Tips For Your Trip
Who knows snowboard travel better than those who do it for a living? We asked the professionals what they've learned during their treks near and far. In addition to the tips below, a few essentials also to keep in mind are snacks, water, extra batteries, a flashlight, and a passport. All these will come in handy whether you expect them to or not.
Tina Basich: I travel a lot, so I bring a few things that help me to not feel homesick. I'll bring a CD with music, my own pillow case, a scented travel candle (you never know what kind of hotel room you're going to get), my paint set, and my computer. I always bring a lot of things to do because you can only watch so much TV on down days.
Tara Dakides: If you're going overseas, take sleeping pills for the plane flight because that'll help with the time difference. Take music, snacks, and lots of warm stuff. But don't overpack.
Shannon Dunn-Downing: Always watch your bags. Don't leave home without a passport. Bring antibacterial hand cream for foreign countries (Japan has no tissue paper to dry your hands in the bathroom, either do some places in Europe). I always have a small mist bottle with my favorite essential oil added to spray on my face to get refreshed, or to spray in a bad-smelling hotel room. I feel more comfortable if it smells good in the room!
Eric Berger: Locks for every zipper on my bags. I was once selectively robbed of my snowboarding outerwear, now I always lock my bags.
A camera to capture all the great moments for your jealous friends. Music, of course. A cool thing to have are mini speakers for your system so you can share the tunes with your friends in the hotel room. Also pack a power converter and plug adapters.
I like to bring an inflatable neck pillow, ear plugs and eye patch for the flight and long bus rides.
Extra binding parts and tools in case of breakdown. Mini tuning kit and folding iron to keep the board running fast.
A list of telephone-operator access codes to access North American operators from abroad. This is available from your long-distance provider and can save you money or make it possible to charge a call to your calling card. And proper medical insurance is a must.
Dylan Farr: Always pack a good attitude. Travel is adventure and the adventure is in travelling. And always carry your boots with you. You can get by losing all your other gear, but losing your boots is a real chapper.
Megan Pischke: Be prepared for anything. Don't have a specific schedule because you never know what's going to happen. Leave room for bad weather and delayed flights. Be patient. Have fun. Get to know the culture and the people if you go to a foreign country. Get a book or a tape about the country before you go so you know a little more about the place and the language.
Mark Gallup: Travelers' checks don't work in some countries so I'll just carry American twenties and bigger. You can get a pretty good exchange rate when they see you pull out an American 100 dollar bill. Also, the money belt is a good item to have.
Don't dress like you're from out of town–keep the colors dull so you don't attract attention to yourself. You'll have a better time people watching if they're not staring back at you.
Carry unusual-looking luggage but not expensive-looking stuff. You want to be able to recognize your luggage and not have anybody else take it by mistake. Also, if it's lost by the airline, it might be quicker recovery if it doesn't look like everybody else's.
Carry small gifts–in case a stranger or new friend goes out of their way to help you, you can return the favor with a gift.
Bring something that you enjoy at home to keep you comfortable and entertained. For eexample: CDs and a Walkman, water colors for painting, or a musical instrument. I often run into people on the road with similar musical interests, and they always manage to teach me something new on the guitar.
Neil Goss: Pack light, try to take one board bag and a backpack if you can. And always bring a Walkman.