There are few things in life that are as exciting as attending a major sporting event. Whether it’s the Super Bowl, the World Series, a NASCAR race, the Kentucky Derby, the World Cup, the Masters Golf Tournament, the Final Four, or the Olympic Games, attending a big sporting event is an unforgettable experience.

Traveling to these major events can present challenges every bit as demanding as those that are faced by the athletes on the field of competition. Success will require careful planning as well as execution, and sheer will power. Whether your favorite team, driver, golfer, or horse wins or loses the competition, you’ll emerge victorious in your adventure by adhering to these tips for traveling to a major sporting event.

1. Make travel arrangements as far in advance as possible

The availability of flights, hotels, and even rental cars can disappear in a hurry. Booking as soon as you know that you’re going to the event is the only way to assure that you can get there and that you’ll have a place to stay.

2. Consider ancillary cost when booking your hotel

Though hotels in outlying areas are usually less expensive than hotels in town, you need to consider how you are going to get to and from the airport and the big event. Rental car? Taxi? Public transportation? How much will it cost to park at the event? Do your research. You may find that you can actually save time and money by staying at a pricier hotel that is within walking distance of the venue, or easily accessible by public transportation.

3. Purchase tickets from a legitimate source

Beware of scams involving counterfeit tickets. It’s best to purchase tickets from a team-sanctioned ticket reseller or through a site like that guarantees the ticket. Although the ticket could still be fake, at least you can get your money back.

Some states allow licensed ticket brokers to sell tickets within a certain distance from the venue. You’ll definitely pay more than face value but the risk of buying a counterfeit ticket is diminished as brokers are careful about vetting the tickets they purchase to sell.