Snowsports Industries America (SIA) wants to help skiers and snowboarders take their favorite equipment on vacation through the organization's Ship Your Gear program, which saves up to 16 percent on the charge.

SIA has teamed with FedEx to save travelers hassles and pesky airline fees, which can run up to $125.

David Nelson, a packaging design engineer in the FedEx Packaging Services Department, has offered his advice on preparing your skis for their trip.

Nelson said a canvas or ballistic nylon bag is "highly recommended;" if you have one of those hard cases for your skis, so much the better.

Wrap the tips and bindings with cushioning, like bubble wrap.

Nelson said, "Zippers should be secured with a cable to prevent accidental opening in transit."

Shippers should utilize a FedEx tie-on tag around the handle with shipment documentation inside, rather than a stick-on label. Tie-on tags are available at FedEx offices, FedEx World Service Centers and from FedE+ couriers, Nelson said.

Nelson noted that FedEx Office Print & Ship Center personnel can "assist the customer with packaging and shipping."

Your cost is based on "numerous factors," Nelson said, "including origin and destination, size and weight of the shipment, the service you select, such as next-business-day, 2- to 3-business day, ground delivery, international priority, or international economy."

This is where the SIA offer comes in handy.

SIA has negotiated a consumer discount of up to 16 percent off some FedEx Select services, up to eight percent off some FedEx Ground services, and up to 15 percent on FedEx Ground service to Canada processed through Ship Manager at

Any consumers eligible for a U.S. based FedEx account can take advantage of these savings.

You should contact your hotel or resort to accept and store your equipment, or you can have your gear held for pickup at a local FedEx office.

More information:  U.S. shipping services; International shipping services; U.S. government international shipping