I think I’ve gotten packing down to a science. I certainly got plenty of practice this first half of the year with four trips in the last three months!
Whatever the trip, my suitcase isn’t complete without running gear. I love the adventure of exploring new places on foot, and as a runner there will always be time for a run.
That doesn’t mean I just go off running willy-nilly, especially if I’m running by myself. That’s why aside from running shoes and clothes, I always bring certain essentials when running in new places.
Simple Hydration bottle
When running in unfamiliar territory, convenience stores may be hard to come by. It’s always a good idea to bring your own hydration. I reviewed this bottle way back in 2013 when I first got my hands on one. Since then, my suitcase is never without a Simple Hydration bottle because it is so easy to take with you when running. No more cumbersome belts and holsters; I can either hold it comfortably in one hand due to its ergonomic shape, or slide it into my sports bra at my nape to leave my hands free. While it can only contain a few hundred mL of fluid, this is usually enough to get me through 10 kilometers of running.
You can order your own Simple Hydration bottle online here or grab one at the following stores: Tri Temple (2135 Chino Roces Ave., Makati); Podium Multisports – Davao (Unit 9 Wheels N More Drive Compound, JP Laurel Ave., Bajada); Second Wind (Unit 3A Ortigas Home Depot, Julia Vargas Ave., Pasig); The Brick (Unit 1 Woodridge Apartments, Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Hill, Taguig); Planet Sports branches; MultiSports Hub Laguna (Ground Floor, Building F, Solenad 3 Nuvali, Sta. Rosa); Cycles & Brew Clark (Clark Freeport Zone, behind Clark Museum).
It may look like a simple band of cloth around my hips, but my Flipbelt packs so much stuff without being intrusive! I usually wear it under a loose-fitting running shirt or tank top so I don’t end up looking like Batman with his bulky utility belt.
My Flipbelt can hold keys, money, gels, and even a smartphone!
Grab a Flipbelt at RUNNR stores, or order online from Atleta Ako.
When there’s something strange in the neighborhood, how you gonna call… if you don’t have a phone? A smartphone is a Godsend when running alone; I use mine to make sure I don’t get lost by saving Google Maps for offline use and keeping the Location setting turned on. Sometimes I plan the run route I want to take so that I can drop by some tourist sights as well.
I also like the feeling of security knowing I can call the local emergency number anytime.
(Sometimes, if I’m around long enough or I really need data service, I’ll buy a local SIM card and insert it into my smartphone which has a dual-SIM tray. That makes things much easier!)
Running by yourself in unfamiliar territory means you need to be prepared for contingencies. What if you’ve taken a wrong turn and don’t know how to get back? What if you’ve run out of water and you’ve still got a ways to go? Having money on you during a run solves these problems: you can take public transport or buy yourself a drink. Either way, you get yourself home safely.
I admit, this isn’t an “essential” but I love documenting my runs in different parts of the world. This helps me keep a log that I can upload on Strava. It’s like a souvenir. :)
Watch my travel essentials in action on my recent trip to Singapore:
Sure, if the hotel you’re staying at has a treadmill and you’re uncertain of the conditions outdoors, then you can run there. But part of the beauty of running is the ability to explore your environment on foot. When I run outdoors, I see and experience so much more of the city than if I were merely driving through it. Ultimately the joy of travel (whether domestic or international) is seeing places with new eyes.
What about you? What new places have you run lately? Let me know in the comments!