Individual Tours – Frequently Asked Questions

General

How was I selected for the AIST team?

There are a few ways you can get selected for our teams. We are always looking to find good people to represent our program as well as the USA. We have several recruiters throughout the country that will nominate players that are top athletes.  We find many of our athletes online based on stats posted by the governing body such as NCAA or NAIA.   Collegiate and high school coaches will also recommend players for our program. For our select teams we want to put the best team on the field but we also strive to represent the USA with class and honor.  You may have seen AIST recruiters at try-out events, showcase tournaments or other large team tournaments as well.

How will I come up with the finances to make this trip possible?

We have a very effective fundraising opportunity for every player who joins our select teams. A fundraiser letter with your name on it will be sent to you so that you can request donations from your friends and family. With the support of your friends and family you can possibly cut the cost of your tour down by 50%. Other fundraising ideas including camps for kids, golf tournaments, basketball tournaments and much more are a few ways that will help to generate a large sum of the cost for you.  More information on fundraising is available in your invitation.

Where do all of the players come from?

We select our players by doing extensive research through statistics posted on the web from previous seasons. We also work with several coaches for recommendations to find the top players to join our teams. We recruit for our collegiate teams from all levels of college. Combining players from all over the USA makes the experience more enjoyable as you will meet people from many different backgrounds.  Players will come from all over the USA, Canada and other countries as well.  You do not have to be a US citizen to travel with our select teams.

What level of competition will we be playing?

Most of the teams that enter the tournaments are going to be fairly strong. With our select teams, most of the time we will find ourselves in the championship games but we do have to play well to get there. This also depends on what sport you are traveling with. Some countries are stronger than others and this goes for the USA as well. You will not be disappointed with the level of competition.

How do I get a passport?

All of our International destinations require a passport for travel. Please click here to see how to apply for your passport. It could take up to two months to process a passport, be sure to plan accordingly.  Visa’s are required for some citizens to travel to certain countries.  Make sure you have a visa if needed.

What is included in the tour package?

This will depend on what tour you are traveling on. All of our tours include the price of airfare, hotel accommodations 3 and 4 star, breakfast, transportation, some sightseeing, tournament and game fees, guides and tour managers.    We also have ground tour packages which do not include airfare if you would like to purchase a separate airline ticket.

What is not included?

The following is not included with most tours: lunches (some tours do include lunch), tip for bus drivers and escorts (customarily $4 per day), personal items and drinks with dinners, airline fuel surcharges, connecting airline tickets to meet the group for international flights, laundry, trip insurance and everything not listed on the tour inclusions section of your invitation. Sight seeing listed as optional on itineraries is also not included.

How do I obtain more information about a tour?

You are welcome to contact us at the office by email or phone to discuss any tour options you would like. You can also speak with individuals who have traveled with us in the past for references.

Does anyone travel with the group?

We will always have someone from staff on tour with the group to manage all aspects of the trip.  On some tours we will also have a local guide to be with the group as well.

Who takes care of all the arrangements while traveling?

You can just sit back and take in all the sites. Our staff will handle all of your needs throughout the tour. We will check you into hotels quickly and easily, get you to your daily tours, show you the best places to see and give you the information you need while traveling abroad.

Travel Needs

What is the gateway city?

Gateway city is not an actual city! It is just the term we use when we have not identified the U.S. city we will be departing from. We are always negotiating for the best fares with airlines and sometimes one airport will have better fares than another. For this reason we do not establish our departure city until we have secured the airfare that is going to best benefit our clients.

What is a connecting ticket and how do I book a connecting flight?

A connecting ticket is needed if you have to fly in order to reach our “gateway city” for the international flight. For example, if you are joining a group leaving out of JFK airport in New York and you are starting in San Diego, California, you will need to make flight arrangements of your own to meet the group. It’s important to make sure your flight times coordinate with the international flight so that you do not miss your connection with the group. You can book your own connecting ticket or contact us and we will provide you with a connecting flight.

Do I need travel insurance?

It is highly recommended to purchase travel insurance.   Contact Angela Hecht at ahecht@responseco.com for additional information.

Do I need shots or vaccinations?

In most cases the destinations that we travel to do not require any kind of vaccination before departure. However, these circumstances change from time to time and you may want to research your destination to find out the current requirements.  It’s always recommend to get shots if you plan to travel internationally.

How much extra money do I need?

