11 Essentials when Traveling to Train

September 5, 2016

One of the best parts of the BJJ lifestyle is that no matter where you go, you have an immediate friend group and network that’s just a roll away.  There are many advantages to rolling while you travel but one of the biggest challenges is knowing what to pack when you are on the road.  Here are 11 essentials that I made sure to pack for my Europe trip and that you can bring with you as you travel to get the most out of your training.

  • Suitcase– It seems obvious, but choosing the right suitcase is critical. I prefer a carry on to avoid the risk of my bag getting lost if it’s checked.  Some international flights charge for a second carry on.  If there isn’t an additional charge, a backpack will make it easier to carry your training gear and is a good option.
  • Gis– The most important item to bring is a gi. I recommend 2 in case you want to do multiple classes a day and need time for your gis to dry between sessions.  Travel gis and ultra light gis are good options.  I like my VVVFightco Paladin and Guardian gis for style and light weight.  If you’re my size and have a big gi, employ a crisp folding method to minimize the space it takes up in your suitcase.  Don’t forget to wear unmarked gis so as not to offend schools you visit with your team patch.
  • Belt– I have been guilty of forgetting my belt on several occasions. It can be embarrassing and cause the gym you’re visiting to view you as a total knucklehead.  Help make sure you are welcomed as the stand up and responsible person you are and bring your belt.
  • Rash guard– Some schools require rash guards for hygienic purposes. Whether you typically wear one or not, I recommend bringing one with you.  If it’s required, you’ll be able to train without issue.  Additionally, not all gyms are cleaned equally.  If you’re unsure of the cleaniless of the gym you’re training in, a rash guard can be a very welcome barrier to skin funk.
  • Camera– Traveling means seeing amazing places and meeting new people. Don’t forget to bring your camera to document the trip.  I sometimes like to bring a camcorder.  While many instructors don’t like you to record their sessions, sometimes it can help to record yourself doing the moves after class so you remember them.
  • Shammy– This is the single best investment I have made for traveling. Many gyms have showers but carrying around a full towel is a pain!  While visiting Marcelo Garcia’s in New York I saw several people using a Shammy.  It’s compact, easy to care for, and dries you off faster than a towel!  It’s even better if you can get one with a badass MG logo!
  • Tape– You never know when you’ll get banged up training. Who has time to heal?  Be prepared to tape yourself up and keep rolling.
  • Lacrosse Ball­- Foam rolling is a great way to avoid injury and make sure you’re prepared to roll but they take up too much space in a suitcase. A lacrosse ball is a great compact alternative.
  • Eye Mask & Earplug Sleeping Essentials– Sleeping while traveling can be a nut roll. Beds may or may not be comfortable, shades are a gift, and noise levels can be unpredictable.  Bring earplugs and an eye mask so you can get the sleep you need to train at your best.
  • Sunglasses– If I didn’t need a prescription I’d have a badass pair of Leao Optics. If you’re going on vacation it should be full of sun and fun.  Don’t forget to take care of your eyes.

These are my top items I make sure to bring as I travel.  What is your favorite thing to bring with you when you travel?  Leave a comment below and don’t forget to like and share.

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