If you’re an avid surfer, a vacation planned specifically around catching epic waves can be one of the most rewarding trips you ever take. However, there are some logistical considerations to take into account before you hop on a plane and paddle out to your first set. What follows are some solid tips for planning your next surf trip, from researching where you want to go to actually packing your board.
Double Check Surfboard Bag Fees
A great, low airfare doesn’t necessarily mean a low-cost surf trip. Some airlines will slaughter you with their baggage fees for surfboards, and you’ll end up paying more for your trip even though you snagged the lowest price ticket. Check out airline websites for surfboard bag fees, but it would be wise to call the airlines too, as websites aren’t always up to date.
Research Destinations Thoroughly
This one seems obvious, but researching a destination means more than just determining whether or not the waves are good. It’s important to pick a destination that is within your skill set. Your trip won’t be nearly as enjoyable if you spend it getting pounded by waves that are simply too big for your skills. Along those lines, research specific breaks that you’re interested in. You’ll also want to research non-surfing things like costs, where you’ll stay, etc. Also, prices can fluctuate a lot depending on when you travel. As a rule, if you can visit a surf destination in a shoulder season you’ll avoid high prices and large crowds.
Get Your Passport In Order
If you’re traveling internationally to surf, you’re going to need a passport. Make sure yours is current and in order. Also, double check each country and its visa requirements, especially if you’re going to be staying for 30 days or longer. Fines for expired visas are pretty serious–they’ll cost you a fortune, and you can even get blacklisted from visiting that particular country.
Be Smart With Your Boards
This goes back to proper research, but make sure you bring boards that will work in different surf conditions. If you can afford to bring multiple surfboards with you, great! At any rate, make sure you’re prepared to ride a variety of surf types, as Mother Nature won’t always deliver the waves you expected when you planned your trip.
Pack Extra Gear
As part of your research, you should look into whether or not your destination has any surf shops available and plan accordingly. If you’re going to be surfing remote breaks, make sure you have plenty of extra fins, leashes, wax, and sunscreen!