If you're setting off for that long-awaited ski holiday, you will no doubt want to make sure that all your gear is transported as smoothly as possible, so that you can focus on enjoying your break. A few simple steps can make all the difference between a good and a bad experience travelling with ski equipment, so take a little time to plan ahead.
Firstly, think about clothing; you will need to pack many items, such as jackets, trousers, base and insulating layers, socks and gloves, as well as your usual clothing. You will need a large suitcase
for this, or perhaps two smaller ones to make transportation easier.
Secondly, you will also have your skis, poles and boots. Invest in a bag for your boots,
they're shaped specifically for them so will protect them in the best way possible, and aren't too bulky. Most have additional pockets for accessories such as googles and gloves, which will save room in your suitcase.
Protecting expensive skis and poles is a must – there are some awful horror stories about skis being dropped out of aircraft holds onto tarmac, so get the best bag you can afford. You can buy single or double bags, depending on your needs. It costs less for a soft ski bag, but if you pay a little more you can get a bag with wheels on to make it easier to transport your skis. You may need to put extra padding in (bubble wrap is popular!), for added protection. Naturally a hard case will afford even better protection, but they are a more expensive option.
If you're travelling to your holiday by road, there are a few important points to consider. Ideally, everything should be packed inside the vehicle to minimise the risk of damage, but this isn't always practical if you are carrying passengers, or if your vehicle isn't long enough. It's possible to fit special ski bars to the roof, which is clearly the best option, but you can also strap equipment to existing roof bars or roof racks. However, a hard ski case should be used if possible, as it's easier to clean if spray is thrown up from salty roads. A large roof box could also be used. Transporting equipment on the roof may cause a slight increase in petrol consumption.
Airlines have different procedures for transporting ski equipment. Some budget airlines are reluctant to carry skis etc. but most have arrangements in place, although some require notice to be given before you fly. The cost of transportation can also vary; with some airlines the cost is included, although limits usually apply, and with some an additional fee needs to be paid. It's important to check the terms and conditions about transportation before making your booking, so that you know exactly what's included.
So if you plan carefully before travelling, you will be able to make the most of your holiday, and enjoy the snow!