Taking a surfing trip can be a rewarding experience, and there is more than one way to do it. Travel with your surfboard could be inconvenient, or it could be the best part of your trip. It all depends on what kind of surfer you are as well as what kind of traveler you are. You have many options. If you are planning an upcoming surfing vacation, the tips below will guide some of your decisions surrounding the surfboard you want to take with you.

Call Ahead

Some surfers make connections with the surfboards or feel so good about the equipment that it is unimaginable attempting to use another board while on vacation. Some of these surfers are also proud of the equipment and want to experience using these personal surfboards in exotic locations. If you would like to pack your surfboard with you while on vacation, some special arrangements have to be made first. Call ahead to find the details about traveling with a surfboard. The airline will most certainly consider the surfboard oversized. If the airline allows free baggage, the surfboard will almost certainly not qualify. Ask about the charges for oversized baggage, and be sure to give the customer service agent details about your surfboard, including length, width, and weight. Since the surfboard will be stored in the cargo bay, out of your sight, ask about insurance for your surfboard.

Also, call the hotel or other lodging management and ask about the possibility of storing your board. Management might frown at keeping a board in the room. Ask about accommodations and find out if there are any fees associated with any related services.

Wrap it Up

If you have decided to bring a travel surfboard with you, make sure to protect it. Most surfboard bags are soft and will only protect your board to a certain extent, such as from scratches. Again, ask the airline how they will handle your surfboard and if it has any requirements for wrapping it up. Some travelers decide to protect a surfboard further by improvising a box with pieces of cardboard and duct tape.

There is only so much you can do to protect your surfboard. Make sure your board bag is clearly marked with your name and contact information. Include the information on your surfboard as well. Slipping your itinerary into the bag will help airlines match your board to you if the surfboard gets lost.

Borrow or Rent a Surfboard

If you know anyone where you are traveling to, ask to see if someone can lend you a surfboard. Not only will this be convenient for you, but it will ensure that you have someone with whom to share your experience. Whoever lends you a surfboard may also know insider information, such as what breaks to surf. A caveat is to make sure ahead of time that you are willing to be responsible for the borrowed surfboard if it gets damaged or lost. Exercise extra caution when borrowing someone else's surfboard to limit damage. For instance, if you do not usually use a surfboard leash, consider using it on someone else's surfboard.

If you are traveling to a place where there is a lot of surfing, there may be a business that rents out surfboards. Your hotel may even have rentals or have a recommendation for you. Board rental staff will be great resources to you, and will be able to tell you where to go for the kind of experience you want.

Buy When You Get There

This is a really fun option, but it is not for everyone. Surfing aficionados may elect to purchase a unique souvenir that will make the trip special and memorable. This is an especially nice option if you know that a special surfboard shaper or designer sells his or her boards at a store or surf shop located in your destination. Travel hassle free without a surfboard, and enjoy choosing one when you get there. Of course, you will have to make arrangements for getting back home with the board, but you will be traveling with a souvenir that will also serve as a conversation starter.

Give Your Surfboard Away

One option you may consider, especially if you have an older surfboard and will be looking to upgrade soon is to travel with your surfboard to your destination, but give it away while there. This way, you do not have to come back home with the oversized baggage. The idea is to give back to the people whose country or state you are visiting. You may choose to surf with your surfboard and meet other people who love surfing, but who are using lower quality equipment or are borrowing a board. At the end of your trip, gift the board to someone who could use it. If you cannot find an individual who could use your board, see if there are any children's or teen's organizations in the area that could use donations.

Although you will not be coming home with your surfboard, you will be bringing back a nice story that will make you feel good and inspire others to give back, too.

You may want to come prepared with your own surfboard. You may welcome the challenge of riding a new surfboard, whether it is a rental, a loaner, or a new one no one else has ever ridden. Surfers are adventurous and flexible people, so any option should work as long as some surfing gets done once you get to your destination. If you are a dedicated surfer and love traveling, you will find what works best for you with experience.