5 Trip Planning Tips for the Active Woman
Launching trips in destinations like Costa Rica, New Zealand, British Columbia, Moab, and Ontario is my job and requires me to travel with my bike to experience the itinerary, considering everything from trail technicality, hours of pedal time, accommodation cleanliness, food quality and safety. As such, these experiences have taught me a thing or two about trip planning for the active woman.
1. Trip Research
Weather should not be your only focus while researching best times to travel. Dig a little deeper to find out any other environmental, political, or health concerns you should consider. For example, with a quick internet search you will find out visiting Patagonia October through March is recommended for summer-seekers. With a little more digging, you will soon find out January hosts the annual horse fly season, so extreme you may be trading in the Andes trail run you have been day dreaming about for months, for a hotel gym treadmill session – blah!
2. Carry-On Bag
Lost luggage is a reality; so don’t let it stop you from exploring the backcountry of New Zealand’s South Island or the remote jungle villages of Guanacaste, Costa Rica. For example, cyclists should consider packing a helmet, pedals, shoes, shorts with a chamois, and a jersey in their carry-on, making the thought of renting a bike (if lost luggage occurs) a little more comforting. Runners should do the same: consider wearing your running shoes on the plane (great for circulation – avoiding the common travelers “cankles”) and pack your favourite running outfit inside your carry-on – or better yet, just wear it!
(Image: Handy travel bags available at Oakley.ca)
3. Food and Hydration
Even if traveling in First World countries, you may not be able to find your tried- tested-and-true energy bar or electrolyte upon landing. The same theory applies for traveling as it does for race day: don’t experiment with new fuel while traveling, avoiding unexpected cramping or digestive issues. Pack your own individually sized energy bars and electrolytes (and instant coffee sticks if coffee is as high on your priority list as it is mine). Be sure to leave items in their original packaging, and transport the items in a transparent and sealed baggy. Depending on where you are traveling, you should also be prepared to purchase purified water and remember to stay well hydrated throughout your trip.
We are all use to training with our phones, music device and/or GPS. Pack extra batteries and be sure to check out what type of power outlet is standard in the destination you will be visiting, as you may be required to bring a power adapter along. Who wants to forfeit a QOM for a drained battery?
5. Health and Safety
Book a visit with your Travel Medical Doctor well before traveling. Explain your purpose of visiting and what physical activities you will be participating in. For example, mountain bikers should be ware of stray dogs (who live for the chase, are prone to biting and may carry disease like Rabies) in countries like Peru. Lonely Planet is a great resource and even offers a “Women Travellers” section for each destination they feature.
With these 5 tips I hope for you to get everything possible out of your travels, in a safe (and stylish!) manner.
See you on the trails!
Meagan Broughton, Oakley Ambassador