5 Tips for Destination Marathon Travel
Destination Marathon Travel

Traveling to a destination marathon can be stressful and difficult. Get the most out of your destination marathon with these 5 travel tips.

Get Over the Jet Lag

Plan your destination race travel carefully!  You want to get there in enough time to get over your jet lag.  We like to plan our tours so that runners arrive on Friday morning for a Sunday race.  This is enough time to adjust, but not so much time that you are tiring yourself out with visiting tourist sights.

Find a Great Hotel

This goes hand-in-hand with getting over the jet lag!  You need a great hotel in a great location to help you perform at your peak in your destination race.  At Finish Line Travel, we have tried out many hotels, so we know the ones that have comfy beds, spacious rooms, peace and quiet, and the most attentive staff.

You will want a hotel near the race start… usually.  Each city and marathon is different.  Some are right in the city center, some are on the outskirts of town, and some are point-to-point.  Research your destination marathon and see if it makes sense to be in the best location for your touring activities, or for the race.

At Finish Line Travel, we choose a hotel that maximizes our enjoyment of the city.  It is close to all the great sights, but we also make sure it’s good for running.  We stay near parks or pedestrian-friendly areas so you can get out for a shake-out run before the marathon, or get out later in the week to work out your soreness.  Often, we will be near the race start, but if not we coordinate a private transfer to and from the race start.

Set Your Expectations

International travel is tiring and can be stressful.  You may not be able to find your go-to pre-marathon meal.  You may have spent all week on your feet visiting tourist sights.  You need to factor everything in when setting your race expectations.  This may not be a PR, but it will definitely be fun!

With a Finish Line Travel tour, we plan every detail so we can to minimize anything which could be detrimental to your marathon performance.  We take all the stress out of your travel.  We plan our touring activities to make sure your legs are fresh!

There’s More to the Trip than Just the Run!

Don’t just fly in for a destination marathon, run your race and then fly out!  You have traveled all that way, so spend some time getting to know the city and country of the race.

We hire private local guides to show us the top sights and the hidden gems of the area.  We set up private curated experiences to go deeper into a culture.  Whether it’s a private wine-pairing dinner in Paris, a private beer tour in Belgium, or an artisan cheese tour in Switzerland, we create an experience that you can’t get anywhere else!

Run “Local” in a Foreign Country

The “World Marathon Majors” are an amazing experience, but don’t pass up a “local race.”  In some of our marathons, you may be the only runners from the U.S.A.!  While the races we participate in aren’t “small” (some have up to 40,000 runners), they are more “local.”  Whether it’s the Great Bruges Marathon in Belgium, the D-Day Landings Marathon in Normandy, or the Swiss City Marathon in Lucerne, you will be part of a first-class event, but slightly off the beaten path of major marathons.

You will get a chance to interact with the locals, enjoy a festive marathon party with local runners, and share a post-marathon beer with your fellow runners in a way that isn’t possible at a marathon major that has almost as many foreigners as locals.

About Author

Dan Bergan
Hi, I’m Dan! I have a been a runner since just about the time I could walk, and traveling to Europe for the past 15 years. And, now doing both with Finish Line Travel!