Tips for traveling to catch Virginia teams playing in the NCAA Tournament

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — If you’re hoping to attend a game for one of the three Virginia teams playing in the NCAA basketball tournament, the selection committee didn’t exactly make it easy for the fan bases.

VCU is in Salt Lake City, Utah, Virginia Tech is in Buffalo, New York, and UVA is in Orlando, Florida. If you thought UVA would be the easiest to get to since it’s closest and there are typically good deals on flights out of Richmond to Orlando, according to AAA, you would be wrong.

That’s basketball isn’t the only thing on travelers minds this week.

“Orlando is also a Spring Break destination and this is Spring Break time,” Kathy Williams with AAA explained.

So, getting there mid-week may not be hard, but coming back Sunday after the second game could be tough.

“Flights are pretty well full,” Williams said.

You could always fly home Monday to save money or drive to the game; its only 11 hours. Also, look at possibly taking a train.

To get to Buffalo to see the Hokies, you are battling a whole different obstacle: Mother nature.

“The airlines are going to have a problem up north and Buffalo is probably going to be one of them that is very much affected,” Williams said.

Advice here is to wait it out and see what the snow storm does and maybe plan on taking an early flight out Thursday morning. You should still get there in time for the 9:40 tip off.

Surprisingly, the trip that will provide the smoothest flying — and checking the cheapest flight on Google — it comes in around $460 round trip would be the cross country flight to Salt Lake City to watch the VCU Rams.

“You’re going to be OK weather wise, you’re going to head south, maybe go to Atlanta or Charlotte, to head out to Salt Lake City so you’ve got that criteria,” Williams said. “Salt Lake is a good place to go because you’re not going to need a car so you cannot have that expense.”

The best advice is to start planning now because prices will change.

“The longer you wait the better those prices are going to go up,” Williams said.

Another thing factoring into all of is travelers out of DC. Even those not going to basketball games are starting to move their plans to depart out of Richmond because of the expected weather, so what flights are left are going fast.

AAA also says no matter where you head, New York, Florida, or Utah, a good hotel room will run you about $150-$200.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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