If you are traveling over the Holiday Season you are among 100 Million Americans alone! Between the increased crowds, increment weather and general chaos of having to stuff your life in a suitcase and stay with the in-laws it can get stressful. This year try these 9 tricks for stress-free holiday travel to save you time (and anxiety) at the airport.
Prepare for TSA
Christmas is one of the worst holidays to travel over when it comes to crowds. So allow extra time at the airport. I have missed a flight while standing in a long TSA line. There is nothing the agents will do for you, and it seems that security checks are only becoming increasingly strict.
Keep your laptop on top and easy to access.
You still must take it out and place it in its own bin unless you are pre-check. Avoid holding up the line while you dig through your unmentionables and put it right on top.
Wear easy to slip on and off shoes!
Sure those thigh high lace up boots is perfect for a cozy Christmas eve with the family… But taking them on and off while trying to gather all your other things on the conveyor belt is sheer torture. Do yourself, and those in line behind you, a favor and go with comfy low maintenance footwear.
Keep Accessories to a Minimum.
Now, if you don’t go through the metal detector and use the new machines they let you keep it on. But everything will show up on the scanner and the agent must double check the trouble areas. If you are wearing a long necklace this means extra time for frisking. Try to avoid accessorizing your onboard look. If you must, you can put the chain on your back, at least then you won’t have to have your front frisked in public.
Pack essentials in your carry on!
This is extremely important especially if you are flying through a city with frequent delays in winter ahem I see you Chicago. Pack a toothbrush, extra undies and maybe a spare t-shirt. That way if you get delayed overnight you can keep your sanity.
Some cabins only take cash, others card and sometimes they sell out completely. Not to mention everything sold at the airport costs a lot more than when you aren’t flying. It’s best to throw some extra grub in your carry on to prevent any hangry meltdowns. If you end up running to catch your next flight with no time to eat, you’ll thank yourself for the Pb and j sandwich.
Every airline has a different requirement for carry-on size, shape, and weight. Best to air on the side of caution lest you’ll be one of the unfortunate people seen trying to punch their bulging bags into the teeniest of overhead bins.
Bring the right carry on.
This goes with over packing. Many ticket attendants will make you consolidate before letting you get in line to get on the plane. Most airlines allow you one carry on (for the overhead) and one personal item (for under your seat). Some only allow a personal item. Make sure you check it out ahead of time.
Keep Gifts Unwrapped
If you are traveling with presents, leave them unwrapped so you don’t have to worry about TSA taking a peak! Better yet gift an experience instead of a thing they are easier to pack.
If you are staying somewhere other than home this holiday bring yourself some comforts. Favorite coffee, wine, snack etc can come along as a hostess gift! Then you can sneakily avoid drinking Folgers and look thoughtful at the same time.