Traveling with your child’s sports club team can be a fun and memorable experience. With a little planning, you can ensure that every step of the trip—which can be stressful—goes smoothly. Follow this guide and you will be in great condition for the big trip, and more importantly, your child’s game!
Where to stay
If you do not know where to stay, avoid the Internet and begin by contacting the local convention or visitor bureau. They are experts in their local community and can help lead you in the right direction. Having the inside scoop about where you are staying and what is available to you in the area, especially for activities, is a benefit. The staff should be able to guide you to main attractions and determine what works with your schedule. When planning, try booking hotel rooms adjacent to one another or, if that is unavailable, book the rooms on the same floor and as close together as possible.
What to eat
Stay at a hotel that offers free breakfast. This will not only save money but time. Your team may want extra sleeping time, which is always in demand when traveling, so ask for the restaurant’s menu and hours of operation. Many times, the weekend breakfast starts later than during the week. It is always easy to supplement this with other items purchased at the grocery store if it is not adequate for your teams needs. Another option is to always ask what restaurants are close to the hotel, as well as the event venue, to easily plan meal options. Check out these tips for what to eat on the road.
During travel, it is always crucial to have an emergency plan in place. In the event of an emergency, you should possess the following information:
- Who will travel with rescue, if someone needs to be transported to the emergency department.
- Where the closest urgent care center and hospital is to each venue site and hotel address. Tip: Printed maps are always great to have on hand.
- Emergency cards for each athlete that include guardian and emergency contacts, health information and a medical release for treatment in the absence of a guardian.
- Location of a fully enclosed structure with plumbing, electric wiring and phone service in the event of lightning. Note: If this is not available, a fully enclosed vehicle with a metal roof with the windows completely closed is an alternative. Learn more about what to do if lightning strikes at an outdoor sporting event.
Helpful items to bring
Before the game, check the weather forecast. If the weather is hot, consider preparing ice towels by partially filling a small cooler with ice, water and small towels, to help keep players cool. Additional items to bring on your trip could include an itinerary for each person/family in the travel party, the local weather forecast, medications and extra emergency contacts. Note: It is wise to always keep a first-aid kit at the hotel to ensure everyone knows where it is located. Find out what to pack in your first-aid kit.
Check out more sports articles for parents, and learn more about our Sports Medicine Center.
Written by: Gregg Brueck, M.S., ATC, Athletic Trainer, Real Colorado Soccer Club, Children’s Hospital Colorado.