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Check luggage rules

When travelling with skis or other winter sports equipment, research the airline’s allowances before you arrive at the airport so you’re not hit with surprise fees. Each carrier has its own rules (and some are surprisingly generous). Air Canada goes into the most detail, covering a range of diversions including skiing, but also curling and skeleton sledding. WestJet also lists several activities, but Air Transat outlines just the basics. Note, some avalanche rescue gear is restricted and prohibited on certain flights.

Be ready for security

A friendly reminder that all forms of outerwear must come off and be placed in a bin at security screening. This means jackets, of course, but also scarves, hats and gloves. Do everyone a favour and start stripping down before it’s your turn at the table. When departing a Canadian airport you can leave footwear on unless it contains metal or you are otherwise instructed by an agent. You can find a recap of what to expect on the CATSA website.

Deal with your jacket

Flying somewhere warm? Consider leaving your outerwear at home or at the airport; most major Canadian ones offer such storage for a nominal fee. If you’re checking luggage, stash your jacket in there before check-in. If you must wear it onto the plane, wait until everyone has placed their carry-on bags before putting it in an overhead bin. Making other passengers hunt for space or gate-check luggage at the last minute delays takeoff for everyone. Jackets can easily fit around or on top of bulkier items once they are stowed.

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Layer, layer, layer

Even if your destination is Iqaluit, wearing a bulky sweater on the flight up there isn’t the best idea. Between rushing around the airport and being crammed into a middle seat, you could find yourself uncomfortably warm. Opt instead for a couple of thinner layers – say, a T-shirt with a hoodie or cardigan. Investing in some merino wool apparel is ideal and will help you go carry-on only even in cooler months.

Be considerate

Go ahead and take bulky boots off on a long flight – if you’re confident odour won’t be an issue. Bring clean socks to put on just in case and perhaps a pair of slippers to wear to the bathroom (the disposable ones some hotels give out are great for this purpose). Travelling with a winter cold? Take medication preflight to help your sinuses and make you less, well, gross. And pack plenty of tissues. Being stuck beside a sniffler for four hours is enough to make a person want to open the emergency exit mid-air.

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