Skiing bug first hit our family on December 30, 1999 in the town of Kuopio, Finland. I don’t exactly remember all the details anymore. But I’m sure my wife and I spent around 5-6 weeks of the following year on different slopes with various friends. And so a tradition was born.
Same happened last year. We found a nice ski center with 3000+ metre peaks in the Austrian Alps, and started with all the preparations. Flight tickets, accommodation, gathering a group etc. You know…
But this year, one thing was totally different. On prior years, we needed to make a decision whether to rent an equipment on site paying €150-200 a week (if you want decent equipment) OR somehow ship our own perfectly fitting gear.
This moment has always been stressful for me. I love my comfortable ski boots and my long Atomic carvers. Especially since centers only rent short crap that doesn’t let anyone develop decent momentum.
Next you’ll instantly have a headache in connection with the rental car. When flying to Frankfurt or Munich, we could take some “VW Passat or similar” (knowing we’ll be given a Opel, as usual). BUT! How do you fit 4 people and the equipment into it.!? Headache!
And then you still have to figure out a way how to get all this shit from Pärnu to Tallinn / Riga Airport, at 5 o’clock in the night. Or from any other place to the closest airport. Fooooo… The mere thought makes me sick!
But what happens when the plane is full and cannot fit the equipment of nine people on the same flight.!? Cause no one’s really ensuring you it will! I’ve repeatedly seen such adventures at the check-in booths. Or when it’s overweight and you need to pay extra.!? Argh… Have you felt any of it?
Everything was different in 2016!
Our entire family doesn’t own an equipment but one can always make an arrangement with the local rental, e.g. Hawaii Expressi. At least we’ve always got a great deal with them and they only charge us for the ski days, not travel days. The same happened this year.
We also booked a fantastic lodge around Ischgl, rented comfortable cars, through our laptops and chargers into a couple of backpacks and boarded the plane like kings – hands in pocket.
Wanna know how? Haha. Easy answer is that we built a new service with a couple of friends. It’s called Shipitwise and you might have already heard about it. But you haven’t tried it, yes?
All in all, we packaged our skis, boots and other equipment into bags and Shipitwise shipped all of it to our lodge, next to the mountain. Why don’t you ask if we were satisfied? Yes, we were!
First, our equipment was picked up three days before take off. Period. Second, we let Shipitwise know on what day and time we intend to arrive. And we were asked to let our hostess know that our equipment will arrive before we do.
You couldn’t imagine how big the eyes of her were, when we finally arrived. She said with excitement trembling voice: “Did you know your equipment’s already here.!? All tourists need to know about it!!!” And I answered: “Hmm, is it a news for you? All Estonians are now travelling hands free.”
It’s cheap but so comfortable!
All of this only costed €491 for the whole crew. There and back. Door to door. With insurance.
If we would’ve taken all of it on board with us it would’ve costed €40-50 per set per way. Multiply it with 2 and 9. Can you do it? How much was it? That’s it! And we would’ve had to take bigger cars or pay extra for a ski box. And car rental would’ve charged us €90 extra (Oh you’re driving to Austria.!? So out from Germany.?! Oh-oh-oh! Pay extra for leaving the country).
We’re back home, happily. Equipment arrived three days later. To our door step. With some schnapps stuffed in the boots that we bought from Swiss tax-free store. La vita è bella!
Aleksander Gansen first published this post on his blog on January 9th in Estonian.