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Holiday travel tips

November 28, 2011

Despite how wonderful travel is, traveling can be stressful. Even more so when you travel at the holidays. The holidays have more travelers, which can mean longer lines. Bad weather can cause delays. And money and family stressors can tip the scale. Fortunately there are things you can do to help ease some of the stresses related to holiday travel.

Five tips to ease the stress of holiday flying

    jar or mint jelly

    phot by: Jeremy Keith (CC A2.0)

  1. Remember the 3-ounce rule.

    This means that you can’t bring liquid or gel gifts in your carry-on, either, if they contain more than 3-ounces or won’t fit in the quart-sized plastic bag with the rest of your liquids.

    This can include wines, jams, salsas, dips, syrups, and more. If you’re bringing these on your holiday travels, be sure to pack them in your checked luggage, or ship them to your destination.


  2. wrapped gift with ribbon and bow

    image by: BlairSnow (CC A-SA 3.0)

  3. Don’t wrap gifts before you leave.

    Any gifts you bring may have to be inspected by a TSA agent, so it’s a good idea to leave them unwrapped. If they’re wrapped and the agent needs to look at one of them more closely, she’ll have to unwrap it.

    You can bring wrapping paper, scissors with blades less than 4-inches long, ribbon and bows, and tape, and wrap your gifts on the plane.

  4. two men use push brooms to clear heavy snow off of a small plane

    photo by: Paul Farley, U.S. Navy


  5. Check with the airline.

    Find out if there are any major delays before you leave for the airport. If weather has cancelled your flight, you’ll probably be more comfortable waiting at home than at the airport.




  6. Passengers wait in lines at a crowded airport

    photo by: Yoshimasa Niwa (CC A2.0)

  7. Get to the airport extra early.

    There’s a good chance that there will be longer lines than usual. Be prepared for this. If you get to the airport extra early you won’t feel as rushed or as stressed. By leaving early, you also help mitigate any stress caused by traffic on the road to the airport.




  8. A TSA agent screens carry-on luggage at an airport

    photo by: TSA

  9. Prepare in advance for the security lines.

    Comply with the TSA 3-1-1 rules for liquid, and have that baggy at the top of your carry-on so you can easily pull it out. Keep you pockets relatively empty so they’re easier and faster to empty at the security checkpoint. Use a checkpoint approved laptop bag. And wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off.


  10. Bonus tip!

  11. Remember that everyone else is likely to be stressed, too. Stay polite. Say please. Say thank you. And let people know you appreciate the job they’re doing and the help they’re providing. It’s amazing how a smile and kind word can help things go so much more smoothly.

If you follow these tips, your holiday travel can be, if not stress-free, low-stress. Happy traveling!

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