TRICKS AND TIPS FOR SKI AND SNOWBOARD TRAVEL
When it comes to traveling with ski or snowboard gear, nothing is as simple as it seems. The road to resort is full of obstacles and excess baggage charges, but don’t worry we have a few travel hacks to help you along the way.
Due to living on a relatively snow lacking island, we have two options when it comes to ski holidays, pack up the car and drive for a minimum of 12 hours, or the far more popular option, we fly. Flying entails lugging around 2 heavy bags, paying for an extra bag, getting stung with an excess baggage charge, eating overprices food, drinking over prices beer and if you are unlucky enough, being left stood around waiting for your bags to come out, slowly coming to the realisation that your luggage has been sent to another location.
Although these tips cannot guarantee that your luggage will make it to the same airport as yourself, these hard earnt tricks can keep the frustration at bay, whilst saving you some money.
Carry on boots
This is the golden rule of air travel; it amazes me that people choose not to do this. You have spent hours finding your perfect ski or snowboard boot, you have customised the liner and bought a custom footbed to fit your feet and you have even taken the time to brake them in, either in the mountains or around your home. So why run the risk of not skiing in them because your bags have gone elsewhere? Those rental boots will never feel as good. Besides the comfort value, ski boots are heavy and take up a lot of room in your suitcase. Those extra few kilograms saved by carrying them on means you can fit some extra layers in your bags.
Today ski boot bags are becoming more and more carry on friendly, Snokart’s Kabin Boot Bag is a carry on size roller bag and the Rossignol Hero Dual bag is no bigger than a laptop bag, ideal for making your way around the airport. Carrying on a ski boot bag allows you to stash some extra un-expendable items in your hand luggage, such as goggles and a pair of ski pants, to make sure you have the skiing essentials, no matter what happens.
Using a duffle bag
The weight threshold for most airlines is around 20 kilograms per bag, so why use a quarter of that weight on a roller bag? Yes, they make life easier but unless you are getting public transport to the airport, odds are you’ll actually be carrying your bags a very short portion of your trip.
By using a duffle bag, instead of a roller bag, you could save yourself 5+ kilograms of weight allowance. The average excess baggage charge is around £10 per kilogram each way, so those few extra minutes struggling carrying a duffle bag, could potential save you £100. The most popular duffle bag, although not as light as the Osprey Transport bags, are The North Face Base Camp Duffle bags, known for their hardwearing, ruffed exterior these bags are the go to for long lasting duffle bags.
Utilising a Ski Bag
If you are traveling with skis, then the chances are you have already paid for ski carry. Depending on your airline, ski carriage adds another 20kg to your overall weight allowance, so why just use your ski carriage of just skis? Why not opt of a double ski bag? It weighs more than a single sleeve but it is far more versatile and able to carry extra gear to help spread the weight of your 40-kilogram allowance evenly.
If you are traveling with a friend and you both have two pairs of skis, a great way to make sure you stay off those rental skis is to swap a pair of skis, so if one bag gets lost, you both have a pair of your own skis.
Remember Your Manners
By using the lightest duffle bag and carrying on your ski boots with some extra gear packed in, you can easily save up to 8 kilos in baggage allowance. But sometimes that still isn’t enough to get you under that 20kg mark. Depending on the airline and the check-in steward, you may get away with this free of charge, just remember manners are everything.
Manors don’t cost anything, but they can save you some money. If beings a decent member of the human race isn’t motivation enough for you to be kind to an airline employee, think about this, these people deal with hundreds of people’s attitudes all day and ultimately decide what fees, if any, you will be charged. So a smile, saying thank you and please, and asking them about their day, can go a long way towards letting the 23kg bag slide.