Traveling with Snowboard and Equipment
Hi, I'm thinking about taking my son and a friend out west during spring break for a snowboarding trip. It seems like flying with everything is going to be tough. Please let me know the best way to pack the equipment so it will arrive at our destination safely or let me know of a good web site for this information. If there is a certain kind of bag that will be needed, let me know. Also, resort recommendations are welcome, I need to figure out where to go. I don't ski, but enjoy seeing the kids have fun, so any advice will be appreciated. Thanks!
Welcome to DCSki, ymn.
I am dealing with the same dilemma: I will be making a trip to Colorado in December, and am not sure whether to bring my skis. At the moment I'm leaning towards bringing my boots, but renting demo skis when I hit the slopes. Depending on the airline, renting equipment at the destination may be a cheaper way to go, as some airlines are charging exorbitant fees to transport ski and snowboard equipment. Have you considered renting some or all of the equipment once you get there?
There are so many great resorts to go out west, and many offer a range of activities for skiers/snowboarders and non-skiers alike. I am particular to many Colorado areas, including Vail, Winter Park, and Snowmass. What dates are you looking to go, and in what price range? That may affect the suggestions people provide.
It's become a bit of a minefield when it comes to booking a flight now. None of the online services, Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity et al address the baggage fees in the price you see online.
Once you see a trip you like you have to go to the airline's website to check out their baggage policy. The cost of checking bags can be anywhere from free to $25 a bag. Some airlines classify anything over 60 inches oversize but that 60 inches isn't just overall length it's length + width + depth so technically the average board bag exceeds that. In effect that means you end up with the oversize baggage fee which in some cases can be as much as $150.
With that said if you dig a little deeper with some you'll see that they do allow the ski/board bag to be considered conventional luggage but you need to dig in and make sure that is the case. Either way unless you fly Southwest you'll be paying something at the airport for luggage.
In terms of baggage buy a padded roller bag. I know they are expensive but they are worth it. They protect your gear and the wheels make them manageable. Bags without wheels are very heavy and unwieldy in the airport. One bag should be capable of carrying 2 boards as long as you strip the bindings off the lower one.
Hi, Thanks for the replies. We will probably travel when my son is out of school for spring break, April 4 to 11. Probably with Southwest. I'm going to check with UPS to see if they offer a shipping service for snowboard equipment. It might make it easier than trying to get everything through the airport. Or maybe pack the boots and rent the boards.
I just booked a January trip to Vail. I am also trying to figure out what the best way to get the skis. I made reservation from rentskis.com based on the recommendation I got here from Scott. The cost is $330 for 4 days for the 4 of us. I got the junior rent for free deal. We will fly American Airline. They charge $15 for the first bag and $25 for the second. Only one set of skis is allowed in one ski bag. Skis and boots are counted as two bags. So the round trip cost per set of ski is at least $30. We already have two double ski bags. I'd have to buy more.
Another factor is we will have to add ski rack to the rental car, another $65 from Hertz. That is at least $185 already plus lots of hassle to carry the skis in and out of airport.
I am still looking into shipping from Fedex or UPS. I will have to call the resort and make sure they allow us to do that. There is also the possibility of lost or delay. I bought new snowboard for my son online and paid $50 for 2 day Fedex shipping. It was supposed to arrive today. The web site shows it was out for deliver this morning at 10am. After waiting for the fedex truck to show up all day, I checked the web site and found it back to Fedex local center. I plan to ship it as early as the resort allows if I end up mailing it.
I have done that about four times, all in the US and was better than flying with the equipment and having to schlep the whole thing. Shipped a double Ski Tube with one pair of skis and the other half of the tube had about five ski suits. I'll be damned if the airlines get my money, since I believe, IMHO, that what they're doing is highway robbery.