When leaving for an extended vacation or perhaps when traveling to a big race, packing can be a major stressor. The inevitability that something will be forgotten is great, and unless you have a lot of experience with running while on vacation, you may not be aware of the types of items you will want or need. Listed below are all the important items necessary for a fun trip, ensuring nothing will be forgotten.
Running clothes are obviously one of the most important considerations for packing. Always be sure to pack clothes for the predicted weather, but also pack one or two items for warmer, as well as colder, scenarios. For staple items, such as socks and underwear, you should pack based on the following formula: #of days on vacation + # of runs + 2. For items such as sports bras, running shorts, t-shirts, and tights, plan to bring as many items as number of runs you intend to go on. For heavier layers, such as rain jackets, only plan to bring one piece. Pack comfortable clothes for traveling, and also make sure to have comfortable shoes (and definitely don’t forget your running shoes!)
To cut down on costs and to avoid the possibility of your favorite energy bar not being available at your destination, consider packing many of your own foods. Plan to pack 1 -2 of your favorite bars for each day you plan to be gone. Hydration tablets, such as nuun, are great to pack since they do not require much space in a suitcase and can be used anywhere. Also remember to pack any necessary nutrition supplements, such as multivitamins or iron tablets.
If planning to race during your vacation, there are a number of necessary items to remember. First and foremost, you should pack everything you will wear for the race, including any special shoes, socks, underwear, shorts, sports bra, top, watch (and charger), sunglasses, iPhone arm band, and hat or visor. If the race is long, pack any gels, salt tablets, or other nutritional items. Do not forget sandals for immediately after the race, which are especially welcome if you have developed any blisters or bruised toes. An important consideration is race day breakfast. Never leave it up to chance that the hotel will have your favorite cereal or oatmeal, and consider packing your own breakfast. If your bib number was mailed to you, triple check that you have included it with your luggage.
Since all vacations should be relaxing, do not forget to pack your favorite recovery gear. Compression sleeves or socks should be included on your packing list, especially if traveling long distances by car or airplane to your destination. Do not forget any recovery implements you use, such as a stretch band, yoga mat, foam roller, stick, or other device. Also be sure to include in your budget a little extra money for your favorite recovery meal, such as a burger and fries or extra large milkshake!