Soccer Star Alex Morgan Travels the World As an Athlete and As a Mom — Here's How She Does It

From what she packs to how her daughter handled her first international flight at 4 months old, the World Cup champ shares how she keeps to routine and more.

<p>From left: Robin Alam/ISI Photos/Getty Images; Courtesy of Alex Morgan</p>

From left: Robin Alam/ISI Photos/Getty Images; Courtesy of Alex Morgan

Soccer sensation Alex Morgan is always dashing around, whether it’s showing off her skillful speed on the field or jet-setting for the sport about 200 days a year. And of course, it's all while capturing the World Cup title with the U.S. Women’s National Team in Canada in 2015 and France in 2019, and scoring Olympic gold in London in 2012 and bronze in Tokyo in 2021 in the process.

So it's especially crucial for her to balance out her high-adrenaline career with some serious zen on the road.

“I always try to travel with a candle in my hotel room,” she told Travel + Leisure on a recent Zoom call. “That reminds me of home, so I always do that.”

Additionally, she always makes time for reading.

“After traveling, you’re exhausted and the last thing I want to deal with is watching a high-stress show, so I calm it down and read a book,” the 34-year-old said of her Amazon Kindle always being loaded up with books, recently having read Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale — which she admitted made her cry a couple times.

Sticking with the low-tech vibe, Morgan also opts for a notebook to mark down anything important.

“If I’m having an important conversation on the phone or if I just went through a day traveling, I jot down things I need to remember to do,” she said. “Being able to write that down physically makes me see it as important.“

Alex Morgan

Window or aisle seat?

Skincare product you never travel without:
My Chapstick.

What’s your travel snack?
Fruit, or if there's no other option, I'll do hummus with pretzels.

Favorite album to listen to on a long plane ride?
Zach Bryan. Any album. I’ll do Zach Bryan radio and then some Chris Stapleton rotates in there and I'm all good with that too.

Dream trip with pal Taylor Swift?
We could do a group trip to the Greek islands or Sicily. Just go around wine tasting, eating good food, like pizza and pasta.

But above all, staying physically healthy by taking her vitamins is a major priority for the captain of the San Diego Wave FC, which is why she’s teamed up with Nature Made on its new Pickle- Flavored Multivitamin Gummies.

“While you’re traveling, you might not be able to continue your eating habits as well, so that's why it's even more important for me to keep up on my vitamins,” she said.

Being a pickle fan for as long as she can remember — she prefers dill over sweet, and spears over chips, but will go for fried pickle chips — the new flavor brings a fresh twist to the daily regime.

Plus she now has a special helper keeping her on top of her daily vitamins, her 4-year-old daughter Charlie.

“My daughter is very adamant on us taking our vitamins,” Morgan said. “She always reminds me every morning because she's excited to get them out of the vitamin box. She loves figuring out what day it is.”

<p>Getty Images</p>

Getty Images

In fact, her daughter has been accompanying her for at least half of her travels, starting when she was just four months old. Born early in the pandemic in May 2020, Morgan was anxious to get back to soccer ahead of the Tokyo Olympics and spontaneously decided to go to England, where leagues had started up again when Charlie was just four months old.

“We had to get her passport within 24 hours and she moved with me to London, so that was her first big trip,” she explained.

The baby stayed calm, thanks to “a lot of breastfeeding and swaddling, and just keeping her in close contact with me.” That early training prepped her properly. “Now she knows she gets one candy every travel day, and unlimited iPad time — that’s the one and only time she can play her games and watch her shows,” the mom of one said. “So she’s a total pro.”

Of course, when Morgan travels, her head is always in the game. Of the three Olympics she’s played so far — London in 2012, Rio de Janeiro in 2016, and the delayed Tokyo Games in 2021, London was a favorite. The matches were all over the UK, including in some historic stadiums.

“We got to play at Old Trafford, which is where Manchester United plays,” the soccer forward said. “That's where we ended up winning our semi final game against Canada to make it to the final — that's definitely a core memory for me.”

She thinks Tokyo would have been a favorite too (“It’s so beautiful!) but Covid restrictions made it feel more isolating. And of course, if all goes according to plan, she’ll be heading back to her fourth Games this summer in Paris.

“I think that Paris just has really good coffee on every corner, which I love,” the California native said. “Their pastries are beautiful to look at — sometimes I don't even feel like eating a pastry, but they're just so beautiful!”

She’s also excited for her family to revisit France because they so enjoyed their trip during the 2019 World Cup, especially visiting the Champagne region.

“We don't get to do too much outside of play — neither do I want to because I'm so focused — so I live vicariously through them,” said the co-founder of sports media and commerce company TogetherX, along with fellow female athletes Chloe Kim, Simone Manuel, and Sue Bird. “But just knowing that my daughter and my husband are going to have these experiences together really fills my heart.”

By now, she’s used to missing out, understanding it’s part of the job. “They wouldn't even be there experiencing these really amazing things and these great different cultures, if not for me being there, competing on the world stage,” she said. “So I think it's just a give-and-take situation.”

But there is one spot she looks forward to taking her daughter when she’s off the clock. “My husband is from Mexico, so I would just love to take her to more Mexican destinations that I haven't visited as frequently either,” Morgan said. “Mexico City just has a great food culture and sightseeing, so that would be a great trip for us.” 

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