The Ultimate Tournament Travel Checklist for Soccer Parents

These pro tips contain all the things you should not forget to bring when traveling to a soccer tournament.

by Charles LaCalle

Charles works with Trace to educate teams and parents on using video effectively for player development and recruiting.

Traveling for soccer tournaments can be an exciting and rewarding experience for both parents and their children. However, as with any type of travel, it requires careful planning and preparation to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. 

One important aspect of preparation is making sure you pack everything you and your child will need for the trip. To help you with this, we have put together a checklist of things parents should pack when traveling for soccer tournaments with their children.

  1. Soccer equipment: This includes your child’s soccer ball, cleats, shin guards, and uniform. Make sure you pack at least two sets of uniforms, as you never know when one might get dirty or damaged or color conflicts with the opposing team might arise.
  2. First aid kit: A first aid kit is always a good idea when traveling, especially for active kids who are prone to scrapes and bruises. Make sure to include band-aids, antiseptic wipes, gauze, and any necessary medication. Ibuprofen and Icy Hot/Biofreeze/Tiger Balm are great to have on hand.
  3. Snacks and drinks: It’s important to keep your child well-nourished and hydrated during tournaments. Pack healthy snacks like fruit, granola bars, and trail mix, as well as plenty of water and sports drinks.
  4. Chairs and an umbrella: Every soccer mom has a ‘soccer mom chair.’ The most intense soccer moms often opt for a sunshade, like this option from Dick’s Sporting Goods.
  5. Utility Wagon: This is the perfect sidekick for a busy soccer parent. If you have more than one kid playing, a cart of some sort is almost a necessity. These can range from $100 to about $400.

  1. Cleaning supplies: Never underestimate the smells that come along with full days of running and sweating and potentially rainy weather. If you have a bag, putting baking soda in a sock or a coffee filter is great for absorbing moisture and combatting odors. Laundry pods for hotels and baby wipes also come in handy.

  2. Trash bags: If your players come back to the car muddy, sitting them on trash bags will keep the car clean.
  3. Sunscreen and hats: Soccer tournaments often take place outdoors, so it’s important to protect your child’s skin from the sun. Make sure to pack sunscreen with a high SPF and hats to provide shade.
  4. Hydration supplements: Brands like Liquid IV or LMNT are designed to help your player stay healthy and maintain electrolyte levels.
  5. Your child: 🙂 Kristi from the Youth Soccer Parent Life group shared this story about traveling to a soccer tournament and nearly leaving her kid behind.

  6. Comfortable clothing and shoes: In addition to their soccer uniform, make sure your child has comfortable clothing and shoes to wear off the field. This includes sneakers, Crocs, or slip-ons for walking around and lounging in between games.
  7. Shoe dryer: Any soccer parent will tell you that you must be prepared for any type of weather. When it’s raining, one of the best tools to have on hand is a shoe dryer. You can buy these on Amazon or REI.
  8. Cheap ponchos: Buy disposable ponchos (here’s one option on Amazon) that you can easily store under the back seat of your car. 
  1. Entertainment: Tournaments can be long and tiring, so it’s a good idea to pack some entertainment to keep your child occupied. This could include books, games, or a tablet with downloaded movies or TV shows.
  2. Extra cash: It’s always a good idea to have some extra cash on hand, in case you need to buy food or drinks at the tournament, or if there’s an unexpected expense.
  3. Portable iPhone power bank: Long days at the field mean your iphone battery will be running low. Here are some options for portable chargers.
  4. Extra phone charger: Someone always forgets their iPhone charger, so having a backup will come in handy.

And of course, you don’t want to forget your Trace camera 🙂

It’s never been easier or more affordable for you to get highlights of your child playing soccer.

Charge up before the game, toss it in the back of your vehicle, and set up in less than 10 minutes on the sidelines. Then sit back while Trace automatically films and edits the footage into personalized highlights for your kid. No fumbling on your phone to record key moments. Trace has you covered. Learn more about how it works here.

Packing for a soccer tournament requires some careful planning and preparation, but with this checklist, you can ensure that you have everything you and your child need for a successful and enjoyable trip. Good luck, and have fun!

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