Travel with a Soccer Ball (Deflate a Soccer Ball)

Whether you want to do some extra training during your vacation or your coach makes each player responsible for a ball during travel, there are times when you’ll have to travel with a soccer ball.

I’ve traveled with a soccer ball by car, bus, and plane several times, and learned a few helpful tips along the way.

Traveling with a soccer ball is possible, but it can be a headache if you don’t take the right steps.

Today we’ll cover some helpful topics like:

  • Bring the ball vs leaving it
  • Air travel rules
  • Deflating a soccer ball
  • Helpful tips for traveling with a ball

Read on to find out the safest, most convenient way to bring your soccer ball with you as you travel.

Soccer ball and goal on a beach

Can You Take a Soccer Ball On An Airplane?

If you’re traveling by plane, the first question you may have is “can you take a soccer ball on an airplane. The short answer (and good news) is yes, you can!

According to the TSA, basketballs, baseballs, footballs, and soccer balls are permitted in carry-on bags and checked bags.

The final decision rests with the TSA officer on whether an item is allowed through the checkpoint.

TSA.gov

Simply put, you can travel by airplane with a soccer ball. While this is great news, it’s not the end of the story. There’s still a lot more to learn about traveling with a soccer ball.

Travel Soccer Ball

An excellent option for a soccer ball to travel with is a freestyle ball that is made for skills and juggling. A lightweight soft ball is excellent for developing skills and having fun with your friends.

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Have a look at the Kickit ball below, it is ideal for taking away with you on your travels, and when you’re at the beach it’s perfect. (Heavy soccer balls and sand are not a great combination.)

Playing in a circle or over a net makes it more fun with this ball;

Kickit Soccer Tennis Ball – The Official Soccer Ball of Soccer Tennis, Soccer Training, Freestyle Soccer and Juggling
  • PLAY KICKIT SOCCER TENNIS with the Official Kickit Soccer Tennis Ball!
  • AIR GRIPPING TECHNOLOGY slows the soccer tennis ball down during play, giving you…
  • CUSTOM INFLATION gives you control over the difficulty level; the lower the air…
  • PERFECT SIZE AND WEIGHT, same size as a regulation (size 5) soccer ball, with half of…
  • PLAY EVERYWHERE, grab your carry bag and go! Fun to play on a soccer field, tennis…

Reasons to Travel with a Soccer Ball

A lot of people may find the idea of traveling with a soccer ball silly. Why not just leave it at home?

There are actually a lot of reasons for traveling with a soccer ball including:

  • To stay active during a trip or vacation.
  • Each player is responsible for one ball during team travel.
  • You are traveling for a soccer event (like tryouts).
  • The soccer ball is a gift.

Risk of Traveling With a Soccer Ball

While traveling with a soccer ball is helpful or even necessary at times, it is not without its downsides. Here are some considerations:

  • Damage to the ball
  • Forgetting the ball in overhead storage/ in the vehicle
  • Trouble re-inflating the ball
  • Taking up space you need for other items

When to Leave the Ball at Home

As mentioned, there are times when a team may require you to travel with a soccer ball. However, when it comes to personal travel the decision is yours.

Many times, traveling with a soccer ball is simple enough. Still, it’s another thing to think about. How many times do we pack things we don’t need?

When considering if you want to bring your ball, evaluate the following:

  • Purpose of travel. Will you even have time to use it?
  • Duration of the trip. Might not be worth it for a short trip.
  • Mode of travel. Easiest to bring when traveling by car.
  • Ball access. Can you borrow one at your destination?
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Jabulani World Cup soccer ball. ○ Soccer Blade

Deflate a Soccer Ball When Flying

If you plan to bring a soccer ball on an airplane, you should deflate it. While the TSA may not require this, it’s an important tip that can save your ball.

When you fly on an airplane, the pressure changes. If you bring your inflated soccer ball on an airplane, it could pop due to the change in pressure.

Fortunately, there’s a simple fix, and that’s to deflate the ball before flying. Deflating the soccer ball will make it smaller and easier to pack.

How to Deflate a Soccer Ball

Deflating a soccer ball is extremely easy. All you need is a needle from a ball pump. Unscrew the needle from the ball pump. Insert the needle into the pump hole on the soccer ball. You will hear the air begin to hiss out.

Apply pressure to the ball to help squeeze the air out quickly. As air comes out, you may need to apply more force to get the remaining air out.

Remember that you do not have to get out every ounce of air. Just flatten it enough to release most air.

