20 Essentials to Pack for Tournaments- Always be ready to hit the road for a travel or local sports tournament with this checklist of 20 essentials you just can’t forget to pack. Whether it’s packing for a baseball tournament, softball, football, soccer, or something else, this list will help you remember all of the important items that are easily forgotten!
When my son played rec baseball packing for games was a piece of cake. All of my game gear lived in the trunk, I just slapped some sunscreen on the fam and headed to the field. Now that he plays on a travel team, packing for a baseball tournament is a whole new adventure. Every weekend, several days at a time, we’re in another city, and occasionally in another state. It’s not unusual to spend days at a field in a strange town, and nights in a hotel room. Sure, I pack all of the necessary basics, but I have been known to forget several important items, and having to make a stop at the local big box store isn’t exactly my idea of a fun trip. It took several tournament weekends to get my baseball packing just right.
If you’re a travel ball mom, or if your older child is playing at college showcases, you will likely be spending many days on the road this summer.
20 Essentials to Pack for Travel Tournaments
For the Games:
While many tournament rules do not allow coolers on the fields, you should be able to keep one in your car. Fill it with ice and keep your drinks and snacks cool. If coolers are allowed then a good one with wheels is great.
If you’re a camping family, or spend a lot of time at tournaments, consider stepping it up and getting a Yeti cooler. The price is steep, but this isn’t your standard plastic cooler – it will last forever, and can keep food and drink cold for days (literally)! They have a wheeled Yeti cooler, but all several other options to consider with both hard and soft sides(including new colors).
2. Bug Repellant
Summers can be hot and humid and that means bugs! Protect your family with a good repellent. Choose a DEET free one that is natural, like Bug Soother.
3. Lip Balm
My son always gets chapped lips in the hot sun, having a tube of lip balm in his bat bag is a must to keep him comfortable.
An easy to apply, high SPF spray bottle of sunscreen in your child’s bat bag, another for you.
5. Fold Up Chair
One for each person not playing. Coleman makes great camping chairs which do just fine on the sidelines, too. Bleachers are not your friends, your back will thank me later!
6. Canopy or Umbrella
This is crucial for hot days, or rainy days! Keep cool and dry under an easy to put up canopy and come back and if you have extra space, share with another family! Consider one with a single wall which helps on windy days and when the sun is low in the morning or late afternoon.
Parking fees, entry fees, and concessions, many of these are cash only! Take some cash to avoid a trip to the ATM.
8. Hand Wipes and Hand Sanitizer
Nowadays, hand wipes and hand sanitizer are a must. The bathrooms could be too far away, lines may be too long, they could be out of soap, or all of the above.
9. Children’s Ibuprofen
The kid’s version and some for the grown-ups too.
10. Hand Towels (Rags)
Keep several wet rags in a baggie in your cooler for the sweltering hot days. A nice, cold hand towel is a game changer for kids and parents alike. Your players, their teammates, and even the other parents will be so grateful.
11. Extra Resealable Baggies
Fill with ice from your cooler in case of injuries. Ziplock bags that have a zipper are far easier to open and close – they last longer than sandwich bags, too.
12. A Basic First Aid Kit with Band-Aids, and Antibacterial Cream
Injuries happen! We used to carry band-aids and anti-bacterial cream, but a well prepared, compact first aid kit is far more useful. Check out The Solo by MyMedic – you’ll be able to handle sprains, cuts, scrapes, stings and just about anything else the kids or Mother Nature throw at you!
13. Entertainment for Younger Siblings (iTunes )
This is not the time to enforce your electronic device ban, give them the iPad, iPod or whatever it takes to keep them busy while their big brother plays a 2 hour game.
14. Laundry Detergent
Will you be gone longer than overnight? Laundry detergent made to get out the stains and smells of your little athletes is a must! Include a small bottle of detergent and stain treatment to keep those uniforms clean. If you don’t have a washer at your hotel, liquid detergent is important to wash in the sink.
15. Wire Hangers
You may need to air dry the uniforms, typically the hangers at the hotel don’t measure up. There’s plenty of reasonably priced hangars that can do the job.
16. Slippers or Flip-Flops
Hotel room floors may or may not be the cleanest, keep your tootsies free from germs with a comfy pair of machine washable slippers!
17. Lots of Books
Magazines or books. I’ve been reading the Magnolia story. There will be down time, keep yourself busy!
18. iPad or MacBook Air with Streaming Service
Hotel T.V. can be downright bad! An iPad or MacBook Air plus a streaming service like Netflix, Prime Video or Apple TV solves all of that. All you need is WiFi and you’re a mobile entertainment center!
19. A Large Tote
It sounds like a given, but I have actually forgotten to take a baseball bag to tournaments when traveling. A nice large tote can hold your wallet, keys, sunglasses, etc., plus several water bottles, extra undershirts for your player and so much more. Our fave, which was designed with beach days in mind, has several pockets, a keychain clip, and even has a bottle opener!
20. Portable Wagon
Well where are you going to carry all of the above? A collapsible wagon is a lifesaver when packing for a baseball tournament, or any other tourney! A wagon is great in a pinch it can even hold a young whining sibling! Just kidding-sort of.
When packing for a baseball tournament or any other kind, make sure to include these essentials in your bag! What other items would you add to this list?
Barbara is the mom behind the blog. She began writing in 2012 as the creator of Hello Life, a craft & lifestyle blog. As life evolved, and her kids became more involved in sports, she aimed to create a site that would resonate with moms like her, and in 2017 Modern Sports Mom was born. Like many of today’s mamas, she loves being creative, cooking, and fashion, and when there are a few minutes to spare, a good book. A baseball and football mom, she is fueled by her strong faith, dedication to her family, and coffee. Lots and lots of coffee! Barbara lives in California with her husband, kids, dog, and cat.
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