Traveling Internationally- Tips from the Professionals….

Notes from Jane Cooper, World traveler, Top Polocrosse Player and Coach for the USA 2011 World Cup Team:
This were her final packing notes to the USA team before they left…There are some good tips about packing and making sure you tack is clean and strong.
What to pack abroad for Polocrosse
 Racquets, you should have two equal best racquets and at least one good spare (that you are comfortable using if you need to)! Keep the spreaders in the heads of the racquets to keep their shape when they travel. These are easy to make if you don’t have them.
Saddles, make sure your saddle is good to go, this includes your breastplates, stirrups and stirrup leathers , girth points and your girth!
Bridles, you all need to bring at least one good bridle and a couple of bits that may be needed, a snaffle each and one or two common bits. Don’t forget clean reins!
Helmets, make sure they are sparkling white and safe!
Spurs, clean and sparkly! NOT taped, make sure roll if they are meant to, and make sure that they do not cut horses!
Whips, bring one whip at least, two each would be better. They must have a flap on the end and ideally have a handle at the top end. They need to be black, white or brown, no bright colors!
Boots, make sure they are clean and safe! The zips are in working order if you have them!
Whites, you will need two pairs of sparkly white jeans! Without rips or stains please!
Have one good solid gear bag that can hold all your playing gear.  A Lacrosse bag or Hockey Bag.  
A couple of good tips are:
– fill your long boots with bandages… saves space and keeps your boots in shape
– your boots can be wrapped in a pillow case instead of a boot bag to keep them together and looked after in your gear bag
– You can tape or strap your racquet bag to your gear bag and send it as one oversized baggage piece and fragile! Or you can ‘share’ a racquet bag with others and send it as a fragile checked piece on it’s own
– stuff your racquet bag with jeans, vests or sweaters, this spreads out the weight and also protects your racquets
– take your peak and your faceguard off your helmet to travel
– put saddle pads either side of your saddle to travel to protect it, also stuff your helmet under the pommel of your saddle to support the tree
– put your spurs in your helmet
If you need any new gear ie stirrup leathers, breastplates etc.. buy them now and use them so they are not being tried and tested over there!
Other brilliant International traveling ideas:
Bring a car charger if you choose to use your cell phone abroad- It’s universal and portable.
Great gifts for host families and thank yous- small things. Some cultural food or beverages.  Playing shirts to wear and trade with others.  Past prizes that you do not use.
*** Pack a set of clothes or two and your essentials in a carry-on.  You never know if your luggage might be misplaced for a day. Don’t be stranded without clothes.  Wear your riding boots or boots you can ride in on the plane. That way you are ready!