Airport Tips for Smooth Holiday Travel

The holidays may be cheerful, but they can often be chaotic as well, especially when you’re traveling during this time of year. Maintain the seasonal joy by keeping in mind these tips for airport holiday travel:

Brush up on TSA rules beforehand

No matter how many times you’ve flown, it seems like you can never get the hang of all the rules.You can avoid trying to unintentionally smuggle banned carry-on items through security by checking the list on the TSA’s website. While you’re on the site, if you don’t have TSA Pre-Check, apply for it now so travel is easier next holiday season. Also, be aware that the TSA has issued new rules when it comes to electronic devices in carry-on bags.

Flying with young kids

Traveling with children is stressful at the best of times and can be downright chaotic during the holidays. Be sure to let your kids know your family will be traveling for the holidays so they can adjust and even grow excited about the adventure. On the day of your travel, be sure to dress your kids in layers for travel, as airplanes are often cold but rushing around the airport can get sweaty. Take advantage of the family screening line and remember that kids under 12 don’t have to take off their shoes in airport security. Don’t forget to bring your kid’s favorite snack with you in your carry-on.

Bringing electronics

Electric outlets are always in high demand in airport terminals, but they’ll be nearly impossible to access during the holidays. Make sure all of your electronic devices are fully charged before you arrive at the airport. For long layovers and flight delays, bring a portable battery pack to charge your devices on the go. See the rules for portable power banks on airplanes here.

Don’t wait to pack

Many of us put off packing for our trips until the night before or morning of your flight. While you can get away with last minute packing during less popular travel times, it’s a recipe for frustration during the holidays. Not only will you have to stay up late or get up early to pack and arrive at the airport sleep deprived, your carry-on will likely be unorganized and overstuffed. Airlines are often sticklers for carry-on bag size guidelines during the holidays when overhead bin space is a hot commodity. Here is a handy guide to carry-on sizing for most major airlines.

Holiday luggage

If bringing gifts for extended family members or friends during your holiday travel, you’ll be better off shipping them as opposed to packing them. Flying with gifts means checked bags, wasted suitcase space and potential damage. If you must pack gifts, be sure not to wrap them as airport security may have to open boxes and bags. For those who choose to mail their holiday presents to their destination, be sure to keep in mind the shipping deadlines so your items arrive on time. Don’t forget to bring an empty bag for gifts you receive while you’re traveling.

What travel tips do you have for the holidays? Share them with us on our Facebook page!


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