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  • TIP: Traveling Light

    By Tammie Thompson

    Photo courtesy SIA I just sent my young ski racer off on a plane to some ski races in Colorado. A four-event race, the ski count was high. And the overweight? $300.. enough to get me there too.

    You may not be packing six pairs of skis, but with new airline regulations on the number of bags, weight limitations, and size limitations - it may make sense to ship your skis or even leave the skis behind and try some demo skis for your trip.

    Most airlines will let you take along a ski bag with no more than two pairs of skis. But beware of limitations on length. On May 5, United will impose fees for more than one bag - that includes ski bags. So either you pack you clothes in your ski bag and keep it under 50 lbs and under 62" long, or you pay for the extra bag. Oh joy! Some options:

    Demo rentals: Take your boots and hit the rental shop. This can be a tiresome experience so get there early or look for pre-registration online. Look for on mountain demo centers that allow you to try various skis and boards throughout the day. Demo skis will run you $30-$50 a day with discounts for multi day rentals.

    Ski Butlers: These guys will reserve your rental equipment online, and then deliver to your hotel or condo. It takes the edge off the rental experience. .

    LuggageForward: They'll ship door to door. If I had shipped two pairs of skis to Colorado (from CA) the cost would be about $150 each way (that's assuming I shipped them a week in advance). Priority shipping gets up over $300 each way. See to get an instant quote.

    Sports Express: Rates are a lower here than Luggage Forward. The cost to ship two pairs of skis to Colorado using 2 -Day Saver rates is $138 (overnight is $298). They will deliver door to door. Three-day economy rates are $111 - about the same it will cost you to take a ski bag on United (after May 5, 2008). See to get an instate rate quote. Sports Express will guarantee on time delivery or pay for rental or replacement.

    FedEx and UPS: Sometimes their rates are better. But you'll have to pack up the gear and get it to a pickup center (or pay more for home pickup), plus make arrangements with your hotel for delivery.

    Happy trails!

    Archived articles relating to Insider's Tips:

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