For many travellers sporting activities are a big feature of their holidays. There is nothing quite like a white water rafting trip, the thrill of snow sports or simply taking a run in stunning surroundings. There are plenty of great options if you want to keep active whilst you are away but taking part in sports abroad does have its problems and these are mainly luggage related.
Most airlines have fairly strict luggage allowances for those travelling economy and these make accommodating any sporting equipment rather difficult without incurring some sometimes ludicrous additional charges. If all you intend to do is lie on a beach then you won’t have an issue but if you are like my other half who likes to travels like a cross between Jacques Cousteau and Bear Grylls then you are in trouble! Just his snorkel, mask and flippers would fill a small suitcase let alone the tools, insect repellents, hiking boots and water bottles! More equipment means less clothes which is a pain in the bottom.
There are even difficulties if you simply want to keep up your gym work or running whilst you are away as I found out this summer. The varied nature of my holiday meant that I was already struggling to pack everything that I needed without having to squeeze in my running shoes and clothes. Fair enough, I could have left the jodhpurs at home because it is possible to ride in jeans which I could have worn on the plane but you know what I mean. I was left trying to choose items which were multipurpose. Running tops that I could wear as t shirts, running shoes that I could use for hiking, bras that were supportive enough to run in. I did manage to cut down the amount I needed to take considerably but it was still a tight squeeze.
With skilful packing you can accommodate most of what you need unless you are skiing or snowboarding in which case you need a much more generous holiday budget! There is no way that you can squeeze your skis into your case and so you will face paying the additional charges for sports equipment and they can be extremely penal. Some airlines are now charging as much as £200 return for sports equipment which is nuts. My skis only cost £260 in the first place. It would be cheaper to buy a budget pair when you arrive and just ditch them after the holiday. Pretty much the lowest fee you will get away with for sports equipment is £60 return which isn’t a fortune but seems rather disproportionate if the base price of the ticket is only £70. I have had occasion to wonder if I should book a seat for my skis as it would sometimes be cheaper to do that than to check them in as luggage.
Active travellers are certainly penalised by the airlines which seems rather unfortunate when we have an obesity epidemic and people are being encouraged to be more active.
Article by Sally Stacey