I love to travel and I love running so it is no surprise that races have become my favorite excuse to travel more often! Because of my wanderlust / racing tendencies I would like to think I have become an expert when it comes to packing for destination races.
I wasn’t always an expert though. In the beginning I was a notorious over packer with a skewed sense of priorities. But my mistakes are what made this list possible and I hope these tips will help you when you are packing for your next destination race!
Avoid Checking Luggage (If Possible)
When I first started doing destination races I traveled with a personal item, a carry on AND a checked bag. It was over kill and I didn’t use half of the stuff I brought. Not to mention checking a bag added a lot of wasted time and aggravation to my travels.
I am here to tell you that everything you need can and will fit in your carry on and in your personal item (in my case, a large purse). To make it happen I suggest making a list, rolling your clothes instead of folding them and prioritize.
Running Gear Must Take Priority
When traveling for a destination race your running gear should be your top priority and everything else should take a back burner. The race is the main reason for your trip after all right?
I put all of my most important running gear (like my Garmin, iPod, inhaler etc) in my personal item just in case the overhead compartments are filled when I get on the plane and I am forced to check my carry on. It happens. And you don’t want to run the risk of being separated from the items that are the hardest to replace. For that reason I also wear my running shoes onto the plane and pack a pair of casual shoes in my bag.
Pack Snacks and Race Fuel
If you are like me you are probably pretty particular about what you eat before and during a race, so I have found the easiest thing to do is to just pack my own snacks and fuel. This way I don’t spend time trying to find what I need once I get to my destination and I can rest assured knowing that I will have the proper fuel to feel ready for race day.
Pack For Varying Weather Conditions
As soon as race day gets into the 10 day forecast I stalk it like my life depends on it. But no matter how closely I monitor the forecast, things still change. For that reason, I pack running clothes based on the forecast and additional pieces in case it ends up being colder or rainier than expected.
Invest In A Great Carry On Bag
If you are going to commit to just using a carry on when you travel for your destination race you may want to invest in a great carry on bag. Especially if you see yourself becoming a frequent traveler.
I personally like a bag that has a lot of compartments in it so I can organize everything and access what I need without digging around. My current favorite bag is this Fivesse bag which I won through a blogger giveaway. (It is also based on the principals of this book which is a fav of mine as well. Coincidence? I don’t think so.) It is a great bag but definitely an investment piece. You don’t have to spend a fortune on a bag but it wouldn’t hurt to do some shopping around to find a bag that will make your travels easier.
Do you participate in destination races?
What are some of your packing tips?