One of the downsides of world travel is that you can rarely organize it around important sports events. Often, the biggest events happen at the best vacation times, and you may find yourself in a location with a totally different time zone. In this case, you have to make some choices: do you compromise your vacation to watch the event? Or do you forget about all the hours you’ve spent following the league or tournament only to miss out on the final?

The good news is that you don’t need to do either. While it is undoubtedly better to be at the actual event rather than watching on TV in a country where the sport isn’t even popular, you can make the best out of the situation.

Here is what you need to take into account when planning on catching a major sports event on the other side of the globe.

Download a VPN

Before you even leave for your trip, you should download a free and trusted VPN service. A virtual private network (VPN) is a piece of security software that routes you through an external server. By doing so it hides your location. It also encrypts your data. This is information your IP address would automatically send to any site you visit.

Since you’re routing through an external server, your connection appears to be coming from somewhere else. Wherever that server is, that is where websites believe you are. This is important when you’re planning to stream the game. Streaming may be available for free (or with your network subscription) but it will be geo-restricted. You will need to look like you are in your home country in order to get access.

Find Expat Sports Bars

Of course, the ideal situation is that you find others who are interested in the event as well. With globalization in full force, this is never all that difficult. You can Google bars which are showing the event live, where others like you will gather to watch the game.

This can make for a far more satisfying occasion than watching on your own. Especially if the game is on in the middle of the night. Time differences might mean you have to be up at crazy hours to watch the game live. Doing this alone is more than a little disheartening.

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Wherever you are in the world, you will find people watching the major sporting events, even if they are occurring at the worst possible times. There is something special about the kinship you feel with others who are making this effort to watch the game. They care every bit as much as you do, and you are all in it together.

Plan in Advance

However, make sure you do your planning in advance. You’re going to have to overcome logistics to be available at the right time. This might mean choosing to do certain activities at more “convenient” times, as well as convincing whoever is traveling with you that this is the best case scenario.

It’s always best to be at the game, but even if you are across the world, you can enjoy the camaraderie and excitement.