A key focus here at Healthy Travel Blog is promoting opportunities for exercise while you’re traveling; so we’ve written a lot about running and biking and working out in the hotel fitness center.
But what if that’s not your game?
What if you want play some tennis in Hong Kong, or play softball in Sydney, or hoop it up in Hamburg? Finding a decent pick-up game in the neighborhood isn’t exactly easy when you don’t know the neighborhood.
But of course, there are ways.
If you’re looking for an app that can provide pickup sports opportunities no matter where you travel, you should download the aptly named Pickup Sports app (currently available for Android only).
Or you can check out meetup.com to see what groups exist. Feel like getting in a run (that’s basketball talk) in Canberra, Australia? You’re in luck. Wanna bend it like Beckham with the Footy Addicts in London? Here ya go. That tennis partner in Hong Kong we mentioned above? You can find her here.
There are also deeper dives you can take into specific sports. For instance, if basketball is your game you can do plenty of sport-specific research before embarking on your travels. One site I like is Courts of the World. It tells me there’s a court at Carrer de Carmen Amaya, just a block off the Mediterranean. It doesn’t tell me whether or not I can find a good game there, but even if I end up shooting hoops by myself for an hour, I’m doing it a block away from the Mediterranean. Count me in.
If you’re looking for a research shortcut, you can always input your question at Quora, the Q&A website, where you can ask questions like where’s the best place to find some decent pickup hoops in Paris?
Clearly, there are a number of options to explore, and the number of options continues to grow. An important caveat is that it’s difficult to ascertain the quality of most of these pickup options – when you’re making plans and you’re on a different continent, you might not be able to consider things like the public transit schedule. And, obviously, you don’t know when you head out whether you’re going to find a game that’s worth your while and suits your level of play.
Just like any other pick-up game.
Photo by Christian Bardenhorst.