Sports activities tourism is one thing that’s quick catching on amongst not simply native health buffs or sports activities followers, however holidaymakers who’re searching for one thing totally different of their travels.
The pattern encompasses travelling to locations the place sure sports activities are normally related to (like England for soccer, or New Zealand for rugby), or locations the place main sporting occasions just like the Olympics and World Cup are being held. There are additionally those that journey to participate in sports activities occasions, and that is one thing that’s turning into more and more common amongst Malaysians.
For biking couple, Jessen Lee, 35, and Sue Teoh, 40, journey and sports activities are a significant a part of their lives.
They’ve travelled all over the world to participate in occasions just like the Xterra (an off-road triathlon that includes swimming, mountain biking and path working) and the Ironman triathlon. Most just lately, the couple took half in Xterra occasions in Rotorua (New Zealand), Danao Cebu and Albay (the Philippines) and Kunming (China).
Teoh says that attending to journey and uncover new locations is a significant draw when taking part in such sports activities occasions abroad. “We get to see the place, expertise the tradition and check out the native meals, ” says Teoh, a nationwide triathlete.
She shares that they’d normally fly to their vacation spot not less than three days earlier than the occasion to do a recce experience and familiarise themselves with the race course. After the race, they’d then keep again to “do the touristy stuff” and discover the place additional.
Their favorite journey to date was to New Zealand. “The climate was excellent and Rotorua has a few of the finest trails to discover so we went driving. We additionally obtained to expertise Maori tradition and uncover uncommon bush crops and animals. It was very pleasing, ” says Lee, who owns a biking college in Kuala Lumpur.Myanmar-born Chris Kha Khrang who co-owns and operates a boutique health studio in KL is one other avid triathlete who travels abroad simply to take part in sports activities occasions.
Kha Khrang, 33, has been to Switzerland, Germany, the USA, South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore to take part in occasions like Ironman, Problem Roth, Metaman, Xterra and Sea Video games.
“I journey to take part in such occasions to expertise new race programs, meet new individuals, study from skilled athletes, benefit from the surroundings and uncover new cultures, ” she says.
Kha Khrang notes that one ought to at all times arrive two to 5 days earlier at their vacation spot to acclimatise themselves and put together for the race. She admits that the majority of her holidays mix each a race and a trip.
“I like to journey and discover different cultures, however there isn’t a satisfaction with out taking part in a race, so I normally plan a ‘race-cation’. I do a little bit of sightseeing earlier than the race, and after, I’m going all out!” she reveals.
Logistics and planning
It’s essential to allocate a much bigger finances when travelling for a biking race. Most racing bikes are massive and you’ll want to consider the price of bringing your bikes on the airplane, generally as outsized cargo, and in addition transporting them to and from the airport to your lodging.
Kha Khrang reveals that further prices are normally incurred each time she travels to take part in a race. These prices may vary from bike transportation and baggage charges, to insurance coverage and even race registration charges.
There are additionally the equipment that assist to make travelling extra handy. For instance, Kha Khrang makes use of a particular triathlon bag which makes disassembling and reassembling her bike a lot simpler.
“It’s a bit expensive however very handy for the airport. Nonetheless, I’ve to ship my bike for full service and cleansing earlier than packing it, ” she says.
One other side that sports activities travellers want to think about earlier than occurring their journey is airline choice. quantity of analysis is required to get the most effective airline. For Kha Khrang, she makes her choice based mostly on her vacation spot.
“Most airways embrace sports activities gear along with the baggage price, in order that’s good in case your bike is mild (like a street bike) and also you journey mild, so that you received’t need to pay for extra prices.
But when your bike is heavy (mountain bike) and also you’re additionally bringing loads of stuff, then you definitely would possibly need to go for an airline that provides sports activities gear prices individually, ” she explains.
In Lee and Teoh’s case, the adventurous couple’s most well-liked airline is AirAsia as a result of it’s extra handy for them.
“It’s straightforward to e book on-line and so they have allotted sports activities gear charges which we are able to purchase in keeping with weight (20kg, 25kg, 30kg and 40kg) for our bikes. And this doesn’t influence the common baggage allowance, ” Lee says.
“We’ve tried different airways earlier than and we couldn’t get further allocation for baggage plus sports activities gear; we have been restricted to simply 30kg for each baggage and bike. The bike itself is already fairly heavy, to not point out the bike bag. So there isn’t a lot allocation left for the remainder of our baggage since it’s all lumped collectively, ” he notes.
“In the long run, we needed to scrap the particular bike luggage and use cardboard containers as an alternative. We additionally dismantled the bikes in order that we may transport them.”
Discovering automobiles massive sufficient to move their bikes to and from the airports can be a problem for the athletes.
Lee says that he’ll normally request for an MPV when making a reserving, though it will price extra. “Typically the fees will be two to a few instances greater, particularly if it’s simply the 2 of us as passengers within the massive van, ” he says.
Teoh notes that earlier than their journey, they’d ask their resort if they’d a car that might match their bikes. “In the event that they don’t, then we’ll search for our personal transportation on the airport. Analysis is essential right here as a result of there’ll at all times be individuals who have travelled with their bikes earlier than and maybe posted some ideas on-line.
“It’s good to know the market charges (for automobile leases and transportation) earlier than a visit and be ready, in order to not get overcharged, ” Teoh says.
Travelling with sports activities gear will not be with out its dangers and generally, bikes are broken or misplaced whereas being transported.
Kha Khrang says she is grateful that to date, she has not encountered any severe harm to her bike. However she advises others to examine every part earlier than leaving the airport.
“At all times open your bag to examine your bike after accumulating it earlier than you permit the airport, so as to report back to the airways instantly if there are any damages, ” she says.
Lee provides that there have been reported instances of bikes being stolen or broken. “A method of stopping harm is to get a tough bike bag. It’s heavier and tougher to convey round, however it’s safer for the bike, ” he says, including, “Packing the bike correctly and utilizing further padding to wrap the entire bike additionally helps.”
Teoh says that she as soon as encountered a cracked helmet upon arrival whereas travelling for the Asian Seaside Video games. “Lesson learnt – don’t pack the helmet along with the bike, ” she advises.
The couple’s baggage additionally went “lacking” a number of years in the past after returning to KL from Sydney, Australia.
“When our bikes didn’t present up on the baggage carousel on the Kuala Lumpur Worldwide Airport, we filed a report with the airport authorities. They stated they’d contact us as soon as the bikes arrived. The following day, someone from Malaysia Airports truly delivered the bikes to my home!” Lee reveals.
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