This article first appeared on About Sports. Written Christopher Del Sole.
Christopher has been a certified snowboard instructor at Okemo Mountain Resort since 2003. He has spent more than 500 days on snow since 1999.
With airlines charging additional fees for extra bags, overweight bags, and your firstborn these days, packing efficiently for a snowboard vacation is more important than ever. Follow these tips and you’ll not only save money, you’ll gain the satisfaction of beating the airline at their own game!
NOTE: This guide assumes you’ll be bringing your own snowboard equipment. If you plan on renting equipment when you arrive, then just do your best to pack as little clothing as efficiently as possible.
Time Required: 30 Minutes
The key to cramming a week’s worth of casual and sports clothing and accessories into as small a space as possible lies in knowing what can and can’t get wrinkled.
Long underwear, underwear, socks, sweatshirts and mid-layers can all arrive wrinkled without causing a problem. Get a quality snowboard bag, and place your board (you may need to remove your bindings for the best fit), along with anything that can get wrinkled into the board bag. A great trick is to place shirts, sweatshirts, and jackets over the tip and tail of the board, which not only saves space, but also protects the board during transit.
Ski towns are pretty laid back, so odds are you can leave the suits and cocktail dresses at home. Pack a pair of jeans, a pair of casual dress pants, and a couple dress shirts. With the addition of a few sweaters, you can wear the same shirt twice and no one will notice. And remember, you can wear an entire outfit on the plane, which saves space in your baggage.
Carry your boots on the plane – most airlines today allow a carry-on bag as well as a “personal item” like a purse, backpack or laptop bag. Take full advantage of these allowances by packing gloves, socks, etc. into your snowboard boots. Fill the rest of your boot bag with gaiters, goggles, etc. as needed.
Wear your snowboard jacket on the plane. Jackets take up a ton of space in baggage, but very little when stowed in the overhead compartment.
If you’re bringing a snowboard helmet (and you should), save space by clipping it onto your boot bag and carrying it on the plane. If anyone gives you flack, put it on your head (I’m dead serious – I’ve done it!).
- Make a checklist before you pack, and check everything off as you go. Not only will this help you cut down on what you bring, it’ll help with the last minute “What did I forget?” feelings.
- Think about the type of trip you’re taking – if you’re going to be rubbing elbows with the high-society types in Aspen, bring more casual clothing. If you’re riding the dirt-bag highway to Mammoth, skimp on the après clothing in favor of more performance gear.
- Master the art of “the roll.” Tightly roll everything that goes into your snowboard bag – again, the stuff that can get wrinkled. Making a California Roll out of your long underwear and t-shirts can save some serious space. You’re going on vacation to ride, not to impress the locals at the bar. Having been a local at the bar, I can promise you they don’t care, anyways.
- Be ruthless. These days, you’re likely going to be paying per bag, so only bring the essentials. You’re going on vacation to ride, not to impress the locals at the bar. Having been a local at the bar, I can promise you they don’t care, anyways.
- Be sure to pack snowboard tools, wax irons, and anything else that could be considered dangerous in your checked baggage. Security will not let you bring these items on the plane.
What You Need:
- Snowboard Bag
- Boot Bag
- Purse or Laptop Bag
- Snowcomparison Team
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