If you’re getting ready to travel for the holidays, you probably are somewhat stressed, whether it’s the idea of spending time with the entire family or the dread of having to fly during one of the busiest times of the year, we have a few suggestions to make your travel more manageable.
We all know we need to get to the airport early – 2 hours before a domestic flight and 3 hours before an international flight. In order to start your trip without rushing, make a list of what you need to take (remember those holiday gifts) and organize and pack the day before you’re going to leave. By doing this, you will save yourself last minute trips to pick up those items that you think you had, and you’ll know you have just the right thing to wear to Grandma’s holiday party.
When you do get to the airport, be prepared for longer lines. Do your part to make the line move faster. If you don’t have TSA precheck, be ready when you get in line. Have your boarding pass out (consider putting it on your phone – it’s easy and you don’t have to manage an extra piece of paper. Make sure you have your photo id with you. (Actually check that before you leave your house!!) Remember you have to take all electronics bigger than a cell phone out of your luggage. These items have to go through the checkpoint alone. Take everything out of your pockets. Better yet, try to put as much as you can in your carry-on bag.
Don’t wrap gifts – either use gift bags or wrap when you get there. If the present needs to be seen – the TSA officer will have to unwrap it. Better yet, have gifts delivered to your final destination. That way you don’t have to find room to carry it.
If you’ve gifting someone food, you can carry it on unless it’s a liquid under 3.4 liquid ounces. In that case, it will have to fit in your one-quart bag. Again, consider sending food items ahead to lighten your traveling load. However, if your flight is delayed, having some homemade goodies will make your delay more bearable.
If you’re not sure if you have an item that can be carried on board, you can find out on the TSA website.
Bring snacks. If you get delayed or come across a cranky traveler or airline employee, a bite of your favorite snack – whether it’s chocolate, crunchy chips or something else – may bring a smile to your face. Or at least stop you from becoming angry yourself.
Buy travel insurance for the cost of your airline tickets. This will cover you if you get stuck in an airport due to travel delays similar to what recently happened in Atlanta. The insurance will cover the cost of hotel and meals during the trip interruption and travel delay.