Travel 101: 11 Great Tips for Kiteboarders

You are excited about your next kitesurf vacation but not looking forward to the stress and costs involved when booking your flight, packing and traveling with your kite equipment? Here are some great tips that make your kite trip so much easier!

  1. Know when to book your ticket: Find the best airfare and receive alerts when fares drop by using websites such as Airfarewatchdog or GetGoing. If you are departing from the United States, the airfare is the lowest when you book the trip:
    South America: 5 1/2 month out
    Caribbean: 1-2 weeks out
    Europe: 7-8 weeks out
    Asia: 8-9 month out
    Central America: 5-8 weeks out
  2. Put your Airfare on Hold. Airlines like American Airlines, Virgin and Southwest have free 24h hold services. Like this you secure your flight but you can still look for better options.
  3. Use a private or incognito window when searching for flights and hotels. Travel sites often track your visits and will boost the price just because you have visited the site before.
  4. Book on Tuesdays: Studies have shown that Tuesday is the least expensive day to purchase flight tickets.
  5. Roll your clothes: You have to get the hang of it but it really works and you will have so much more space in your suitcase! Once a roller, always a roller!
  6. Check the airline’s baggage fee policies: Not every airline allows you to check one bag for free and the fare you end up paying might be more expensive than other airlines. Also check on sports equipment/extra baggage fees. KLM offers you a discount of 20%-50% if you purchase your extra baggage online in advance.
  7. Make sure your boardbag says Golf bag like the one from Cabrinha. And stick to it when they ask you! As long as the weight is not heavier than the airline’s requirements, you shouldn’t have a problem!
  8. Join a Frequent Flyer Program and try to travel within the same airline alliance like oneworld or star alliance. If you reach a certain status, you will get free upgrades to Business Class and free additional bags including boardbags!
  9. Wait in a comfy airport lounge: In a lot of airport lounges (like the Admirals Club) you can buy a day pass for 50$. It sounds expensive but it is actually quite cost effective, especially if you have a long layover. The lounge provides you with free internet, complimentary drinks, food, magazines, newspapers etc. and it is actually so much more relaxing (more energy to immediately hit the water when arriving at your destination :-P). The lounge will also help you out in case there are flight delays or cancellations.
  10. Find a better seat: Check the cabin configuration on SeatGuru. Ask the airline for a new seat 24h before your flight. That’s when elite fliers will get upgraded and better seats in economy will become available. Also look into Premium Economy. It is not so much more expensive than economy but can really make a difference in comfort.
  11. Luggage didn’t arrive and you are without your kite equipment? Make the best out of it and go shopping. Airlines are required to provide victims of delayed baggage with a stipend to buy items like clothing, toiletries and medicines. You might just get a new bikini, board shorts, hoodie etc out of it 😉 Trust me, I have had lots of delayed bags!

You are excited about your next kitesurf vacation but not looking forward to the stress and costs involved when booking your flight, packing and traveling with your kite equipment? Here are some great tips that make your kite trip so much easier!

  1. Know when to book your ticket: Find the best airfare and receive alerts when fares drop by using websites such as Airfarewatchdog or GetGoing. If you are departing from the United States, the airfare is the lowest when you book the trip:
    South America: 5 1/2 month out
    Caribbean: 1-2 weeks out
    Europe: 7-8 weeks out
    Asia: 8-9 month out
    Central America: 5-8 weeks out
  2. Put your Airfare on Hold. Airlines like American Airlines, Virgin and Southwest have free 24h hold services. Like this you secure your flight but you can still look for better options.
  3. Use a private or incognito window when searching for flights and hotels. Travel sites often track your visits and will boost the price just because you have visited the site before.
  4. Book on Tuesdays: Studies have shown that Tuesday is the least expensive day to purchase flight tickets.
  5. Roll your clothes: You have to get the hang of it but it really works and you will have so much more space in your suitcase! Once a roller, always a roller!
  6. Check the airline’s baggage fee policies: Not every airline allows you to check one bag for free and the fare you end up paying might be more expensive than other airlines. Also check on sports equipment/extra baggage fees. KLM offers you a discount of 20%-50% if you purchase your extra baggage online in advance.
  7. Make sure your boardbag says Golf bag like the one from Cabrinha. And stick to it when they ask you! As long as the weight is not heavier than the airline’s requirements, you shouldn’t have a problem!
  8. Join a Frequent Flyer Program and try to travel within the same airline alliance like oneworld or star alliance. If you reach a certain status, you will get free upgrades to Business Class and free additional bags including boardbags!
  9. Wait in a comfy airport lounge: In a lot of airport lounges (like the Admirals Club) you can buy a day pass for 50$. It sounds expensive but it is actually quite cost effective, especially if you have a long layover. The lounge provides you with free internet, complimentary drinks, food, magazines, newspapers etc. and it is actually so much more relaxing (more energy to immediately hit the water when arriving at your destination :-P). The lounge will also help you out in case there are flight delays or cancellations.
  10. Find a better seat: Check the cabin configuration on SeatGuru. Ask the airline for a new seat 24h before your flight. That’s when elite fliers will get upgraded and better seats in economy will become available. Also look into Premium Economy. It is not so much more expensive than economy but can really make a difference in comfort.
  11. Luggage didn’t arrive and you are without your kite equipment? Make the best out of it and go shopping. Airlines are required to provide victims of delayed baggage with a stipend to buy items like clothing, toiletries and medicines. You might just get a new bikini, board shorts, hoodie etc out of it 😉 Trust me, I have had lots of delayed bags!

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2 Comments on “Travel 101: 11 Great Tips for Kiteboarders

  1. Very usefull tipps 😀
    I think I have to change my kitebag with an ‘golfbag’ and check the flights tomorrow.. because it’s tuesday 😀

    Hangloose!!!

    Reply
    1. Silke

      Thanks for your comment! I’m glad you you found my tips useful 🙂 Good luck on finding a good airfare! Also try ITA Matrix by Google when looking for flights 😉

      Reply

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