If the fresh powder’s calling and you’re ready to head off for your annual ski break to Val d’Isere, the Dolomites or Trois Vallees then you’ll probably be planning to take your own skis and boots rather than rent them at the resort. If you’re driving to your destination this wouldn’t seem like any trouble at all, but as soon as you factor in a short or long haul flight, many people baulk at the logistics of transporting skis. But with the right preparation and some solid travel arrangements in place, any misgivings can be set to rest.
Different Strokes for Different Folks
What we mean by that cryptic heading is that you need to understand there are no standard, across-the-board guidelines for transporting skis – every airline has its own set of rules, regulations, and costs. Don’t make the mistake of reading one airline’s rules then assuming they will be the same for another: study the fine print before you make any final decisions – it can end up saving you a lot of money. For instance, some airlines will allow you to take on your skis, poles and boots as one piece of luggage even if they are in two bags, whereas others may class each piece separately.
Arrive in Style
Even once you’ve organised your flight and accommodation in a top-notch ski resort, your travel arrangements are not complete. What about getting from the airport to your final destination? Struggling through the airport and on to crowded public transport while beating people over the head with your flailing skis is really not a great way to start a relaxing holiday – or make any friends! The key is to organise a pre-booked airport transfer to get you and your skis to the resort in style. You’ll be met at the airport and whisked to your accommodation in no time – taking away much of the stress that travelling with sporting equipment can bring.
Pack in Haste, Repent at Leisure
Taking the time the pack your skis, poles and boots with care and attention is actually one of the most important aspects of your travel arrangements. In the unfortunate case of damage occurring to skis or boots in transit, most people are quick to lay the blame at the feet of foreign baggage handlers, but the truth is that in many cases it could have been prevented by better packing in the first place.
Your poles can go in with your skis, although you need to cover the tips to prevent scratching or piercing the bag, and taping them together is a good idea. Even in a padded bag, you should make every attempt to pad out your skis as much as possible, including using towels, clothing or bubble wrap – again bearing in mind the weight, of course. Invest in a dedicated boot bag, which you can take on as hand luggage, but don’t be tempted to fill it full of other things, however, as it will add to the weight and may affect your allowance.
Choose the Best Bag
Choosing a ski bag is like choosing a pair of skis: confusing! There are so many on the market it can seem like a daunting task, but when you strip away the aesthetics and extraneous bells and whistles it comes down to weight, capacity and budget.
Hard Travel Case
If you’re really serious about your skis and money is no object, a hard plastic case with wheels makes things as easy as travelling with a suitcase – almost. A hard case can accommodate several pairs of skis and poles and offers the very best protection from damage, but it is a lot heavier than a soft case.
Soft bags can come in padded or non-padded versions, with or without wheels. Obviously you’ll pay more for heavily padded cases, but they provide a higher degree of protection. Soft bags come as single or double capacity and can also hold the corresponding number of poles.
When choosing a soft ski bag look for features like a good quality nylon interior lining and exterior straps; high thread count durable and water resistant fabric; lots of pockets and compartments and (if wheeled) smooth-running wheels. If you choose a bag without wheels, make sure the handles are padded for extra comfort.
Checking In With Skis
You should always make sure you arrive in plenty of time if you’re checking in oversized luggage for a flight. The best idea is to check in online then you’ll be able to proceed directly to the bag drop. However you should check with the airports that you are using as some have a separate drop off point for skis.
Shuttle Direct – A Skier’s Best Friend!
At Shuttle Direct we’ve been transporting happy skiers and all their equipment to and from their resorts for years. If you’re planning on taking your own skis on holiday with you, our fast, efficient airport transfer service means you’ll arrive completely stress free. You can make your booking online and our user-friendly service means you’ll be guided every step of the way.
Here to Help
It’s important that you advise us if you’re going to be travelling with your skis at the time of your service booking so we are able to dispatch the correct vehicle for your needs. Our Customer Care team are happy to offer any help and advice you may require, so just contact us if you need any assistance at all.