Travel must haves

A few of the items that every triathlete should ensure they've got covered before their next trip to a race or training camp.

| November 14, 2017 | GEAR

Photo >Iryna Rasko | Dreamstime

Bike Box. This may seem like a big ticket item but so is what y,ou pack into it. Bike boxes today are far less complicated than they were a decade ago. In times gone by your bike would have to perform carbon bending calisthenics to get into the confined space. Now both bikes and boxes are quite quickly turned into each other. The bike box is armor for the thing that you love most in triathlon. A cardboard box can do the trick, but it easy pierced and so, too, is your bike. We like the Scicon range as they have refined their set up over time.

Noise Cancelling headphones. If you are traveling "Han Solo" then this is for you. Nothing is worse than sitting next to THAT person. You know the one. Heavy breather, heavy snorer, heavy drinker, just plain heavy! Not to mention those folks who are traveling with kids. As much as we love them, kids are tough to travel with. Some children do not travel well. (Some adults, too!) If you are looking for a good trip and you're not up the front of the plane, you need to shut out all this. If you are frequent traveler, invest in a good set. They might set you back a few bucks, but you will be long forgetting that when the aircraft world is left behind and you have only have what's coming through your ears. These may be pricey, but the BOSE set up is supreme. The top of the tree in our book.

Electronic devices. Once the scourge of aircraft navigation systems the electronic device is now supported in this environment. On long haul flights modern aircraft (mostly) cater to those who need something to watch, but it is the external places where these things can come in handy. Airports, lounges, hotel lobbies, etc. An iPad, or any other such device, can be a life saver. Movies, magazines, books - there's lots of options. Make sure you're covered.

Water. Yes they have water on aircraft. We get that. But, mostly, it’s served in small cups and you have to keep harassing plane staff to get it. Go in with a bottle and take care of yourself so you leave the flight hydrated, not with RSI from calling the flight staff too many times. You might add time to the bathroom, but if you flying to a race, you have to keep the preparation. We have no preference on water!

A pen. Yep a pen. Every time we go international, there are simple ways to avoid the queues and get your laborious entry and exit cards done. Do them in the customs line, or, better still, on the flight over. You may only save yourself a few minutes, but after a long haul flight those minutes can seem like hours!

Two more suggestions from German photographer Michael Rauschendorfer:

Insurance. Both health and for your bike. Remember that any luggage is just covered for up to 1,300 € for damages or loss by law. That can leave a huge gap when it comes to replacing a bike.

Training/ racing essentials. Have at least the minimum of what you'll need for training or racing: (Garmin, pedals, bike shoes, running shoes, goggles, tri suit ...) in your hand luggage. If your checked luggage is late or lost you at least can rent a bike and still get out and train or race.

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