Between my brother getting married and a work conference all week, I haven’t had as much time to write my blog post as I would have liked. I have also had very little time to pack and prepare for my upcoming roller derby trip to Florida. Good thing I’ve learned how to pack light and comfortable for any derby trip! So here is a somewhat silly post about preparing for roller derby travel.
Packing and preparing for roller derby travel trips can be difficult when you have to fit everything into your carry-on bags. Even though I can usually check a bag for free, I hate waiting for bags after my flight, so I rarely pack more than I can bring on the plane with me. After going on 20+ derby trips, I feel like I’ve learned some tricks that make this a little bit easier.
1. Put your socks and undies into your skates and shoes. They have so much unutilized space!
2. Keep your sweatshirt out of your bag – you can either wear it if it’s cold or just tie it around your waist like a super cool kid.
3. Keep your helmet on the outside of your bag. If you have to leave your bag plane-side (this is different than checking your bag), you can just carry your helmet on with you and put it under your seat with your other bag.
Speaking of checking your bag – NEVER check your skate gear! If you realize you have to check it at the gate, re-pack so all of your derby gear and jersey are with you on the flight. If you lose all of your other clothes and toiletries, at least you can still skate.
4. Pack individual bags of protein powder for every day you will need it and store it in your protein shaker. Also buy your own energy bars/gu gels before you get to your destination. This is much cheaper and also saves you the extra trip to a store to buy supplies before a bout.
5. Bring a plastic bag (or two) to store all of your dirty clothes in. This will not only make your hotel room smell better, you can also squish down your dirty clothes when you repack for the trip home, instead of trying to neatly fold them.
5. Don’t worry about packing anything but workout-type clothes. I used to make sure I had one “real” outfit and maybe an after party outfit, but you can still look pretty cool in black workout pants and a tank top. And at a certain point, nobody really cares what you’re wearing by the end of a derby trip!
I also have an aversion to being dirty/sweaty. Although I usually can’t stand it, derby has forced me a bit more tolerant of dirtiness. However, here are some additional travel tips to stay semi-clean on derby trips: bring wet wipes to clean off most (or all) of your body after a bout, bring baby powder to put on your greasy hair to dry it out, shower in clothes you night need to wear again and then hang them to dry, ALWAY take your gear out of your bag to air dry your pads, don’t skimp on packing socks – dirty socks are the worst, and take off your jersey as soon as you can after the bout to give it plenty of time to dry before your next bout.
So maybe you already do most of these things, but maybe you can try out a few new ones on your next trip! Now, time to stop stressing about packing and start thinking about playing derby!