If you are planning to take a winter trip to polish up on your snowboarding or skiing skills, then the chances are that you will be taking your own gear with you, which can be quite tricky. As their costs increase, many airlines are looking to squeeze as much money as possible out of you to foot their bills, so you could end up paying extortionate prices for your gear. Add in the mix the over-eager baggage handlers who manhandle your equipment and the chances of you getting your board and skis on the plane in one piece can become an ever decreasing possibility.
Here are some useful tips to keep your snowboard or skis safe when traveling:
Packaging. Keeping your snowboard or skis as protected as possible is the aim of the game when you are taking it abroad, so make sure that you keep it wrapped with as much padding as possible, in order to keep the baggage handlers at bay. Also, there are many companies out there that manufacture travel bags which are specifically designed to give as much protection to your board by protecting it from the elements. If your board is special to you and you don’t want to see it damaged, then it’s definitely in your best interests to keep it under wraps!
Costs. Not all airlines are out to get you, and many offer special deals for passengers carrying sports equipment for such an occasion, meaning that you won’t have to spend a fortune on traveling expenses. Before settling on the "low-cost" airlines that offer cheap flights, be cautious as their luggage fees can make their flight even more expensive. Be sure to shop around with various airlines to see what the best package is for you.
Security. The level of security in airports is at an astronomical level, with any possibility of a "threat" being dealt with in the strictest fashion. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who still try to break the rules and will often take advantage of your larger travel cases, as you could potentially become a target for drug smugglers (this does happen!). So always make sure you pack your gear securely, or consider getting it professionally done at the airport.
If you're still unsure about airline risks to your snowboard and gear, consider shipping it all directly to your destination ahead of time so it's there waiting when you arrive.