Ski season is well underway, and even seasoned skiers expect to be traveling with bulky, oversize baggage. This is the easiest way to get bogged down with stress when you should be feeling excited to hit the slopes! Furthermore, as airline baggage fees continue to rise, going away for a ski vacation can seem overly expensive and daunting.
Bearing that in mind, skiers should attempt a stress-free getaway by packing for their trip using only a carry-on. Whether you’re hitting the slopes of New England’s River View Resort or Idaho’s Knob Hill Inn, compressing your belongings into a carry-on will allow for a painless travel experience. Though it sounds impossible, it’s doable with the following five helpful packing tips!
1. Choose Your Carry-On Wisely
If you’re going the carry-on route, you should consider a boot bag, which is suitable for bringing aboard as a carry-on, and leaves room to bring ski boots (which is theone thing most skiers will definitely want to bring from home). Transpack’s boot and gear backpacks are decently priced while the more expensive Skboot makes rolling boot bags, a great option for those who would rather not carry heavy luggage on their backs.
2. When It Comes to Clothing, Less Is More
Ski resorts don’t generally enforce a formal dress code, so focus on bringing essentials that you can mix and match. Realistically, travelers can likely get by with one to two pairs of pants, a handful of shirts or sweaters and thermal layers. Another great way to save money? Pack a swimsuit, which shouldn’t take up too much space, so that you have one ready to go for the hot tub (instead of spending unnecessary money at the resort gift shop)!\
3. Vacuum Seal Your Clothes
Once you decide on exactly what to bring, use compression bags to pack everything in as tightly as you can into a carry-on. This is great for saving space, as most of the clothing travelers will pack will be on the warm and thick side (sweaters, socks, hats, mittens). Relatedly, save space in your bag by wearing your ski jacket onto the plane (you can use the pockets to store your wallet, phone, and passport too!).
4. Rent Skis Instead of Bringing Your Own
As the TSA continues to prohibit carrying on ski poles to an airplane, another major way to save time, money, and space is by leaving your own skis at home and renting equipment at the resort. As noted earlier, you can bring your own ski boots with you and rent skis and poles from the resort or a nearby outfitter. When you’re booking your next vacation, consider resorts like the Inn at Jackson Hole, which is conveniently located near your pick of ski and snowboard rental locations.
5. If You Must Bring Your Own Skis, Plan Ahead and Ship
If you’re attached to your particular pair of skis, plan ahead and ship them to your destination. Most U.S. carriers should be able to do this, and some, like FedEx, have designated “Ship Your Gear” options. Save time and money by packing everything up yourself instead of going to UPS or FedEx and asking them to pack the skis for you. Travelers need simply tape their skis together, wrap them up in bubble wrap, and place them in a ski bag. Time your shipment so that it reaches the resort before you do, and immediately hit the slopes upon arrival!
This post was posted by The hipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on 3 February, 2016.