How to make the most of travel during competition season

Maeleeke Lavan is a Hotwire Travel Geek and Copywriter, UX.

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In April, I traveled to Los Angeles roller derby team – Bay Area Derby’s Berkeley Resistance.  We played in a three day tournament, the Tinseltown Showdown, hosted by the Angel City Derby Girls.  Our team had been looking for more opportunities to play leagues outside of the Bay Area and thankfully, California is full of roller derby leagues.

Summer is just around the corner and regardless of what kind of sport you’re traveling for, it’s important to make the most of your travel opportunities when they’re available. Below are a few tips that helped me:

  • Do some advance research.  It’s a good idea to know a little about the city you’re traveling to.  Are the events you’re participating in close to your hotel and the venue?  Will you need a car?  What’s traffic like?  In our case we knew LA pretty well and knew that having a car would be crucial.  For this trip, we booked a Hot Rate® Car on Hotwire.
  • Be flexible. It’s important to be remember that things may not always go as planned when you’re traveling with a team. Our flight ended up being delayed and by the time we got to the car rental counter at LAX, all the Standard cars were gone.  We decided to upgrade and were given a minivan.  Initially we weren’t thrilled with the option (being four childless women in LA, we had no need for such a big car) but we soon realized how much space we had, how comfortable the van was, and we quickly deemed it a “party” van.

Which brings me to my final tip:

  • Go with the flow. Whether you’re competing against other teams or are a weekend warrior in your sixth, 10K of the season, it’s not worth stressing the small stuff.  In our case the minivan ended up working terrific.  We really had a great time driving around with it the entire weekend. Our gear fit nicely in the way, way back (away from our noses), everyone had plenty of room to stretch out and we blasted the satellite radio with sweet 90s/00s tunes.

Perhaps the most important thing of all is to have fun with your teammates. For roller derby at least, it’s still fairly early on in our season.  This tournament was a great opportunity for us to bond and gel while trying out some of our strategy; and frankly to see how we’d do playing against teams we knew little to nothing about. In the end, we won all of our games—by incredible point spreads: 412, 181 and 174 points—and had some great on-the-track moments as a team. Typical point spreads in roller derby range between 20-50 points per game and there are no mercy rules. Suffice to say that we left LA feeling great about how we did!


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