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Advice on transporting skis and board to Europe

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

As I finalize my trip with my son to Austria in January, the question is: do we carry our equipment.  Obviously boots are a given, but what about skis and board?  Our destination gateway will be Munich and we will travel from there to Austria via train or car.

What say you?

Thanks, and Happy Thanksgiving!

The Colonel

post #2 of 12

Considered renting skis?

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

Yes, and I recognize that at lower elevations the cover might be really thin and perhaps rocky.

Really curious what other fellow Epic Skiers have done, or think I should do.  Regardless of final decision, ski books go with me in carry-on.

More opinions?!!



post #4 of 12

I rented skis and hauled my boots on a ski trip to France in '07.  It was nice to be able to trade in skis daily on a weekly rental agreement to dial in the right ski for the conditions.  Almost like an extended demo session.  Get a nice boot bag with a shoulder strap if you don't have one already.

post #5 of 12

My wife and I travel to Europe from the states once a year to meet a group of friends for a week of skiing in Austria (Kitzbuhel) or France (Avoriaz). We always travel with boots in carryon luggage and a rolling skibag with the skis and bulky clothing. While the skis are a bit of a hassle to lug around, especially when using public transport (the Paris Metro was particularly painful due to all the ups and downs for connecting lines, but the TGV to Geneva was fantastic), I feel that it's worth the effort.


It's less of an issue in Munich where most of local transportation is surface trains (S-bahn). We usually stay for 1-2 nights in Munich before taking the train to Austria. There are several hotels near the Munich Hauptbahnhof (main train station) so it's easy to get from the airport to the train station and drag the luggage to the hotel.


If you do decide to bring your skis and use a train to get to Austria, try to get a direct train as this will eliminate having to get your luggage off of one train (sometimes you only have a couple of minutes at a given stop) and haul it back on another train. Booking first class with reserved seats helps considerably with crowded trains, especially on a weekend going into the Alps.


If you want any more details or additional advice, let me know.

post #6 of 12

In 2006 we went to Zermatt, with both kids, and took boots but rented skis. We were traveling before and after skiing (by car), so that was a no-brainer, as we didn't have room for anything else. In 2008 it was just husband and me,  to Lech, and this time we took our skis. I'm glad we did. We flew into Munich, rented a car, and just stuck the skis in back. That worked fine, too.


We are going back to Austria this year, and might take the kids. Not sure what we will do this time, though. If we have all four of us, probably just rent. That's a lot of hassle. 

post #7 of 12

What will your airline charge you to carry skis?

How will you fit the skis and snowboard into the rental car?


Rental might be the easy option unless you get free carriage.


Where have you finally decided on going?

post #8 of 12

How long are you going for?  That factors into the cost consideration as well.  Are you happy with your current set ups or would you benefit by demoing some different gear with the eye to buying later in the year?

post #9 of 12

Depends on what skis you are looking to rent.


Except for the real fats you should find a rental ski collection fitting your needs. In case snow levels are bony then definitely leave your sticks at home and rent. If you decide to bring your own skis and use public transportation then a roller bag is nice to have.



post #10 of 12

If the airline doesn't charge you too much, I'd say bring your skis. As long as you've got a roller bag and you can handle your suitcase/backpack without any problems, then it should be fine. I use an army duffle bag with backpack straps for my clothes and a roller bag for my skis, and I always use trains and/or buses.


From Munich, you'll probably have to switch trains once somewhere like Innsbruck. The trains themselves usually have a section where you can leave your skis, so you shouldn't have to lug them down the isles. And the buses, of course, have space for all your luggage, so that's not really a problem.

post #11 of 12

I would echo mkbruce comments. Flew into MUC last year. Stayed right across the street from the Hauptbahnhof. No real issues with a 200cm Dakine Double Concourse wheeled ski bag. If you travel by train to Austria, the trains in the first class should have plenty of room. All the local German folk on the weekends schlep their skis onto the train, normally sans ski bag. Did have to transfer once in Innsbruck for Lech but we had a 15 minute transfer time. Not always the case though. You shouldn't have an issue with luggage penalties on the airline if you pack right. Take a look at what the rental rates are for where you are skiing. IIRC it would have been about $400 for two to rent for a week in Austria. But we were also spending 5 days in Switz., so it was way cheaper to just bring the skis.


I also don't think you need a car, unless you plan on hitting several different ski areas. Even then, I found getting from places like St Anton to Lech was quite easy on public transit. Save that dough from ski and car rental on some nice apre ski time! Have fun, and hope the snow is good for you and your son.

post #12 of 12

Its always a pain traveling by plane, train, and bus by skis, but its nice to have you own gear. I always prefer my personal ski gear.   Last year, my wife and I arrived in Zurich with a large ski bag, gear for a back country trip, and clothes for the city.  After two trains and two buses, we arrived near the Swiss-Italy border with our gear and without a hitch.  Just a lot of schlepping.  On the return trip, we flew from Zurich to Austria on Air Berlin.  They had a special spring pricing - no charge for ski bags.  This late winter, we will return with our boots, skis, back country gear and yet more clothes for the city...

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