breath in the local culture and allow your senses to explore the new surroundings. 

Things are smaller


For Americans, Europe and European products may seem much smaller than what you are used to from back home. That being anything from beds, balconies & food buffets to hotels, cars, malls and streets. So, prepare yourself to enjoy and appreciate the beauty of smaller scaled life. 

The hotels

European hotels may seem different from the American ones.  
First of all, the hotels booked for your trip have been approved by your tour leader. 
European hotels are categorized in 5-6 different categories marked by stars. A 4-star hotel which B-Ball Tours normally uses, are good hotels that offer a breakfast buffet, reception & cleaning service and much more.  
However, the beds are smaller than American beds. Both in height, width and length. The same goes for the hotel rooms, lobbies & corridors. 

Food

Europe consists of 50 different countries each with their own food culture. Naturally, each country is proud of its food culture. – But the internationally rewarded culinary experiences are mostly concentrated in France, Spain, Denmark & Italy, just to mention a few famous Michelin star spots. 
For breakfast, most hotels have a continental buffet with eggs, sausages, cereals, bread etc. For lunch you can find anything from sandwiches, burgers, salads to pastas etc. The dinner menu depends on what kind of restaurant you’re in. But generally, European dishes are smaller than the American ones. 
Our tip for you would be to encourage yourself, your basketball team and your fellow travelers to try new dishes and local food. Why? Because trying new tastes (and other new things) will expand your horizon and give you new eye openers. 

Water

In Northern European countries the water is so clean, you can drink it directly from the tap. However, when traveling to Southern or Eastern Europe, your stomach might react to the tap water. So, make sure to drink bottled water.

Depending on which European country you are in, the tipping system can vary. But as a general ‘rule’, the waiters, cleaning staff etc. get a monthly salary. However, it is normal courtesy to leave a tip – mostly at restaurants. The tip amount is not as big as in the US, though. 

Money tips:

Depending on which European country you are in, the tipping system can vary. But as a general ‘rule’, the waiters, cleaning staff etc. get a monthly salary. However, it is normal courtesy to leave a tip – mostly at restaurants. The tip amount is not as big as in the US, though. 

Currency & credit cards

Only 28 out of 50 European countries are members of the European Union, where the Euro currency is used. However, some of the EU members haven’t accepted the Euro. Some of these countries are the Scandinavian countries, some Eastern European countries and the United Kingdom, which all have their own currencies.
In most Western & Central European countries credit cards are the main payment method, but you can always find ATM’s anywhere. – And, It’s always nice to have some cash on you. However, it’s not advisable to carry large amounts of cash on you in the streets no matter where you go in the world. 

Weather 

Just like the US, Europe has a very variated weather and geography. In Northern Europe it’s much colder than in Southern Europe. Even in the Summer time. So, if your basketball trip goes to Northern Europe, make sure to bring a jacket and some long pans. 
Don’t forget to check the internet for the local weather before packing your bag. 
Unlike the American measurement system, the European temperatures are shown in Celsius. 

Jetlag 

You’re traveling overseas to Europe which is many hours ahead of USA. So when in Europe, you will feel tired and hungry at times that don’t fit in to the normal European schedule. Jetlag is individual and feels different from person to person, but a good way to decrease your jetlag is to adjust to the local sleeping hours as quickly as possible. Eating at the same time as the locals also helps your body to adjust to the new surroundings. 
You can prepare your body for the jetlag already when you are on the plane. Drink a lot of water onboard so you don’t get dehydrated, and adjust your sleeping patterns, so they fit in to your destination’s timing. If you arrive at your destination in the morning, make sure you get some sleep on the plane. On the contrary, if you land in the evening local time, stay awake as much as you can on the plane, so you can sleep by the local sleeping time on arrival.   

Insurance & Security 

B-Ball Tours strongly recommends that you have full travel insurance while traveling, but unfortunately we don’t sell insurances. The easiest thing would be to contact your current insurance company about  a full coverage travel insurance. Some credit card companies also sell travel insurance. 
It’s a good idea to have email & hard copies of your travel insurance and your passport, in case you lose your documents. 
Most of B-Ball Tours’ excursions are group excursions. If you divide the group, we would recommend you explore the city in smaller groups or in pairs, and that you avoid places that look fishy. Specially by night.

Phone & Internet

Data is expensive if you are roaming, which is why you should turn off automatic data download before landing. 
Most hotels have good WIFI-coverage, that you can use. Just like most cafes, restaurants and official city spots. 
If you want to stay in touch with your friends & family while in Europe, make sure you buy a European bundle that covers data in the destinations you visit. 

European basketball players 

Basketball today is a global game with international players popping in every corner of the planet. B-Ball tours is able to design games to your needs. Whether it is teams consisting of seasoned veterans or young prospects, teams will always be able to compete and create great learning experiences. This way, you will get a great sport experience out of your European basketball trip.

European basketball games

FIBA rules are enforced all over Europe. One can expect referees who allow different levels of physicality on screening, holding and rebounding, so teams must adjust to this. 
The 24/14 second shoot clock is also used, leaving room for more in game decisions taken by the players. 
Fans in Europe are generally very passionate about their teams, making sure that the away team knows who has home court advantage. But halftime entertainment is not as action packed as in the US. 
Have in mind that basketball facilities overseas are rarely as modern and equipped as you might be used to in the USA. 


B-Ball Tours

B-Ball Tours is at your disposal prior to your trip and available on location to help you out with any questions you might have about your basketball trip.