Every year in late November and December millions of travelers take to the skies. The holiday season brings with it an annual spike in airline travelers headed home to visit family. And with the rise in airborne travelers comes hazards, such as long lines, delays, overcrowded planes, lost luggage, and the possibility for plenty of frustration. The good news is there are things you can do to help make your holiday travel as enjoyable and stress free as possible.
First and foremost, it all starts with the luggage. If at all possible, carrying your luggage with you onto the plane will save you a great deal of time and money. Any seasoned travelpro will tell you that your best bet for beating the crowds and reducing the time spent at check in counters or the opportunity for lost luggage is to carry on. Start by laying out your clothing and toiletries before you pack and giving careful consideration to each and every piece. Do you really need to bring the ear and nose hair trimmer for a 3 day trip? Is there going to be a place you can do laundry while on your vacation. Minimize the excess items in your suitcase and you just might find you don’t even need that second bag at all.
Also remember choosing the right carry on bag makes a world of difference. There is nothing more embarrassing that digging through your unmentionables trying to locate a pair of headphones crammed in the bottom of a one compartment bag. A good carry on bag has many compartments of which at least two are easily accessible while you are on the plane. You can store clothing and toiletries in the main compartment and stick things like your iPod, magazines, and a snack in the external compartments for easy retrieval.
If you’re looking for a good carry on with plenty of space, there are some great Kipling bags available online for a good price.
It’s also good practice to ship gifts and large bulky items to your destination ahead of time. Most airlines are charging for checked luggage now which means packing along all those Christmas presents could cost you upwards of an additional $ 50 or more on a round trip ticket. It’s crazy to pay those kinds of prices to check bags when you can ship them via a currier service ahead of time for less than a $ 20 spot.
If you find yourself needing to bring along more than one bag, make sure you get a complete and matching luggage set. Luggage sets are easier to identify than a hodgepodge collection of bags, and in the instance one or more of your bags don’t arrive at your final destination it makes the whole process of reporting your missing luggage much easier. “Ah yes sir, I had 3 navy blue American Tourister bags that didn’t get off the plane with me in Nashville” is much easier to repeat than, “Umm there was a black one with wheels, and a grey duffle bag, ooh and a blue backpack with a troll doll thingy hanging from the zipper.”
Not only are matching luggage sets easier for airlines to identify they are easier for you to pick out at luggage claim as well. To make grabbing the right luggage off the carousel even easier, choose luggage sets in uncommon or bold colors and patterns. Just about everyone has a black rolling suitcase and chances are every single one that slides down the luggage claim ramp will be manhandled by at least three different travelers eager to get their bags and get out of the airport. If you bring along a set in bright red you won’t have to play the luggage guessing game with everyone else at baggage claim.
Yes, choosing the right luggage helps eliminate some of the hassle associated with holiday travel. However, if you are traveling home this holiday season the most important thing you can pack with you is the right attitude. Keep calm and don’t get caught up or overwhelmed with the amount of people and chaos at the airport. Print your tickets and boarding passes ahead of time, and when you arrive at the airport take a deep breath, relax and you’ll get on the plane and home for the holidays in no time.
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