The thought of Thanksgiving and the holidays conjures up so many wonderful ideas – turkey roasting, falling leaves or snow, spending time with family and friends. These days, though, many of us are spread out across the country or even across the world. That means we may be spending time before the holidays traveling to be with our loved ones, and we all know that holiday travel isn’t always as easy as (pumpkin) pie. With that in mind, we’re sharing a few tips to help make your holiday travel a bit easier so you can arrive in a festive rather than frazzled mood:
- Allow extra time not only after you get to the airport, but also to get to the airport. To make sure you have plenty of time despite heavy traffic and slow security lines, be there at least two hours early. If you live in a busy metropolitan area, be sure to account for congested roads in your travel time.
- Put your essentials in your carry-on. This includes an ample supply of necessary medications. Increased volume at the airports means a higher likelihood for delayed or lost luggage, which means you should have a change of clothes, valuables, and required medication with you at all times.
- Remember TSA’s 3-1-1 liquid rules apply to gifts, too. Tasty items like jams and jellies, salsas, sauces, syrups and dips are all subject to the 3-1-1 rule, as are those fancy bath oils, perfumes and other beauty items we often give as gifts. Even snow globes are subject to this rule! Either check these items or ship them ahead.
- Do not wrap any gifts traveling with you, as they may be inspected at security check points. Either leave gifts unwrapped and accessible, or ship them to your destination ahead of you.
- Do as much in advance, online, as possible. Print your boarding passes at home and sign up for text alerts or download your airline’s app, if they have one, so you can easily monitor your flight status and plan for any delays.
- Gas up the night before you travel; no one leaves enough time for buying gas on the way to the airport.
- Be nice to your TSA agent, gate agent, and flight attendants. Belligerent behavior, inappropriate jokes and threats will not be tolerated, and will result in delays and possibly missed flights. Not to mention, they put up with a lot of volume and cranky travelers this time of year, so a little bit of courtesy will be appreciated.
We hope these tips will help you navigate the harried holiday travel season with comfort and ease. Want more tips and a handy pre-travel checklist? Download our full holiday travel tips and checklist before you leave!
Safe travels, and happy holidays!