Depending on each individuals spending habits and the tour you are traveling on, it’s recommended to have an additional $35-$45 per day for personal use. None of our tours include lunch and some do not include dinners. In most cases you can find lunch and dinner at relatively the same cost as you can in the USA. Entrance fees to museums, disco clubs, cathedrals, boat rides and other sight seeing activities will cost anywhere from $5 to $15. In addition to these cost you will need to account for tipping of our bus drivers and escorts which is customarily $2 per day in total. Some countries require a departure tax which can cost around $25 per person.

What if I need electricity while traveling?

If you are traveling to a destination that is on the 220 volt system you will need an adapter. Adapters can be purchased at any travel store as well as Wal-Mart and Target. Be sure you read instructions on your electrical units before plugging them into a foreign outlet.

What is the best way to get money exchanged?

We recommend using an ATM card. You will find that ATM’s are readily available everywhere we travel. The exchange rates are up to date and the fees are usually minimal. You should avoid ATM’s at airports as they tend to be more expensive. Traveler’s checks are safe but they can be an inconvenience to exchange or use. Cash is not recommended as it is risky to carry and you have to find exchange offices to change currency. That can be difficult at times. Credit cards are accepted widely through the world and are a great way to make purchases as the transaction fee for exchange is minimal. If you do use ATM or credit cards you need to inform your banks and credit card companies that you will be traveling abroad. If you do not you may have a security issue with using your cards abroad.

What is the dress code for traveling?

We would like for everyone to where nice pants or shorts with their AIST T-Shirt which will be delivered 2 weeks prior to departure. This will make it easy for everyone to locate each other in the airport.

What are the airline restrictions on packing luggage?

Airlines are constantly changing their rules and regulations on travel. Please check with your airline for the current restrictions on luggage.

How many bags am I allowed?

You need to check with your airline carrier for the most current airline restrictions.  Some airlines charge additional baggage fees that are not controlled by AIST.

What and how do I pack my sports equipment?

We highly recommend packing your uniform and sports equipment in your carry on so that if your bags do get lost you will still be able to play in games.  Fur other sports gear you should check with the airline carrier on specific restrictions they may have on your sports equipment.

What is the best way to call home?

If you have a smart phone or cell phone, you are best to check with your provider to see what services they offer internationally.  If you have Wi-Fi available you will have options to connect for free throughout the tour and can use a service such as Skype, facetime or other communication apps.  

Is internet available?

Internet is available in most hotels we stay in. Most hotels will offer a free connection in the lobbies but service can be a bit sketchy.  Many of the restaurants and pubs will offer free internet connections as well.  

Fundraising and Payment

Will my donations be tax deductible?

We are not a non profit organization. It may be possible for some company to write off the donations as marketing or advertising expenses. It is best that each company check with their personal accountants to find out the best way to use the donation for a tax deduction.

Where do I send my donations?

You can collect the donations yourself and mail them in or have the donors send the donations directly to us with the form from your donation letter. Checks can be made payable to: American International Sports Teams and mailed to AIST at 18212 East 50th Terr. Ct. South  Independence, MO 64055

How do I find out what my balance is?

We will send you a statement by email or mail anytime you request it. We automatically send the statements out to you once a month that will show your current balance. You are always welcome to email us for a current statement.

What is my payment schedule?

A payment schedule will be set up for you once you register and deposit.  Your initial deposit is non-refundable and goes directly to the cost of your tour.  The payments of your tour will be borken down over time until 45 days prior to departure.  You will have a few payment dates that must be made in order to remain on the tour.  Check your invoice for the payment schedule.

When do I need to be paid in full?

It’s important that you be paid in full 45 days prior to departure. Your final itinerary, international airline ticket, and uniform will not be sent to you until you are paid in full.

Who do my donors need to make checks payable to?

AIST

How do I make a credit card payment?

Go to www.aist.us/make-payment for online payment options.

What if I raise more money than the cost of my tour?

All personal funds raised above and beyond the said trip cost will be refunded in September of the year traveled. All non-personal funds raised above and beyond the said trip cost become the property of American International Sports Teams and will be used to upgrade the overall trip in some aspect.

Each Team member is responsible for checking the guidelines for raising funds as they pertain to their eligibility with their respective athletic associations.

AIST Selection Teams

Can friends and family join the tour?

