If you are planning on airline travel during the winter holidays, getting organized now can help turn a hectic and stressful trip into a smooth experience.
10 Tips for Peaceful Holiday Travel
- Pack gifts and wrapping paper separately, wrap once you arrive. TSA is allowed to open any wrapped items – including in checked luggage. Plus gifts won’t end up with ripped paper or crushed bows. It might even be easier to just purchase gift bags and tissue paper once you’re at your destination.
- Use sweaters/sweatshirts to surround fragile items and place them in the very center of your luggage to prevent damage.
- Pack shoes and heavy items at the wheels or bottom of bag so they don’t crush other things once the bag is upright.
- If traveling with others, split your items between bags – each piece of luggage has some clothing from each person. If one bag gets lost or delayed in travel, you won’t be completely out of luck.
- Get signed up for TSA-PreCheck. Once your application is approved, you speed through security in the TSA-PreCheck line and don’t need to remove shoes, jackets, laptops or liquids from your carry on. This is especially great when traveling with children (they can sign up too). Sign up here.
- Consider your layover city, not just your destination. Flying from Seattle to Miami might warrant packing for warm weather, but if a connecting flight thru Minneapolis gets delayed/cancelled because of a blizzard, you may be literately “out in the cold.”
- If you have multiple family members with electronics, bring a power strip. You only need one outlet (in the airport or your final accommodations) to charge everyone’s devices. (Don’t forget to pack all of your chargers!)
- Choose carry-ons that leave your hands free – such as backpacks or satchels. Especially with children, it will be safer (hands free), easier to move around (escalators, trams, subways), easier to store bags on a plane (if overhead bins are full), and gives children ownership so you don’t end up pulling their bag.
- Plan for delay. Planes waiting on the tarmac can be the ultimate frustration. Bring protein and carb snacks, non-caffeine drinks (purchase after going through security), an extra shirt or layer of clothing (spills happen), pain relief meds, tissues, hand sanitizer, and activities to pass the time. A deck of cards or even just a stack of Post-It notes and a pen can last a long time, even with young children. Check here for more good ideas for traveling with kids.
- Be festive and flexible. Travel hiccups or delays aren’t quite so bad if you’re in the holiday spirit. Load your device with great songs, wear an article of clothing you really love, treat yourself to a favorite snack, or tie a festive ribbon to your luggage (which also helps you find it in a sea of black “wheelies” at luggage claim). And remember that smiles are contagious!
If Simply Placed can help you be more organized and productive this holiday season, or any time of the year, please let us know!