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What To Pack for a Tournament Weekend

Between wrangling gear, getting kids packed, and dropping the dog at grandma’s, there’s not much spare time when you’re in tournament-prep mode. Spending just a little more time anticipating your family’s needs and preparing for different scenarios can help make your journey go that much smoother. You have uniforms, clothes, and toiletries on your list, but here are a few things you might not have thought of that will make your tournament travel easier and more fun!

Prepare for weather

The weather can change on a dime, and there’s nothing worse than being stuck outside all day unprepared. Depending on your location, you may want to bring sunscreen, sunglasses, bug spray, an umbrella, ponchos, rain jackets, blankets, hats, or gloves. Keep a bin packed and store it in the garage or car for easy access. It’s a good idea to keep a few first aid supplies here, too. You’ll thank yourself when you don’t have to run to the store for aloe after the next sunburn.

Bring your favorite snacks

You’d never leave home without snacks. But when you’re traveling for a tournament, you’re even more off schedule with meals than usual. Consider packing different foods that can substitute for a sit-down breakfast, lunch, and dinner, instead of just in-between-meal snacks. Plus, variety will make snacks more appealing. Granola bars, fruit, raisins, applesauce, fruit snacks, and nuts will make it easier to resist unhealthy treats (and added costs!) all weekend. Single serving soups, noodles, oatmeal, and other microwavable meals are good to have around for a meal in a pinch. Don’t forget microwave popcorn for a relaxing movie night in the hotel! If you’re trying to cut down on waste (and are really on top of things), you can buy larger quantities of snacks and portion them out into reusable containers.

Make the car ride comfortable

Whether it’s devices (don’t forget the connecting cords and chargers!), favorite pillows and blankets, surprise games, or snacks, there are lots of ways to make your drive easier. You’ll thank yourself for seeking out travel versions of games that are compact or games without too many pieces. But don’t stop at entertainment! Keep wet wipes, band aids, stain pens, a garbage bag or can, hand sanitizer, reusable water bottles, and paper towels in the car. Bonus: these supplies will also come in handy for impromptu picnics along the road.

Make yourself at home (away from home)

You know better than anyone how tiring long (and early) tournament days can be. Sometimes a more relaxed night back in your hotel room is just what your family needs. But packing the family into one room can feel restrictive. Bringing puzzles, board games, art supplies, video games, and other fun activities your family enjoys can help keep family busy when there’s downtime. Even something as simple as a Bluetooth speaker or laptop loaded with a favorite TV series can help make everyone feel more at home. And don’t forget other comforts of home that might not be on your packing list. When more people than usual are in one room and you’re in a different environment, a sleep mask, ear plugs, or white noise machine might be the key to falling asleep easier.

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