Holiday time means travel. For a lot of people, particularly families, the holidays may be the only time of year they travel, so let's just say they aren't exactly experts at getting from point A to B. (With half the things they have to pack, who can blame them?) I have put together some travel hacks that will hopefully ensure a smooth, end of the year holiday travel experience.
Get Through Security Lines Quickly.
There is no greater buzzkill than waiting in line and in airports it's inevitable! Since I got Global Entry two years ago my life has changed! Signing up for Global Entry automatically gave me TSA Pre Check rights and I rarely see a line anymore! If you don't travel internationally, simply applying for TSA Pre Check status will do the trick.
When you are trying to get through security with kids and all of their essentials, the last thing you want to do is (a) wait in a long line and (b) strip down to your underwear to walk through the detector!
Of course, this is something you will have to remember to do BEFORE the next holiday season (sorry!).
Another solution is a CLEAR card. In airports that carry the CLEAR lane (there are currently 13 and growing) you can skip the security line and go straight to screening. If you have a bad taste in your mouth from when the original company went under (I know I did!) the new CLEAR has impressed me. There is also a family pack (for a spouse, etc.) and you can also buy CLEAR for others which makes a great holiday gift.
Travel on the Actual Holiday.
If your ultimate destination isn't too far from the airport you are flying into, then flying on the actual holiday (Christmas, New Year's, etc) is the way to go. The airport is practically empty – and the plane too!
Sanitize, sanitize, sanitize.
The holidays take place during flu and cold season, so confined spaces like airplanes and trains are little incubators for germs. If you have time, get a flu shot. After that, bring sanitizing wipes to wipe down the seat and tray. One of my favorites is the Lavender Hand Sanitizer Wipes from EO Products.
Do Not Forget the Snacks.
There is NO way I travel anywhere without snacks. The vast majority of the time I have either nut mixes from Sahale Snacks; edamame, hard cheeses, low carb protein bars or peanut butter something. Don't forget to plan for the trip back! You may not have access to good, healthy snacks where you are headed, so pack some for the return flight. Don't get me wrong there are some (few) airlines with decent snacks, but who hasn't been on a flight where there was turbulence or something where the flight attendants couldn't serve food/drinks, it has happened to me and the last thing you want is hangry children (or a husband).
Do Not Wrap Your Presents.
Whether you are checking your bag or carrying them on, do not wrap your gifts! TSA will open your suitcase and will unwrap your presents to investigate the contents and they aren't going to re-wrap them for you (or open them gently). In addition, wrapped presents can't go through security (even though they can see the contents with the X-ray machine, which is a total bummer!) so bring the wrapping paper and tape (no scissors in your carry -on) and wrap them when you get to your destination.
Send Your Presents Ahead of Time.
This requires some advanced planning, but not having to make space for the presents in your suitcase makes things a whole lot easier. Same goes for sending presents back home.
Don't forget the dryer sheets.
I've written about this before. Slip a scented dryer sheet into each one of your bags. During your trip as you unzip each bag you get a nice clean scent, nothing smells stale. Then as your dirty clothes bag fills up, insert the dryer sheets so that the dirty clothes don’t smell up your suitcase – it’s great!
How about you? Do you have any travel hacks to add?
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