Yes, folks, you heard it here first.Â The Transportation Security Administration has added snow globes to the list of items that you cannot take into the cabin of an airplane.
The reason actually does make sense.Â They have no way of knowing what liquid is in them, and the liquid level varies from one globe to another.Â Therefore they are asking everyone to check their snowglobes this holiday season.
That was probably the most unusual travel tip I came upon while doing research for this blog entry.Â Most of the suggestions mirrored the ones I had though of.Â Nevertheless, they bear repeating.
1)Â Get there early!Â This is hands-down the biggest, most important tip of all.Â Give yourself far more time than you think you need – time to get to the airport, time to park, time to check your bag, and most of all, time to get through security.Â Pretty much all problems can be solved if you have enough time to do so.Â Don’t make your trip into a panic party – get there early.Â Take a book along, and be happy to just kick back, relax, and be calm before your flight.
2) Take advantage of on-line check-in.Â Most carriers now offer on-line check in for international flights.Â Absolutely do it!Â There are several advantages.Â 1)Â You get to skip a line at the airportÂ 2) You are harder to bump if you are already checked in and have a boarding passÂ 3) It’s easier and nicer to print out your boarding passes at home, then calmly put them in a safe but accessible place (I use an outside pocket of my carryon), than at the airport in a huge mob scene. 4) You can often pay your baggage fees while you check in electronically.Â You can actually do something about your baggage if you are still at home, like consider not taking a second bag when you see how much it’s going to cost you.
3) Dress for airport success.Â Wear slip-on shoes and layers of clothing.Â You need to be able to easily take off your sweater or coat for security, but you may need a warm layer for the plane (I often freeze on flights).Â Instead of a bulky coat on the plane, consider 2 layers of fleece or 2Â light sweaters.Â They take up less room on the plane than a coat if you aren’t wearing them, and gives you more options for adjusting your comfort level.Â Oh, and take off that jewelry before you get up to the metal detector!Â None of us in line behind you want to wait while you fumble around with your earrings.
4)Â Pack intelligently.Â The wine and homemade jam has to be checked.Â Your carryon should contain any medications or other critical items that you will need at your destination.Â Pack your carryon electronics and liquids (remember the 3-1-1 rule!) on top, as you will need to get them out for security.Â Don’t bury them underneath your clothes – the rest of us don’t want to watch you unpack while we wait.Â Gifts should be unwrapped, so that they can be examined.
5) Pick the correct security line.Â If you are traveling with children, or have medical liquids/aerosols/gels, use the family line.
6)Â Consider buying snacks for the flight.Â Many airlines no longer provide food.Â While they may have meals available for purchase, there is no guarantee that a) the meals will be edible, or b) that they will still have any meals left by the time they get to you.Â If your flight is a “meals available for purchase” one, check out the options at the airport.Â Â Many places out near the gates now sell boxed meals for just this purpose.
7) Be nice!!!Â The beleaguered gate agent did not make your plane late.Â Remember, the airline employees are in a position to help you.Â Why on earth would you want to be rude to them?
And finally, please remember the big picture.Â Yes, maybe your flight is delayed.Â Heck, maybe you end up stuck somewhere (a friend of mine once ended up spending Christmas at O’Hare).Â You will get there in the end, and have a great story to tell.Â You may meet someone new along the way, or have a chance to help someone out.Â And ultimately, every one of us who can afford to fly somewhere this holiday season is incredibly fortunate.Â We are fortunate to be able to afford it, fortunate that we live in a time where it is possible to easily reach people and places all over the world, fortunate that we live in places where travel is permitted.Â So take a deep breath, smile, and enjoy the trip!