The ARRVL guide to sports travel
The world cup might be over, but don’t worry, there are still plenty of ways to get your sporting fix for the summer…
After a nerve-wracking, electrifying and surprising few weeks, the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the Wimbledon Tennis Championships came to an end this weekend. And while France, Novak Djokovic and Angelique Kerber celebrate their hard-earned victories, if you’re a sports fan, you’re probably finding yourself with quite a bit of free time on your hands now that yelling at the TV with friends, family, or frankly anyone else who supports your side is off the cards.
But don’t resign yourself to spending the rest of the year watching Netflix just yet. With summer in full swing, it’s the best time of year to get out there and get active. So whether you decide to plan a surf trip, go hiking, or even start getting fit for a marathon, the ARRVL guide to sports travel will tell you everything you need to know before you set off on your adventures:
“Surfing is an incredible way to see the world. You get to visit beautiful destinations searching for waves, explore them with amazing people, and you learn to respect and appreciate the power of the ocean”.
Steven Muir, Australia
Few sports make the most of everything summer has to offer quite like surfing. On a hot sunny day, there’s nothing better than paddling out and catching waves, or just taking in your surroundings and enjoying the peace and quiet of the ocean- if you’re lucky enough to find a quiet break that is.
Before you head off on a surf trip, the first thing you need to decide is if you’re going to take boards with you, or hire them when you get there. Think carefully about how long you’re going for and whether you’ll be doing any other travelling. Buses, trains and even taxis all become a lot more complicated when you’ve got an 8ft bag in tow, but if you’re staying in one place for a week or more, you’ll likely want your own kit.
If you decide to take boards, pack your board-bag carefully. You’ll need sunscreen, wetsuits or rash-vests and swimwear as well as wax, fin-keys, and at least one spare leg-rope. Try to pack everything around your boards and then add bubble wrap or, if you can, cut a foam swimming-pool noodle in half lengthways and use it to protect your boards’ rails. This will hopefully stop them from getting damaged in transit.
When you’ve packed everything and are ready to go, double-check your transport plans. In particular, check the airline’s policy on board-bags and whether you’ll need to pay extra, and any onward travel from the airport once you land. To help with this, it might be helpful to already have a travel SIM card, metro pass and some foreign currency when you arrive.
Pre-surf trip checklist:
- Decide if you want to take your own board. If you do, pack it carefully.
- Plan and check your onward travel, paying particular attention to large-luggage fees.
- Find out if you’ll need a SIM card, metro pass or foreign currency. If you do, either pre-order them or make sure you know where to get them at your arrival airport.
“Getting to that peak or vantage point after a long hike is one of the most satisfying feelings in life. Hiking reminds me that every success is made possible by taking thousands of steps to reach it”.
Edward Hu, USA
Hiking in summer might seem like a leisurely activity. Picture it, and you probably imagine a slightly more strenuous version of a walk in the park, only with more hills and better views. But even in summer, hiking can have a wild-side, which is why it’s important to prepare as much as you can before you leave.
As well as packing everything you’ll need (remember: just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you won’t need a raincoat or warm sweater), thoroughly plan your route and try to book a night in a hostel or hotel before you start your hike. You can then use this as your “basecamp” so that you’re fully charged before setting off and if you’re staying in a popular hiking resort, like the town of Kawaguchiko in the Mt Fuji area of Japan a couple of hours from Tokyo, you can also ask the accommodation staff or local residents which trails they’d recommend.
The most important thing, however, is that you tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back. You should also carry a fully-functioning mobile phone for use in emergencies. If your carrier’s travel plan doesn’t include the country you’re travelling to, buy a travel SIM-card. Even if you don’t use it to make calls, the data- allowance will enable you to download useful hiking apps like Gaia to help you plan, navigate and stay safe on your chosen trail.
Pre-hiking trip checklist
- Pack everything you’ll need, including a warm sweater and raincoat.
- Try stay a night in a hotel or hostel before you set off.
- Ask people local to the area you’re hiking in for their recommended routes.
- Tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back.
- Make sure you have a fully-charged phone that operates overseas. This might mean purchasing a travel SIM-card.
“Although arriving somewhere you’ve never been and knowing you’ll soon be running a marathon there can be terrifying, running is an amazing way to visit a new city. Even if it’s just a twenty-minute jog, you’ll get a whole new perspective on your destination”.
Morwenna Jones, UK
Summer is the runner’s season. Hot days mean sunrise or sunset runs, while generally, the temperature is just right for getting outside and doing some pavement-pounding. It also lends itself perfectly to long-distance training as marathon-season starts in Fall, making summer prime training time.
Whether you’re training or racing, if you’re traveling for running there are a couple of things to bear in mind. Firstly, unless you’re an ultra-endurance runner, your trip is likely to last no longer than a few days so try to stick to hand-luggage (if you’re taking running gels, make sure they’re 100ml sachets so that they’re allowed in the cabin). And secondly, the combination of being in a new place with pre-run/ race day nerves- even if it’s not a marathon- means you’re going to be a strange mix of stressed and excited.
Planning is key if you want to avoid the former. If you know you get nervous, or if you have a set routine, try to arrive in a city at least 24 hours before the race so you can recover from the flight and get some rest. Ideally, you want everything to run as smoothly as possible- not just yourself- so as well as sticking to your routine and setting out your running kit the night before it might help to travel prepared with a travel SIM-card, metro pass and foreign currency, ready for when you land. You can also see if there are any local running-clubs for you to run or socialise with during your trip.
Pre-running trip checklist:
- Try limit yourself to hand-luggage.
- Plan to arrive at least 24-hours before running.
- If you get stressed easily, pre-order the essentials you’d otherwise need to buy at the airport.
- Find out if there are any local running clubs you can run or hang out with.
And for sofa sport fans?
We know that hiking for several days, running in the heat and getting wet and bedraggled surfing aren’t for everyone- and that’s ok. There’s still plenty to look forward to this summer from Formula 1 in Singapore to Rugby 7’s in San Francisco. Or, if you’re still craving soccer coverage, the women’s World Cup qualifiers take place at the start of September…