Tips for Traveling with a Soccer ball

Traveling with a soccer ball is easy with the right resources and planning. Here are some helpful tips:

Bring a Ball Pump

Traveling with a ball won’t do you much good if it’s flat when you arrive! The flipside of deflating your ball is inflating it. Make sure you pack your soccer ball pump too.

Of course, there are a ton of ball pumps to choose from. Here are a few we recommend:

NIKE Dual Action Ball Pump
2,065 Reviews
NIKE Dual Action Ball Pump
  • Official Nike Product
  • Dual Action Ball Pump
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SPORTBIT Ball Pump with 5 Needles - Push & Pull Inflating System - Great for All Sports Balls - Volleyball Pump, Basketball Inflator, Football &...
16,463 Reviews
SPORTBIT Ball Pump with 5 Needles – Push & Pull Inflating System – Great for All Sports Balls – Volleyball Pump, Basketball Inflator, Football &…
  • Ball Pump with Ergonomic Design – Made for your comfort with a soft mold that fits…
  • Push-Pull Air Delivery System – Inflates when you push and when you pull, the best…
  • Needles Don’t Bend – Our unique soft needle plug system prevents the needles from…
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AirSilo Electric Fast Ball Pump with LED Pressure Gauge (Max 15PSI) with Needle for Sports Balls (Basketball, Football, Soccer, Volleyball, Rugby,…
  • Electric Ball Pump with Accurate LED pressure gauge displaying. Easy to read in the…
  • Easy operation, just press Switch to start inflating. Just Switch off whenver you…
  • Fast inflating rapid (5.5L/M Air volume, 15PSI Max Pressure): Takes only around 1…
  • Compatible with all sports balls: basketball, soccer, football, volleyball, rugby,…
  • With Rechargeable lithium-ion battery cell built in, More than 40 basketballs…

Re-Inflate Right Away

One of the biggest mistakes is leaving the soccer ball deflated for too long. I’ve found that this makes it harder to return to its standard shape and can lead to damage. Reinflat the ball as soon as possible once you arrive.

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Pack Carefully

Do not fold up the ball too much or shove underneath a bunch of items. Pack it carefully.

Ideally, place the flattened ball in your luggage without crunching or folding it. Doing so can cause rips or cracks. Be mindful of how and where you pack the ball.

karam alani sRNBO LS3ZI unsplash
Photo by Karam Alani on Unsplash

Don’t Bring Your Best Ball

Don’t bring your best soccer ball if you are undertaking personal travel. Remember, the ball is prone to damage or loss when traveling. The last thing you want is to bring your favorite ball and come back without it in top shape.

Bring a backup soccer ball, or purchase an affordable ball for travel. Select soccer balls are great quality yet affordable options for travel. Consider this Select Numero 10 size five soccer ball.

Select Numero 10 Soccer Ball Sz 5 (EA)
154 Reviews
Select Numero 10 Soccer Ball Sz 5 (EA)
  • HIGHEST QUALITY: A legendary match and training ball used around the world for…
  • PREMIUM MATERIALS: PU material laminated with neoprene foam to increase softness with…
  • HAND-STITCHED CRAFTMANSHIP: 32 panel hand-stitched construction combined with golf…
  • NFHS/NCAA and IMS APPROVED: Meets or exceeds all requirements for NFHS(National…

Write Your Name On It

Reduce the chances of losing your ball by writing your name and contact information on it in a permanent marker. If it is a team ball, it should have your team name and jersey number on it. Bring an extra permanent marker for touch-ups.

Double-Check with the Airline/Bus

While the TSA allows you to travel with a soccer ball, always double-check with your travel company. Whether you are traveling on a plane, bus, train, or car, inquire about traveling with your ball before doing so.

Kickit Soccer Tennis Ball – The Official Soccer Ball of Soccer Tennis, Soccer Training, Freestyle Soccer and Juggling
  • PLAY KICKIT SOCCER TENNIS with the Official Kickit Soccer Tennis Ball!
  • AIR GRIPPING TECHNOLOGY slows the soccer tennis ball down during play, giving you…
  • CUSTOM INFLATION gives you control over the difficulty level; the lower the air…
  • PERFECT SIZE AND WEIGHT, same size as a regulation (size 5) soccer ball, with half of…
  • PLAY EVERYWHERE, grab your carry bag and go! Fun to play on a soccer field, tennis…

Conclusion

The bottom line is that you can travel with a soccer ball, including on an airplane. While it may seem unnecessary, there are actually several reasons why someone would need to bring their soccer ball when they travel.

Regardless, there are still some risks when you travel with a soccer ball, mainly damaging or losing the ball. Deflate the ball during travel to help, and inflate it upon arrival.

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