Traversing the Globe: Kasia Niewiadoma’s Top Travel Tips

By Kasia Niewiadoma

Embarking on a journey as a professional cyclist isn’t just about races and podiums—it’s a whirlwind of discovering new destinations, navigating busy schedules, and finding the perfect balance between training and downtime. As someone who lives life on the road, I’ve learned a thing or two about packing smart, staying energised, and making every moment count while travelling. So, if you’re curious about efficient packing hacks, staying fresh on long journeys, or ways to feel at home away from home, let’s dive into my top travel tips!

Efficient packing techniques

Managing essentials for this nomadic lifestyle requires a practical approach. When it comes to packing, I adopt a realistic mindset, envisioning each day’s requirements. This involves sorting clothes for training, sponsor meetings, and downtime. I trim down my personal clothing, recognise limited wear opportunities, and opt for smaller cosmetic products to optimise space in my toiletry bag.

I have found that maximising space and minimising wrinkles in clothing is an art. I swear by the method of rolling absolutely everything, which not only saves space but also helps prevent creases. Additionally, using insertable travel compartments I buy online keeps my suitcase organised and tidy.

Strategies for limited wardrobe and travel must-haves

To combat the challenges of a restricted wardrobe, I select only items I am sure I will wear, ensuring space is well-spent. I limit certain cycling kit pieces to a maximum of two sets, relying on the laundry option. As for casual wear, I’ve learned from experience that I rarely get the chance to wear them amidst my packed schedule. As a younger rider, I would bring lots of jeans, shirts, sweatshirts, and sometimes even a dress — that I would never end up wearing as my daily schedule with the team simply didn’t allow.

And here’s a fun fact — I flew to California for a training camp, and my suitcase and bike bag didn’t arrive until eight days later. I lived from just a backpack, and yes, I felt like I missed my things, but I was perfectly fine. That said, over time, I’ve found certain accessories and gadgets invaluable. A spork, compression socks, and a trigger point ball are among my essentials that significantly ease my travels.

Nutritious travel snacks

Sustaining energy during travel is very important for me. I always carry compact nut butter sachets, which just make every snack taste so much better. I also pre-made my travel meals at home to avoid airport food. My go-to is protein chia oats with bananas and berries. I make it thick so that when I go through security control, nobody can tell me it’s a liquid and I need to throw it away — because you definitely don’t want that to happen 🙂

Staying physically fresh

During long journeys, simple exercises like stretching, short walks down the plane aisle, and doing squats or lunges keep my body nimble. Travelling with essentials like compression socks, electrolyte tabs, and a small pillow is crucial for me.

Hydrating, stretching, and taking care of tight muscles are also priorities, and I always select a seat that allows me to move around a bit — avoid the middle seat at all costs! When it comes to sleep, I rely on earplugs, an eye mask, and melatonin to ensure quality sleep during travel, which is crucial for maintaining peak performance.

Motivation and creating a home away from home

The constant whirlwind of travel can be overwhelming at times. To maintain focus, I zoom out occasionally, appreciating the broader perspective of experiencing new places cultures, and meeting diverse people. This gratitude helps me overcome the challenges.

My travel hacks also include packing familiar essentials, like my V60 coffee kit, a trusty spork, and my own pillow. These items offer a sense of comfort and familiarity, enabling me to stick to my routine despite changing surroundings.

Managing jet lag for optimal performance

When handling jet lag, I always make sure I get lots of water, quality food and supplements that help my body recover faster. So even if I don’t get enough sleep, I try to focus on general recovery that will not leave me sluggish and slow for the rest of the day. I have come to terms with having one or two nights of very poor sleep, and accepting that fact allows me to avoid being anxious and stressed out. When coming from a different time zone for a race, I use every little opportunity to nap, whether it’s before that start on the bus, after the race or on a massage table — I just try to get as much sleep as possible.

The life of a professional cyclist on the go is demanding. Still, these travel strategies and rituals have become my trusted companions, ensuring I’m always ready to take on the next challenge, no matter where the road may lead!