How to travel with sports equipment

The thought of flying with sports equipment can be daunting – and taking a careless approach to packing is a surefire recipe for disaster. To keep you from avoiding pitfalls, we’ve gathered six of the best pieces of travel advice.

Invest in a high-quality bike bag

Traveling abroad with a mountain bike may seem initially complicated, but if you invest in a decent (read: sturdy), dedicated box to pack your bike in, and you’re mindful of its total weight (should you be inserting additional items into the bag), the process can be really smooth – and you’ll arrive at your destination with an intact, fender--bender-free bike.

Place your hiking boots in a shower cap

Use disposable shower caps provided by hotels to keep your newly worn boots and other belongings from getting soiled or soiling other items in your luggage. And remember to give any damp footwear enough time to dry before packing them.

Remove the disc brakes from your bike

Pre-trip, spend some time carefully removing the disc brakes and rear derailleurs from your bike. Beginning a trip with bent discs is not a pleasant experience.

Bring along collapsible trekking poles

Trekking poles allow you to take on any hiking or climbing terrain. For both winter climbing and heavy backpacking trips, they are a worthwhile investment. Just be sure to buy lightweight, collapsible poles that can be stored in your checked baggage and reassembled at your destination.

Protect your most fragile paraphernalia

In addition to marking your luggage as “FRAGILE,” try this suitcase-packing tactic: surround delicate items with a thick layer of clothes, towels or other soft materials. And insert smaller breakables inside socks that you tuck into your sneakers.

Pre-book checked luggage

Online check-in always saves time – that’s especially the case when you’re flying with oversized bags and equipment. Be sure to build extra time into your airport arrival plans.

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