If you will be flying during the holiday season, here are a few tips to keep in mind that will hopefully save you some time and headaches.
- Check Flight Status: Before leaving your house, check your flight status. The recent snow storms that hit the east coast have caused thousands of flight delays and cancellations.
- Ship Gifts: Despite the fact it is the holiday season, TSA carry-on rules still apply. That $50 bottle of wine you bought for your dad will be confiscated unless you packed it in your suitcase and checked your bag (then you have to worry about theft or breakage). Hopefully, you shipped packages in advance so you do not have to worry. If you plan to carry on baked goods or wrapped gifts, keep in mind they are subject to search.
- Prepare Liquids for TSA. Don’t forget to put all your carry-on liquids (three-ounces and less) in a single quart-size, clear bag.
- Use Antibacterial Gels. Use antibacterial gels and/or wipes since airports and airplanes are filled with germs. Wash your hands often, too!
- Print Boarding Passes At Home: Check into your flight online. If your airport has curbside bag check-in, take advantage of it!
- Be Prepared With Babies: If you are traveling with a lap baby under the age of 2 (I will be), you will need to stand in the long check-in line. Make sure to have a copy of baby’s birth certificate to prove his or her age (this is another TSA requirement). The airline can deny your child if you do not have the proper identification and/or documents.
- Plan for Parking: If you can reserve parking in advance at off-site locations, my advice is to do so. Otherwise, you could be driving around a full lot searching for a spot. If family or friends can drop you off and pick you up, take advantage of that, too. Also, check taxi prices because in some cases, it is a more economical option.
- Arrive Early: This will lessen your chance of being bumped because many airlines oversell their flights.
- Know Fees: Many airlines charge for checked bags, so be familiar with their rules. Also, there are weight limits. Instead of over-stuffing your bag and paying outrageous fees, visit your airlines website and know what to expect.
- Have Patience! Remember, this is one of the busiest travel times so expect long lines at the ticket counter and security. Don’t forget to have patience and smile.
I hope these tips help you prepare. Safe travels and Merry Christmas!