One of the biggest and most anticipated films of the 2019 summer was “Spider-Man: Far From Home.” In the movie, Peter Parker goes on a school trip to Europe. Unfortunately for Parker, conflict follows him, and he is forced into superhero action.
While the movie is fictional, going on a tour to Europe with your team is absolutely an accessible possibility, and it doesn’t have to be centered around school work. Premier International Tours will help you organize your soccer team’s trip to another country, filled with as much soccer and sightseeing as you desire.
“Basically, the goal for us is to create a lifetime experience and build bridges between different cultures and make friends through the sport of soccer. That’s our mission,” said Michael Stebbins, who works in marketing and events for Premier International Tours. “It’s one of the only global sports and it’s a good engine to create memories and to help people, especially kids from the United States and North America to improve as a soccer player and as a person overall.”
President Loek van Zijl started Premier International Tours in the United States in the early 1990s. Stebbins has been with the company for 24 years.
Combined, the two have more than 60 years of experience in the field. Not only is Premier International Tours the most experienced company in the field, but it also is the most trusted. Premier International Tours is the only soccer company in North America to partner with United Soccer Coaches. It is the preferred international travel partner of both U.S. Youth Soccer and U.S. Club Soccer. It has an A-plus rating with the Better Business Bureau, and in 2017, the company received the Better Business Bureau Torch award, given to companies that best reflect the standard for ethics in business.
“It’s very important to us that our customers know they are working with a trusted organization,” Stebbins said. “We pride ourselves in working ethically to provide our customers the best service.”
Not only does Premier International Tours set up friendlies and tournaments for the teams to play in, but it also can arrange training sessions with international coaches.
“Some players might get the chance to train with coaches from pro clubs over in England like Chelsea and Tottenham (Hotspurs) or in Spain like Espanyol and Barcelona,” Stebbins said.
Traveling to a new country to play soccer helps players improve their game because they will play against teams with different styles, exposing the players to new styles.
“In most countries, soccer is the main sport; it is like a religion,” Stebbins said. “They will experience the importance of soccer, the global perspective and the impact soccer has in the rest of the world.”
Soccer is only part of the tour experience. Depending on what an individual team wants, Premier International Tours also can arrange the sightseeing part of the tour.
How much of the tour is divided into soccer and how much is reserved for fun? According to Stebbins, that’s entirely up to the team, as each tour is customized to fit its specific wants and needs. A lot of these destinations are close to beaches or mountains and historical sightseeing landmarks or monuments. Some tours can even include community service options for the team.
Several teams from the New England area traveled with Premier International Tours this summer.
“Most recently, NEFC from New England took a 2004-2005 girls team to France in late June, early July,” he said. “They spent half of the time in Paris and the other half in Lyon in the southern part of France. In Paris, they played some friendly games against local teams and did some sightseeing like the Eiffel Tower and the Champs-Élysées. From Paris, they traveled by bus to Lyon, where they played some friendly games, trained with coaches from the professional club, Olympique Lyonnais, and did some sightseeing.
“We also took some NEFC boys teams to London in February,” Stebbins added. “They played friendlies against London-area clubs such as Queens Park Rangers, and trained with coaches from Tottenham Hotspur. The team even had a chance to visit an Arsenal professional game and did some sightseeing in London, including Big Ben, Tower of London, Buckingham Palace and London Eye. The team also did a tour of Wembley Stadium, where the English National Team Museum is located.”
Whether it is high-intensity soccer games or leisurely sightseeing, Premier International Tours can make it happen.
To learn more about how to plan your trip with Premier International Tours, visit the website at premierinternationaltours.com.
From there, be ready to grow and improve as a player and person, creating lasting memories.
“The best way to grow as a soccer player and an individual is to step outside your comfort zone,” Stebbins said. “An international soccer tour is a great way to do just that.”