Traveling to Magic tournaments can be a lot of work and sometimes you get so hyped that in your excitement you forget the practical aspects. I have traveled a lot in the past so when Aaron and I go away for tournaments like GP Jersey or the upcoming GP Montreal, which we will be attending, I get into crazy planning mode. It’s something I’ve noticed not a lot of Magic players are good at understanding, so today I’m going to talk about the practical aspects of going to a Magic tournament.

So you’ve decided to go to a tournament far from home! You’ve realized you somehow have enough money to go and you really want to play so you’ve gone online and registered for the event. (Please do this before doing everything else, making the plans to go and then not being able to play is no fun.) The first thing you should do is figure out if you can do this in one day. How long is the drive, what time is the players meeting, is it possible for you to have to play in a second day, etc. Aaron and I are lucky that we’re in central Massachusetts so we can get a lot of places within a day, but not always. Next week we’ll be traveling to GP Montreal and there are so many little details we’ve had to hammer out.


Aaron and I are driving to Montreal. It’s just over five hours from where we live so it’s manageable and much cheaper than flying. This isn’t always the true though. Sometimes the drive is too far to be practical or flying can be cheap. Make sure to research all your options before you make a decision. If you’re flying make sure to keep all your Magic stuff in your carry on. It would be awful to get to your location to find your deck was lost or stolen from both a practical and a financial standpoint.  Also reach out to local friends and see if anyone else is going, maybe you can carpool.

Getting a Room

There is a comedy festival (which Aaron and I will also be going to) the same week as GP Montreal so the hotels are both full and expensive. We found a great deal on Airbnb. We made sure to pick one with great reviews located close to where we need to be. We checked parking for our car and public transit. It’s useless to book a room if you don’t know how to get to the venue so make sure to check that before booking anything.  You don’t want to end up in a hotel that’s an hour from the venue.


This isn’t always relevant but Aaron and I will be traveling to Canada so this is important to us. Rushing a passport is VERY expensive so if you’re going to be leaving the country make sure you have a valid passport and then make sure to include the price of one in your budget before you go.

Cell Phones

Having a phone with you when you’re traveling is important in case you get lost or just to be able to check in at home. (Hi mom!) Make sure your phone will be working where you’re going. Verizon and AT&T charge crazy roaming fees if you go to Canada or Mexico (T-Mobile doesn’t charge extra for use in Canada and Mexico from what I understand) without an add on to your plan so make sure to check that out first. I found for Verizon there is a very cheap daily add on (or monthly if you’re there long enough) to avoid the roaming fees so make sure to research that before you go.


Put together a loose budget before you leave. Traveling is always expensive, especially when you’re traveling for Magic. Also make sure you know what kind of currency will be accepted. Will they take your credit card? Is it cash only? Are you leaving the country? What kind of fees will be imposed? Will your credit card even work abroad? Make sure to answer all these questions before leaving.

Have Fun

When you go somewhere to play Magic you end up sitting in a windowless room all day, try to make plans for a late night dinner or drink to see some local scenery. Take advantage of your trip, stay an extra day or two if you can!

Kate hails from Worcester MA and also does a bit of Card Altering. Check her Stuff out on Facebook! She mainly plays legacy and modern though will occasionally find herself playing EDH and drafting.  

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