Yes, friends and family are welcome to join the tour. Our tours are great experiences for everyone involved. Click here for more information on how you can join one of our tours as a fan!

Can I stay longer to tour on my own?

Yes, it is possible for you to extend your stay.  You’ll need to confirm this with AIST at least 4 months prior to departure.  You will be required to purchase your airline ticket separately if you wish to return or depart on separate dates.  We will deduct the cost of the group airfare from your tour package and just provide you with the ground package cost.

Can I upgrade my airline seat?

You will not be able to upgrade your airline seat if you are booked with the AIST Group.  You will have to purchase your own international airline ticket if you wish to upgrade your seat.

Is there a possibility of playing professionally abroad?

Yes, it seems every year we have several of our athletes asked by professional teams to stay and play or come back for another season. There are always opportunities to join these teams if the timing is right for you. Many of the games we schedule or tournaments we attend will open doors for future opportunities.

When do we receive our uniforms, airline tickets and other information regarding the tour?

All the information and materials you will need for the tour will be mailed out in your AIST tour package. We will deliver these materials to you approximately two weeks prior to departure. You will only receive this information after your trip has been paid in full.

Is there a try-out to join the team?

If you have received an invitation from us, it’s up to you to claim your spot on the roster.  AIST staff does extensive research through stats and coaches to find the top players around the country to send out invitations to.  We do hold try-out events at different times through the year.  You can find out if there is one near you by checking our try-out page at www.aist.us/try-outs.

Does the team meet for practices before we depart?

The first time you will meet your teammates will be at the airport. We will hold practices upon arrival before playing games against international competition when possible.

13 Comments

  1. D'Shanna Butler
    October 23, 2008

    I would like to join the team, but I am still in school right now and I wanted to know what the date is for games and departures

  2. chad
    November 18, 2008

    All of the dates of our tours are posted on your invitation link. You should be able to see them at the top of each itinerary. They are also posted online for each destination.

  3. Danielle Furman
    November 26, 2008

    If I received a friend request/invitation on Facebook from Chad Wilkinson is that the official invitation? Can I put my name down to be on a roster.

    Yes, if you received a facebook message from us you have been invited and we have an invitation link for you. The link will have all the details of the tours available. You have the option of picking which team you would like to join. If you need the link please contact us. You can register online at http://www.aist.us to claim your spot on the roster. Contact us by email the email address listed on the invitation to make sure your position is still available. Roster spots are first come first serve basis once we start the recruiting.

  4. stephisha walton
    July 06, 2009

    Hello, i received the friend request on Facebook from Chad Wilkinson on FB and I’ve read through a lot of the website but how much is the tour?

  5. chad
    July 30, 2009

    Prices are found on the invitation overviews. It will be on the link with your sport and should show all the inclusions as well as the due dates.

  6. megan kelly omalley
    December 31, 2012

    would there be anyway i would be able to make a payment plan?

  7. Chad Wilkinson
    January 14, 2013

    Yes, we have some flexibility with payments but we do already have a payment plan set up for each individual that joins.

  8. Taylor
    April 17, 2013

    How can I be certain that this is not a fraud?

  9. Chad Wilkinson
    May 17, 2013

    We have thousands of references you are welcome to contact. Let me know which team you are interested in joining and I’ll send you the roster from the previous year so you can email them about their experience with AIST.

  10. MARK RENZ M. ARANAS
    June 22, 2013

    WHAT IS THE MEANING OF INDIVIDUAL TOUR?

  11. Chad Wilkinson
    August 26, 2013

    Sorry for the delay in this response. We over looked your post. The meaning of individual tour is that we recruit players from all different teams to join our select teams traveling abroad. This meaning, as an individual you are welcome to join the team you are selected for. We also do team trips for Universities and other groups and this is the difference between traveling with your own team or as an individual.

  12. Micaela
    September 27, 2015

    Since I was invited, do I have to go to tryouts? Are tryouts separate from the invitation in that if I wasn’t invited, then to get on the team I would have to attend tryouts? Or do I tryout no matter what?

  13. Chad Wilkinson
    September 29, 2015

    If you received an invitation to join the team, then you do not need to attend a tryout. You’ve already been selected. We hold tryouts for other players that we are looking to fill specific needs in specific regions around the country. Our tryouts are invitation only as well. If you received a link with password to an invitation then you have already been selected and you just need to confirm your position with AIST join the team. Positions are subject to availability.

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