Essential Tips For Manchester United Fans Going To Their First Away Game

Venturing to an away game as a Manchester United fan is an exhilarating experience that combines the thrill of football with the adventure of travel. Whether it’s a short trip within the UK or a European away day, these occasions offer a unique way to support the team, explore new destinations, and bond with fellow fans. However, navigating your first away game can be daunting. Here’s essential advice to ensure your away-day experience is memorable for all the right reasons.

Plan Your Travel And Accommodation Early

One of the first steps in preparing for an away game is to sort out your travel and accommodation. Away games can mean a significant influx of fans into a city, causing a spike in demand for transport and hotels. Planning ahead is not just about convenience; it can also lead to substantial savings.

Travel Tips:

  • Book in Advance: You’ll need to keep an eye on strikes, but train tickets and flights often become more expensive closer to the departure date. Booking as soon as your trip is confirmed can lock in lower prices.
  • Consider Alternative Transport: Depending on the distance and location, coaches or even car-sharing with fellow fans could be a more economical and fun way to travel.
  • Research The Route: Especially for international away games, understanding your route – including any transfers – is crucial. Ensure you have enough time between connections and are aware of any visa or travel requirements.

Accommodation Advice:

  • Stay Flexible: While staying close to the stadium might seem ideal, exploring options a bit further away can often yield better deals and give you a chance to see more of the city.
  • Fan Group Bookings: Some fan groups organise accommodation for away games, which can be a great way to stay with fellow supporters. Check Manchester United fan forums and social media for any such arrangements.

Get Your Tickets In Advance

Securing a ticket is arguably the most crucial part of planning your away game experience. For Manchester United fans, tickets to away games can be particularly hard to come by due to high demand.

Ticket Acquisition:

  • Get A Good Price: Manchester United tickets can be pricey no matter where the game is. It’s important to use a price comparison site to ensure that you’re getting a good deal. Score your Man United away tickets here. Ticket-Compare compares safe and trusted sellers to ensure that you are getting the best deal.
  • Membership Priority: Being a member of the official Manchester United Supporters’ Club often gives you priority access to away tickets. While there’s an annual fee, the benefits, especially for regular match-goers, are well worth it.
  • Stay Informed: Keep an eye on the club’s official website and social media channels for ticket release dates. Timing is everything when it comes to securing your spot.

Familiarise Yourself With The Host City

Understanding the lay of the land in the host city not only enriches your trip but also helps you navigate the day more smoothly. From cultural norms to local regulations, a bit of research can go a long way in enhancing your away-day experience.

Local Knowledge:

  • Learn Basic Phrases: For international away games, knowing a few basic phrases in the local language can be incredibly helpful, whether it’s for ordering food, asking for directions, or simply saying thank you.
  • Respect Local Customs: Every city or country has its own set of customs and norms. A little research can ensure you show respect for the local culture, making for a more harmonious and enjoyable visit.
  • Safety First: Look up any specific safety advice or areas to avoid in the host city. Always stick together with fellow fans, especially in unfamiliar environments, and keep emergency contact numbers handy.

Respect The Host Club And Fans

While rivalry and competition are at the heart of football, respect for the host club and its fans is paramount. Positive interactions can not only ensure a peaceful matchday experience but also foster good relations between fan bases. Everyone knows the horror stories about fans going to away games and getting into trouble, but the fact is that most fans get on. Just make sure that you’re following some basic guidelines.

Conduct Guidelines:

  • Be Courteous: Always show respect to local fans and the host city. Remember, you’re representing Manchester United and its fanbase.
  • Understand the Etiquette: Each stadium has its own rules and culture. Familiarise yourself with these to avoid any faux pas. For example, standing in seated areas might be frowned upon or prohibited in some venues.
  • Avoid Confrontation: In the heat of the moment, emotions can run high. If faced with provocation, it’s best to walk away. The safety and enjoyment of all fans are the top priorities.

Make The Most Of Your Trip

Away games are not just about the 90 minutes of football; they’re an opportunity to explore new places and cultures. Whether you’re travelling within the UK or heading to an international destination, make the most of your trip by experiencing what the host city has to offer.

Exploring Beyond Football:

  • Cultural Attractions: Take some time to visit local landmarks, museums, or attractions. This can add another dimension to your trip, making it a more enriching experience.
  • Local Cuisine: Trying local dishes or specialities can be one of the highlights of any trip. Seek out popular eateries or ask fellow fans for recommendations.
  • Plan for Downtime: Especially for longer stays, consider what you might do before and after the match. Check out local events, and concerts, or simply enjoy a stroll through the city.

Engage With The Away Support Community

One of the most rewarding aspects of following Manchester United to away games is the opportunity to engage with the away support community. This vibrant group of fans shares a deep passion for the club and a love for the unique experience of away days. Becoming part of this community can make your trips more enjoyable and provide a sense of belonging.

Tips for Engaging with Fellow Fans:

  • Join Fan Forums and Social Media Groups: These platforms are fantastic resources for connecting with other fans planning to attend away games. They can offer advice, share experiences, and sometimes organise group travel or meet-ups.
  • Participate in Pre- and Post-Match Gatherings: Away fans often gather at designated pubs or fan zones before the match. Joining these gatherings can be a great way to meet people, sing along with fan chants, and soak in the pre-match atmosphere.
  • Respect the Host Club’s Fans: While rivalries are part of football’s charm, it’s important to maintain respect for the host club’s fans. Positive interactions can lead to enjoyable exchanges and even friendships formed through a shared love of the game.

Final Thoughts

Attending an away game as a Manchester United fan for the first time is an adventure that offers the excitement of live football, the joy of new experiences, and the warmth of shared fandom. By planning your travel and accommodation early, securing your tickets in advance, familiarising yourself with the host city, embracing the away fan community, respecting the host club and its fans, and making the most of your trip, you’re set to have a fantastic time.

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By RedManc

RedMancunian is the number one source for Manchester United news, insight and opinion on the most successful football club in the English top flight. RedMancunian was founded at the end of the 2011/2012 football season. We hope to provide insight on football matters related to Manchester United and provides a sense of what the club was and is all about. Follow RedMancunian on Twitter - @RedMancunian