There are a lot of similarities between packing for an away hockey tournament and packing for a vacation. There are clothes, of course, but there’s also lots of running around, boarding of pets, and incessant nagging.
I like to make lists, so each trip starts with The List. Despite having been on over sixty hockey road trips over the course of my hockey momhood, each trip is different. I still make The List. I’d like to save other hockey moms some precious time by providing them with The List of things that are not to be forgotten on the hockey road trip. Do not leave home without:
I know. This should be obvious, right? Believe me, it is not. Put this at the top of your list. This includes sticks and game jerseys, too.
Before you make fun of me, it also serves as a nice pointy object in case you forgot scissors. It also doubles as a makeshift screwdriver to pesky, loose skate bolts. (But while you’re at it, why don’t you just throw in a bottle of wine too; for after the game!)
Who actually uses it for hockey sticks? Hockey tape – it’s the new duct tape.
4.Your phone charger.
We all know you won’t forget your phone. It’s surgically attached to you. But a dead, surgically attached cell phone is still dead. And you never know when you’ll need GoogleMaps (or tournament updates!).
5. Your travel mug.
It is requisite hockey mom equipment. You need a solid, quality travel mug… for coffee of course.
6.First Aid Kit
Yes, the trainer will have a first aid kit but when you need a simple BandAid and splash of Polysporin, he or she will be nowhere to be found. (Plus, it hides your corkscrew.)
Hotel bathrooms don’t always have them. It’s pretty much guaranteed that even if you leave a light on in the bathroom for your middle of the night pee, your child will manage to turn it off and you’ll trip over every piece of hockey equipment strewn on the hotel room floor.
8.Bathing suit (for you and your child; but mostly for your child)
No sooner will the coach declare the no-swimming-allowed-between-tournament-games rule, you’ll be marching that young player of yours right to the pool to let off some seriously pent-up energy from sitting in the car far too long. You can read how I feel about rule here.
You have plans for precious beauty sleep before the big 7AM tournament game tomorrow morning. It’s obvious that your child can sleep through a category 4 hurricane; however, it appears you cannot. Especially if that category 4 hurricane happens to be the 17-year-old midget boys staying in the room next to yours.
Despite the fact that this cooler may become void of food intended for the entire weekend during the car ride to the tournament, you will be asked to replenish the supplies numerous times over the course of the weekend. Not every hotel provides in-room refrigerators or minibars; though God knows they should. (You might also consider a Ziploc bag for ice too since your freezer pack will melt in twelve hours.)
Now the luggage and gear is all gathered at the front door and then loaded into the vehicle. Finally, you are ready to go! Oh, and one more thing not to forget—your hockey player.
Three cheers for the hockey road trip—may you remember everything on The List.
1) The New Age of Hockey Training and Development
2) Jack Hughes wins 2017 Hockey Player of the Year Award for Ontario
3) 4 Takeaways from the 2017 WHL Cup
4) Kids Share Love of Hockey with Taste of Fame at 2017 BT Hockey Classic
5) Team Canada Roster Named for 2017 Women’s Worlds