7 Essential items to pre-pack for sports travel

IMG_1606If your kids play travel sports, that means you are, duh, traveling a lot.  Possibly every weekend during the season, and a slew of other times in between. How many times have you unpacked the suitcase late at night in some godforsaken hotel after driving several hours only to find that you (or your precious future draft pick) have forgotten some fairly essential grooming or hygiene product?

Plenty, I bet.

Here’s an idea: Pre-packed travel kits. Genius, right? An already assembled, ready-to-toss-into-a-suitcase kit for each member of your traveling party. It saves time, because you’ve just got to toss it into the suitcase and go. It saves money, even though you are replicating items, because you won’t have to go out and buy a super-marked up version from the hotel gift shop, and you can take advantage of the 8-pack of toothbrushes at Costco. Plus you can use all those “free with purchase” bags from the Clinique bonus. And it saves a ridiculous amount of stress and yelling and years off your life.

So what goes in the Trophy Mom’s Essential Travel Kit? Here are my suggestions:

Hair washing stuff (generally speaking, shampoo and conditioner)
You can get small bottles and refill from your economy size bottle at home, or you can buy travel-sized bottles, or you can hoard hotel bottles. But from my own experience, don’t count on the hotel to have shampoo. Not kidding.

Toothbrush and toothpaste
Buy that 8-pack of Costco toothbrushes and put one in everyone’s bag. Then put in one of those sample-size toothpastes you get from the dentist that are currently sitting in a drawer in your bathroom.

Travel size works well for this because they can dry out eventually. Or save one of the nearly used-up sticks from home.

We consider these essential, maybe you don’t, and going without Q-tips causes us angst. Snack size Ziplock bags or a travel package work best; don’t put them in your bag loose because they get all nasty and fuzzed up.

Hair product
Gels, pastes, mousse, whatever you use. Your stylist might give you a sample size, or get a little travel container and add from your stash at home.

Those Bath and Bodywork travel sizes or previously procured hotel bottles work great for this. Stock up during the next B&B sale.

A comb
You’ll want to pack all of your styling tools, flat irons, round brushes and hot rollers separately so you can look good at the fields, but in case of emergency, you can get by with a comb. Throw a hair elastic and a couple bobby pins in there, too, and Voila! ponytail.

Other stuff, depending on user’s age and needs:

Contact solution/case
Cases for contact lenses often come with the bottle of solution. Toss one in your bag. I buy a small bottle of solution and use it up, and since I always use the same brand, I just keep refilling the bottle after it’s empty. *Health warning: watch the expiration dates

The basic blade, for emergency trims.

Hey, I’ve got blonde eyelashes. Mascara is my desert island makeup.

Remember to keep sizes small so you don’t take up your whole suitcase. If you are traveling by air,  follow the  TSA restrictions, especially for carry-ons. To really make this work, customize each kit to the family member, so maybe Trevor needs braces elastics in his, and Megan needs a couple panty liners in hers.

When you get home and unpack, take a quick inventory and refill and replace items now so you are ready to go for the next trip.  It’s all that scrambling around getting ready that causes the stress, so avoid it by restocking when you get home. Also, you never know when you may have to leave town suddenly. But maybe that’s just me.

I didn’t put soap in here because I figure you can use shampoo in pinch, but soap or body wash gel should be considered. Anything else you need in your essentials bag? Leave your “must have” items in the comments, and happy traveling.

5 Comments on “7 Essential items to pre-pack for sports travel”

  1. Jenn says:

    A bottle of Tylenol or ibuprofren. Someone always needs it.

  2. Michelle says:

    One thing I love to bring is the shampoo bars you can get at Lush! They last forever, depending on how much you travel and I don’t have to worry about anything spilling in my bag. 🙂

  3. Jodi Murphy says:

    Don’t forget bandaids! There are always cuts and scrapes and blisters that need a little covering. If you’re in the middle of a 3 game tournament there is no time to run out and get them.

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