My Tournament Packing List

It’s been several weeks since my son’s back injury, and he and his coach feel like he’s finally ready to play tournaments again, so we’re off to Alabama this weekend.  As I started thinking about getting ready to head out of town, I figured some of y’all might be interested in what we take when we hit the road.  Of course, if you’re flying somewhere, the list might look a bit different, but here’s what we take with us for a weekend tourney within driving distance of home:

  • Portable tv, DVDs, and XBox – we only take this on road trips longer than about 6 hours, just so my son has a way to stay busy instead of bugging his mother by asking, “Are we there yet?” a gazillion times.
  • Power strip for the car – this comes in very handy when your cell phone dies or your iPod needs a charge.  It also serves a very necessary purpose when we bring along the tv and XBox.
  • iPod speakers – these are for ME!  While my son is off in Headphone Land, I can listen to MY music.
  • GPS – self-explanatory!
  • Blanket & pillows – keeps the passenger cozy!  Plus, I prefer my own pillow to those in most hotels.
  • Coffee maker – I’m a coffee snob.  I admit it.  I don’t like hotel coffee, and I don’t like coffee from that chain that starts with star and ends with bucks, so I bring my own coffee maker and my own coffee.  It ensures that tournament days start off on the right note!
  • Soy creamer & Splenda – see above.
  • Kindle & crossword puzzle book – keeps me entertained while my son is doing his thing.
  • Folding chair – it’s nice to have a familiar place to sit in unfamiliar places.  I recently invested in a folding chair with a canopy which is AWESOME in the middle of the summer!
  • Camera – I like having the option of taking a few shots during the tournament, especially of my son with his buddies.
  • Chargers for all electronics (phones, iPods, camera, Kindle, etc.)
  • My racquet bag and racquet – just in case my son can’t find a hitting partner, I can substitute in a pinch.
  • Grips & tape
  • Extra string
  • Ball hopper & balls
  • Cooler & water jug
  • Chilly Towel – I’m talking about those chamois-type towels that stay cooler than the outside temperature.  We only take these when it’s uber-hot outside.  I always pack one for my son and one for me – spectating is hard work, too!
  • Extra Blankets & Beach Towels – I typically keep two or three heavy-duty blankets in my trunk, just in case.  I have a special one that is waterproof on one side and polar fleece on the other – it’s perfect on cold windy days.  The beach towels come in handy for covering hot car seats, drying off after an on-site shower, or throwing on the grass for an impromptu picnic.
  • Yoga mat – my son uses it sometimes for his warm-up, but mostly it’s for me to use so I can stay centered all weekend.  Ommmmm . . .
  • First Aid bag that includes Advil, Aleve, Tiger’s Balm, Epsom Salts, first aid tape, Bandaids (including the new blister ones), eye drops, extra contacts, reusable ice packs, Immodium, Sudafed, ACE bandage, Mylanta, Epi pen, and Benadryl
  • Food bag that includes Powerade, chocolate milk, pretzels, peanut butter, bread, fruit, bagels, cream cheese, plastic cutlery, napkins, and small Ziplock bags to pack snacks in the on-court cooler
  • Garbage bags – these come in very handy for those wet, smelly tennis clothes between matches.
  • Quarters – I usually end up having to do at least one load of laundry at the hotel  during tournaments, especially during the hot summer months.
  • Print out of the tournament web page & draws – it’s good to take along a hard copy of this stuff, just in case.
  • My tennis binder – as further evidence of my Type A control-freak personality, I keep a binder that includes all tennis-related information.  For the cities we visit often, I have lists of restaurants, practice courts, and favorite hotels.

Do you have any other must-have items?  Please share them in the Comments box below!

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