So, you want to travel to a foreign country, see some sites, stay fit and maybe even race. Training and racing abroad is a great experience and with a little bit of planning, you can make the most of your time abroad. Here are a few things to consider before you depart, during travel and once you have arrived.
Pre trip – Make a list! Sounds simple, but is most helpful. Take a few moments before you depart to educate yourself a little bit more about where you are traveling too. Paper maps are quite helpful to keep handy in case Google maps or the Garmin is not working. Make extra (Paper) copies of passport, credit cards, travel itinerary and any contact info in case you loose anything or your smart phone gets stolen/lost or won’t charge. Notify your credit card company of the dates you plan to travel to avoid delays making any purchases. Arrange for transportation to your accommodations ahead of time instead of trying to figure it out when you arrive and are tired.
Travel – Allow enough time to not have to rush. Check in, baggage, customs, all take a little more time than domestic travel. Have a small amount of local currency when you arrive to cover anything that may arise. Wear comfortable and functional clothes/shoes for travel. Sometimes you have a lot of walking to do along with baggage and possibly a bike box.
Food & Hydration - Drink plenty of water on the plane and during the travel day. Pack a few snacks in case you have delays or not feeling like eating the airline food. However, be aware of any food restrictions of your destination country, as you may have to declare items you are brining into country on your customs forms. Some countries you cannot bring certain foods in at all so, don’t bother bringing it along unless you plan to consume it on the plane or on any layovers.
Time change – Give you body a few days to adjust from the travel. Best thing I have found to help this is upon arrival get some kind of easy workout in. You are an athlete after all. Helps the body loosen up from the flight/train and starts getting your reset on local time. Set an alarm to get up the following morning on local time as well and keep drinking water!
Rules of the road, local customs – Here in Australia, when you ride a bike, you must wear a helmet otherwise be subject to a fine. Also, vehicles travel on the other side of the road compared to the states, so when you step off the curb, or merge into traffic look right first. Speed limit signs are in KMH not MPH. Dining out in some countries the tip is already include in the bill.
Check out the course – Course knowledge is always helpful so plan on driving or riding part of the course before race day to get more familiar. Pay attention to road surfaces, wind conditions and what parts of the course are and are not open to traffic on race day. Great to get in the water at the swim finish area so you can get some land based objects to site on for the end of your swim.
Where are you going to travel next? Don't forget the camera!
Make it a great week,