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Before You Leave

There are many things that you might want to consider before going to play overseas. When I first left to play in 1999 I got two big bags (maybe too much). But one big durable luggage bag is sufficient for travel overseas. A duffle bag and backpack for practice and travel if the team doesn't provided it (small instances).

Frequent Flyer Bonuses

Frequent Flyer programs are smart to start because teams pay for your flight and travel in the country in your do fly within the country where you play. With all flights paid why not benefit and get a free flight and awards?! I'm signed up with Lufthansa and it covers all Star Alliance members which include United Airlines, Spanair and more. Flights across the Atlantic can earn you up to 3,000 miles and within Europe depending where you flight 500+. So get your cards before you leave and have them ready at the airport.

I suggest that you pack kind of light because there are more restrictions with luggage weight flying overseas. If you need something urgent you can buy overseas so take your most favorite gear. That brings me to basketball shoes. If it’s not in your contract then its best to buy your shoes in your home country. If you are living in the USA then its much cheaper to buy in the states because basketball sneaker prices are almost doubled, unfortunately.

Take your favorite yummy candy, books and supplies because more than likely you won't find it overseas. Especially books in English, that is unless it’s a translation book or dictionary :) If you're in need of a good book overseas Amazon Bookstore is the best and cheapest place to buy books online. Shipping is cheap and standard low rates even for shipping books internationally!

Digital Cameras and Camcorders when you are abroad is nice to have because you can show your family and friends your team and environment. You can get your photos developed online and send them directly to your family. There are several companies that I use for online developing: Shutterfly (the best), Online Photo Album (Flip Album), Snapfish Online Developing. Two cheap places to buy great digital cameras are Amazon and TigerDirect.

TigerDirect sells computer equipment which brings me to my next point, communication back home and calls. With the internet being a popular way to communicate with family and friends its a great idea to have a laptop with you when you play overseas. Why? Although laptops seem expensive they are much cheaper now then when I first purchase mine! But calling rates with cell phones can become expensive. Calls from a cell phone could cost up to $1.00 per minute to the USA. But calls within Europe could cost up to $0.50 cents.

So if you have a laptop and have an internet connection it could save you hundreds on your phone bill. Some people have run up phone bills from $500 a month. Yeah that’s too much to spend for calls so its best to either get a calling card so check the best rates from the particular country or find a good laptop. I suggest Dell, Apple G-Book, Compaq, and Toshiba laptops for traveling. Writing letters and emails to stay in touch with family its cheap and economical. If you're anticipating being homesick visit our homesick guide for help and support!

NOTE: Best Deals on basketball shoes and jerseys at

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