One of the coolest aspects about cycling is all the travelling you get to do, places you get to see and people you get to meet. One down point, however, is all the time spent in airports, living out of a suitcase and trying to fit my 6'1 tall frame into small airplane seats.
Over the years, I got to learn that travelling light is often the key to make it all better. One small roller bag or a back pack usually does the trick, but you have to pack smart if you want to be ready for any situation. You need to be prepared to have long(er) layovers, enough food not to starve and some essentials if your bag doesn't make it. Here is what I usually pack in my carry-on when I am travelling within North America. I tend to travel with more food and comfy clothes for over night flights to Europe, but this will give you some pointers on how to do it!
Hydration & Nutrition: I try to always carry some food from home with me so I can stay away from airport food. Eat food that you are use to and your tummy will thank you later on! Some fruits and granola/CLIF bars are usually an easy solution! Don't forget to drink, travelling puts some undesired fatigue on your body, so staying on top of hydration will help you feel good and healthy.
Extra bike gear & shoes: Yes, airlines will loose your checked-in luggage every once in a while. You can always borrow a bike and an helmet, but it's always good to have your own shamy and shoes so you can train properly no matter what!
Foam Roller: One of my best allies in the everyday life and when I'm on the road. A quick foam roller session after travelling and before going to bed dramatically increases how good I usually feel the day after travelling. Try to find one where you can stuff clothing in the middle (see photo), it'll help you to keep your bag smaller.
Computer: Airport time usually means computer time for me. I get on top of emails, social media and write blog posts like this one. (Currently on a layover in YYZ ;) ). Keep your computer with you, it'll get crushed if you pack it in your checked luggage! Pssst, don't forget your charger ;)
Electronic gadgets: Garmin, GoPro, phone charger, earphones and so on... Keep them on the plane with you to keep them safe!
Earplugs, Eyeshade, hoodie to sleep on (pillow): I know airplanes are not the most comfortable places to sleep, but I try to make the best out of it!
Don't forget a healthy dose of hapiness, because travelling is awesome!