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12 Tips for Winter Holiday Air Travel

Tomorrow is expected to be the busiest day for air travel of the winter holiday period. We’re sure you’ve already packed strategically, checked in online and loaded your boarding pass to your mobile device. But just in case your evenings have instead been filled with holiday parties and you’re hoping to toss a few sweaters in the suitcase along with your favorite pair of jeans (crossing fingers that everything matches), here are 12 travel tips that have nothing to do with maids-a-milking or pear trees!

  1. Pack clothes in the same “family” of colors so that you can mix and match. Use a few fun accessories like a scarf or hat to liven up neutral tones and basics.GettyImages_475150353
  2. Wear bulky items like boots, coats and scarves. It’s always a good idea to layer while you travel to ensure maximum comfort regardless of the temperature in an airport or onboard your flight. During the colder months, we tend to have some bulkier items though and wearing them as part of your system of layers can help free up space in your luggage.
  3. Don’t forget sunscreen and your sunglasses. Sunburns can happen to the best of us, even in the winter and especially if you’re somewhere with snow, which reflects the sun.
  4. Pack medicine, valuables in your carry-on luggage. If you’ve decided to photograph all those fabulous holiday memories with something other than your mobile device, pack your camera in your personal bag as well.
  5. Keep charging cords within easy reach. Airlines are investing money in the travel experience and have added charging stations at airport gate areas and outlets on some planes, so it’s a good idea to keep your cords with you.Girl Using Tablet On An Airplane
  6. Remember the liquids rule, especially for food or gifts. If you’re traveling with more than 3.4 ounces of cranberry sauce for Christmas dinner, snow globes for your niece, perfume for mom or wine for, well, everyone … be sure to check your suitcase or ship in advance. You can bring pies and cakes through security, unless you need an excuse for leaving behind the fruitcake. If you’re unsure about an item, check out these helpful hints for holiday travelers from the Transportation Security Administration.
  7. Do not wrap gifts in advance of your trip. Although wrapped gifts are not prohibited, a security agent may need to unwrap items that need a closer inspection. If you must wrap before you fly, consider shipping your gifts ahead of time or packing them in your checked luggage.gift wrapping
  8. Check in online and print your boarding pass at home or load it to your mobile device. With 2 million – 2.5 million people traveling per day over the winter holiday travel period, airports may be a little busier than usual. Be prepared, so that when you arrive you can go straight through security and still have time to grab that peppermint latte before boarding your flight.
  9. Give yourself extra time to get to the airport. There will be more people traveling on average per day during the winter holiday season, on the roads and in the air. Extra travel time to the airport will give you a cushion in case you encounter any Scrooges along the way.
  10. Sign up for travel alerts through your carrier. Stay updated with information about your flight through alerts from your airline. Sign up to receive notifications about flight status, departure gate and more.
  11. Download your carrier’s latest mobile application. Often the mobile app offers notifications, along with terminal maps, baggage tracking, information about in-flight amenities, your loyalty rewards balance and more. Some airlines even offer incentives for downloading their app, like complimentary streaming music, movies and TV shows. Watch one of the recent Oscar nominees, or at least an episode of Modern Family, so you have some pop-culture references up your sleeve in case conversation at any holiday event starts to turn to politics or religion.  phone with holiday card
  12. Consider giving back to your flight crew. Although you are super excited to see friends and family, your flight crew is likely spending part of the holiday season away from theirs. At the very least, give them a smile and thank them for helping you get to your destination safely and on time, and consider dropping them a $5 Starbucks, iTunes or Kindle gift card. GettyImages_170409927

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