5 Tips to make traveling with your bodyboard travel bag that much easier!
International air travel is normally a tough task as is. Now with this being the cheapest and easiest way to travel, many board riders around the world are frequently doing trips to different destination. One thing that doesn’t make it easier is the fact that your bodyboard travel bag, at times, cost a lot of money to take with. If they are overweight, this sets you back and make you reconsider the thought of taking boards. In this post I am going to explain 5 tips that will show you how to make travel with board bags that much easier.
I am no stranger to the expense of traveling around the world. Majority of the time it is with board bags. I have traveled to multiple different countries, on many airlines, with board bags and had my fair share of arrogant and polite service desk people who will not understand what I have in the bag. Yes it is sports equipment but the good thing about a bodyboard bag is that, in most cases, they fly under the radar. What I mean is that the size is typically below what the airlines charge as oversize and thus, you can make that trip a lot cheaper if you know the facts.
Tip #1 “Know the Rules”
On a number of trips I have taken advantage of airlines that allow for bodyboards to be classified as a sports item without them overcharging me astronomical amounts of money. This is one tip that I stand by and have been able to benefit from. It is a pain to get to the airport after spending $1000 or more just for them to ask for an extra $100 for your bodyboard travel bag. These airlines seem to be taking advantage of you and at many instances you can request them to show you their policy.
For instance when I was flying on Hawaiian Airlines recently the lady at the desk automatically decided that I would be charged $100 for my bag as it was getting checked. Before I could say anything her colleague, my saving grace, corrected her by saying that, “Bodyboards don’t carry an extra fee, that will only hold a baggage charge of $30 (which is what thy charge for a normal bag).” My suggestion is always be polite about it and make sure you know the rules for that airline.
Tip #2 “Check the Weight and Baggage Policy”
The next tip I have is that you must make sure your bodyboard travel bag is under that of which the normal baggage is weighed. Standard baggage is usually around about 23kgs (50lbs). So what you want to do is pack all your stuff into that bigger board bag while limiting the heavy items to either another bag or hand luggage. This will get the airline workers to see that your bag is not huge and heavy but hopefully give you a bit of a break when it comes to your charges. If the bag is overweight, it gives them the opportunity to question the bag and see what is inside.
Most airlines allow for two bags on international flights. Again if this is going to happen, tell them it is sports equipment or make sure you know the rules on what the company says is their baggage policy. Don’t try and lie to them because majority of the time the will catch you out!
Tip #3 “Pack your bag Smarter”
Pack your bag correctly to make sure there is no damage to the boards or other items. I have been in the situation when you travel for 24-48 hours on a number of flights. Your board bag has been sandwiched in the cargo hold between some golf clubs and someone’s heavy box. This means that you have pressure dents or worse; impact to the nose or tail to the point where the board starts to delaminate.
The idea is to line your bodyboard travel bag with towels, yoga mats, wetsuits or anything soft you are planning to take with. This allows a layer of padding to get around the boards, protecting them from falling victim to an inconsiderate baggage worker or mismanaged cargo hold. See How To Pack A Bodyboard Travel Bag video…
Tip #4 “Split your Gear with a buddy”
Far too often we have the possibility of a bag not arriving at a final destination. Thankfully this has not happened to me too often but it’s a big fear. To avoid this there is one way you can save yourself. One of the best ideas is to have a travel buddy that you can split your gear with.
So the idea is as follows: take two boards, two pairs of fins and two wetsuits. Your buddy will then split his gear and give you half, and you split yours and give him half.
Now if one of the bags is left behind or goes missing, there is gear for you both in another bag. This means you will get to the destination with less worries of the bag not arriving and you stuck with no gear for a few days.
Tip #5 “Choose the correct Bag”
Trust me on this one! Choosing the right bag could make or break a trip and your emotional state. This happened on trips and I have fallen victim to this multiple times when I first started to travel. I would get a bag that didn’t have wheels or it was not able to be dragged. Then I would have to use the shoulder strap to lug this 20-30kg bag around an airport or across from one place to the next. It is not fun at all.
First step is look at the padding and lining of the bag. Make sure it has a good design quality and zipper. Next you want to find one with wheels. This will limit the amount of effort you use dragging, pulling and lugging in between flying or your accommodation. Lastly, make sure it’s not too bulky and heavy. A heavy bag is going to limit the amount of gear that you take. It will put you into a category of “overweight bag”. This means you will be using more money on luggage and less on açai bowls during the trip.
Those are the five tips I can give you to make a very stressful travel experience, with board bags, that much better. You have worked hard for your money, saved up and are looking forward to a trip, so make sure you limit the extra pressure with these tips. I look forward to seeing you all choosing the right bags and making these better choices.