Having shared some ideas over where you could head on an overseas adventure if you are a lover of sport, the question was raised about just how easy it is to take your own equipment with you.
Although in many cases you can hire sporting equipment once you’ve travelled, a lot of people prefer to use their own gear – be that the set of golf clubs they’ve used for years, the bike they ride daily for their training or the board they use to hit the surf.
But the obvious issue when taking sports equipment with you is actually taking it with you, as you can’t really fit a bike or a set of golf clubs in your suitcase.
But how easy – or difficult – is it to take your gear overseas?
Well as long as you plan in advance, it isn’t actually that difficult and the major airlines all make it pretty clear as to what you can expect to pay to take your sporting equipment with you.
One thing that should be said before you even consider taking an item of sporting equipment with you however is to ensure you have insurance in place that will cover it.
Luggage can go missing or get damaged in transit and any specialist sporting equipment may not be covered by your usual travel insurance, so make sure that have the appropriate cover in place in case of anything going wrong.
Whilst we’ll be happy to sort out booking sports equipment onto your flight if you want to take it away on holiday with you, we’ve put together a handy guide for some of the major airlines so you can gain a rough idea of what to expect…
As one of the most popular airlines travelling across Europe, it follows that there are plenty of people who could be considering a flight with Jet2 whilst carrying their sporting equipment with them.
The company operates a special service that covers the carriage of sporting equipment that can be pre-booked in advance of your trip from around £30 each way – depending on what you are taking with you.
Skis and snowboards can weight up to 22kg and measure 6ft x 3ft, with the same rules applying to golf clubs and any other sporting equipment with the exception of non-motorised bikes – which can weigh up to 32kg.
In the case of bicycles, pedals need to be removed, handlebars turned on line and tyres partially deflated, whilst the bike will also need to be carried in either a special case or wrapped in stiff cardboard.
Should you be into diving and be carrying scuba tanks, they’ll need to be empty of gas with the valves open.
Standard excess baggage rates apply for anything that is above the applicable weights.
As another short haul specialist, Thomas Cook is also a popular choice with people who might want to take sporting equipment with them on holiday to the continent.
You can book sporting equipment onto your up to 30 days before departure to benefit from an early booking discount of £5, with regular charges in place within 30 days.
Prices start from £35 if booked in advance and from £40 if booked within the final 30 days before you fly.
You must have registered goods no later than eight hours before departure to ensure there will be a place on the plane as waiting until you arrive at the airport will leave it subject to loading.
Golf clubs must not exceed 20kg in weight and measure within 200 cm length x 40 cm width x 80 cm height. It’s the same for skis, with passengers able to carry one set of skis, one pair of ski shoes, one helmet and one pair of ski sticks that must be carried in the same secure bag.
Bikes can weigh up to 30kg and fit the dimensions of 200 cm length x 40 cm width x 100 cm height, and must be carried in a packaged state. E-Bikes cannot be carried onboard.
Additional sports items such as tennis racquets can be carried as part of your usual baggage allowance with anything about the standard weights coming in at additional cost.
Easyjet is the third of the short haul airlines that you may be likely to consider if you are heading on a break within Europe.
With Easyjet, you can buy one piece of sports equipment per customer and you are able to pool the total allowances for your sports equipment and hold luggage.
The airline operates on the basis of two different forms of sports equipment – small and large.
Small covers things like golf clubs, skis and diving equipment and allows travellers to take goods weighing up to 20kg, with large providing 32kg of luggage and including bicycles and kayaks.
As with other airlines, bikes need to be in a special box/bag and have pedals removed.
British Airways will allow you to take a range of sporting equipment with you on your flight as part of your free checked baggage allowance – as long as they are no larger than 190 x 75 x 65cm.
You can also then pay to take additional checked bags if required.
If taking a bicycle, it will need to be packed in a protective cover whilst golf clubs will also need to be in a recognised bag or case to prevent damage.
Should you be on a ski break, you can pack your boots as cabin baggage in a special boot bag if you don’t want to use your hold allowance.
E-Bikes, electric scooters and windsurfing boards and sails are amongst the items you are unable to carry.
Anything over 23kg will be subject to an overweight baggage charge.
If you are heading Stateside with Virgin Atlantic then you have the option of either taking your sports equipment in place of your check in baggage or paying for additional luggage at a cost of £65.
Unlike some of the short haul airlines, Virgin Atlantic can only carry sports equipment of up to 23kg in weight with anything above that being suitable for carriage as cargo.
That includes bicycles that will need to be carried in a protective bag or box despite the likes of Jet2 and Easyjet carrying bikes at up to 23kg.
Golfers can take one bag containing up to 14 clubs and a maximum of a dozen golf balls, whilst skiers can pack their skis alongside their boots, poles and a mask/helmet in one case.
Should you be travelling with a different airline, or have alternative equipment that you want to take with you, then get in touch and we'll be happy to provide you with advice or a quote for your flight.