Traveling for an out-of-town soccer tournament can be an extremely exciting opportunity to bond with teammates, see new places, and hone your skills. It is especially amazing to travel with a soccer league because soccer is internationally beloved and understood — towns with less than 200 people in Costa Rica and Guatemala have soccer fields, Portugal has played in six World Cups, and globally, 25 million kids play soccer or “football” every year. Indeed, soccer can help teams from different countries transcend cultural barriers for the love of the game.
When traveling on an international soccer tour, however, there are some practical matters to attend to. For instance, packing. There is nothing worse than arriving in a strange place and realizing you’ve forgotten your toothbrush, let alone your cleats.
Check out this comprehensive packing checklist to make sure that you’re totally prepared for game day:
The Essentials: This includes Jerseys, shorts, socks, cleats, and shin guards. Don’t forget to pack your normal clothes as well — a change of clothes per day plus one extra should account for non-game related exploring and activities.
Toiletries are as always essential and should include a toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, and any other specialty productions or personal medications.
Camp chairs can make for especially luxurious spectator accommodations, or just somewhere to sit when waiting for a field to open up, or watch other games
Snacks — even if you just bring along a large box of granola bars, you’ll find yourself very thankful when it’s hard to find somewhere to eat after a game or practice. If possible, bring fruits and other healthy snacking foods.
Ample amounts of suntan lotion is a must
Sports tape and pre-wrap
Dry towel — if you are traveling long distances, consider a microfiber towel that can fold up small.
Mesh laundry bags — you can wash your clothes in the bag with other player’s clothes.
If your soccer tours involve driving, you can obviously take much more with you than you’d be able to on a plane. Don’t hesitate to take coolers full of food and packs of water bottles and sports drinks.
Most of all, remember that your soccer tours are an amazing opportunity to have fun, challenge yourself, and see new things.