Artistic Swim Competition Packing

This week’s post is more of an outside of Kelowna one and also more of a things for me to remember for our next event. That’s not to say it won’t be interesting or useful to anyone else but it is going to be pretty specific to me, and to my sport: Artistic Swimming (formerly known as Synchronized Swimming).
Last weekend was our first in person event since 2019.

We traveled to Port Coquitlam for the event so had to remember how to pack for an event AND a hotel stay! As an added bonus this was the first time that both the Kid and I were athlete participants so it was an extra level of excitement!

We stayed at the Port Coquitlam Inn and Suites, this was the hotel that our sport organization arranged a discounted rate for the team through and when searching for hotels in PoCo is the only one that came up. Driving to the hotel though we saw a number of other options about 10 minutes away in Pitt Meadows so may look into those hotels if PoCo is the host again in the future.

The hotel was in a good location, but a bit older and with a combination of motel/hotel the team was spread out and we missed the camaraderie of the girls being close together in the hotel. We also missed having breakfast in the hotel, although we don’t usually eat much on competition days its nice to not have to worry about breakfast.

A few things we learned (relearned?):

Breakfast – we over packed: The hotel didn’t have a breakfast so we brought a toaster and english muffins and some jam/butter etc. Didn’t use any of it.

Next time we’ll stick to granola bars, some fruit maybe, or just know that we’re going to stop for coffee and breakfast on the way to the pool.

Lunches: We will keep bringing sandwich making supplies and charcuterie (aka crackers, cheese and salami) as well as containers to put the sandwiches in! It was nice to have familiar food at the pool for lunch and quick protein filled snacks for breaks.

Coffee: If you can find out what type of coffee maker is in the hotel room, bring some extra pods/coffee & filters. Or google map it and find out where the nearest coffee place is!

Water & electrolytes: I’m not usually a “buy bottled water” person but when travelling it is a useful thing to have with you. Sports facilities usually have a water refill station but I find hotels don’t and the sinks aren’t great for refilling our usual bottles. Having a few bottles of water on hand is helpful. I also suggest bring some electrolytes (powder or tablets). We’re fans in NUUN tablets – lots of flavours and easy to drop in a bottle and go.

Our General Packing List (not including things like clothes, swim suits etc):

Easy Snacks: Things like squeezable apple sauce, granola bars, cheese sticks, beef jerky.

Small Cooler : Deck space is minimal so something smallish is great , an insulated bag would work as well but could get stepped on so not great for soft squishable things.

Reusable Ice Packs: Bring a bunch and store in the hotel room fridge: change them out at the end of the end of the day or during any trips back to the hotel during the day.

Scentsy mini-warmer (the nightlight type one). Yeah, this is also on our Osoyoos Get a Way packing list. Can’t stress enough how nice it is to have something that smells like home and also reduces the need to turn on the bathroom light in the middle of the night.

Pillow: Restful sleep is important, bringing your own pillow is a step in the right direction. Also helpful for the drive to and from the competition.

Camp Chair: Seating at pools is limited so I strongly recommend bringing collapsible chair for rest breaks outside of the pool. This is more for me (parents) than the athletes.

Coffee: If you can find out what type of coffee maker is in the hotel room, bring some extra pods/coffee & filters. Or google map it and find out where the nearest coffee place is!

Yoga mats: Great for warm-ups but also handy to have for resting outside in between competitions or to sit on for lunch breaks.

Packing cubes: We shared a suitcase this time and it was great as far as trunk space and hotel room space but things got jumbled around in the suitcase, definitely getting packing cubes for the next meet so both the kid and I have a way to keep our things organized.

Deck shoes/flip flops (parents and spectators as well!): Most pool required that outdoor shoes are taken off on deck so definitely make sure everyone has flip flops or other clean shoes that are easy to slip on and off.

I’m sure I’ll think of more things to add in a month when we head out to the next competition!

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