If you are traveling for hockey any time soon, you may be confused about how to pack and what you can bring on an airplane and how to pack for your trip. Here are our tips for packing your hockey travel bag.

Be prepared to check your bag

If you are traveling by airplane for hockey, be prepared to check your bag. You cannot carry-on a hockey bag because 1. It’s too large to bring on an airplane, and 2. you have some dangerous materials in there, like your skates.

The bad news is that many airlines still charge for checked luggage. My two tips for avoiding this is;

1. Fly Southwest Airlines if you can. They always offer the first two bags free and are generally good with hockey gear.
2. I personally have airline credit cards for the airlines I fly the most. I would never recommend taking out credit, but by just owning these credit cards I never pay for luggage.

Hockey sticks fly free!

On most airlines, your hockey sticks fly free — sort of. Most airlines will count your hockey bag and your sticks as one piece of luggage.

You can tape your sticks together or bring a hockey stick bag. I recommend a hockey stick bag, just for piece of mind.

Airline rules for your travel hockey bag

Different airlines will have different rules for how to pack your hockey bag for travel, but luckily they are all very similar.

We have a full list of of airlines rules for your hockey travel bag here.

Check the tournament rules

Before setting out on your trip, make sure you check the tournament rules, especially if you do not wear full gear while playing.

For instance, if your hockey helmet does not have a face shield or cage, see if the tournament requires them (I have found that more and more tournaments will require at least a half-shield). Or, if you do not wear shoulder pads in your regular league, make sure they are not required for the tournament.

Buy a roller bag

Okay I know that some people would do anything to not get a roller bag. But depending on where you are traveling to, it may be worth it.

I bought my first roller bag when we were headed to Iceland for a tournament. Even though we had transportation between our hotel and the rink, there was still a lot of walking — both in town and through the airport.

If you are packing all your other clothing in your hockey bag, you will especially not want to be carrying all of that around to a place you do not yet know.

Use packing cubes

I highly recommend bringing only one bag for any travel hockey, so you do not have to haul around both a hockey bag and a suitcase. My recommendation is to buy some packing cubes for your normal clothing and to stick them in your hockey bag for the trip.

When you get to your hotel, you can take them out (think of them like drawers) and leave them in your room while you bring your hockey gear to the tournament you are playing in.

Packing your hockey bag for a travel hockey tournament

If you are traveling for hockey, especially for the first time, packing your travel hockey bag can be very overwhelming. But if you take it one step at a time, bringing your bag can be as easy as packing your suitcase.