Unwrapping Christmas Travel
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Unwrapping Christmas Travel

Having been a travel agent for many years, I constantly heard the horror stories about clients traveling by Air with pre-wrapped Christmas presents. Here are some suggestions to make your Christmas thoughtfulness a little easier.

It’s great that you’ve planned in advance, purchased those Christmas gifts in July, wrapped them in September – you are definitely ahead of the game. But if you’re now going to travel by any commercial Airline with those presents, you need to do some back tracking.

If you can fit them easily and safely into your checked luggage, you might be in luck. But if airport security flags your bags to be screened, they won’t be impressed. If you plan on taking them as carry-on luggage, you can’t. They will have to be un-wrapped in order to go through security.

Remember that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) still has restrictions in effect for carry-on items. Possible Christmas gifts could include snow globes, jams, syrups, sauces, lotions, creams and perfumes – these are only allowed if 3 ounces or less and they must all fit inside a one-quart, clear plastic, zip-top bag. Just try and guess what a snow globe holds. Only one zip-top bag is allowed per passenger. Of course, items such as knives, other weapons, tools and sporting goods are still banned as carry-on items. For the most up-to-date information, check out the TSA website at www.tsa.gov

If you do decide to take the presents, wrap them once you arrive. For alternatives to taking Christmas presents with you, consider shipping them to their destination. Or think about getting your airline tickets early and arriving a few days early so you can do your Christmas shopping upon arrival. Another great idea is to simply purchase gift cards – easily portable, they can be matched up to your family’s favorite stores – and this way they’ll be sure to get something they want.

Other alternatives to traditional Christmas presents could be the gift of travel itself. Many travel agencies offer gift certificates that can be redeemed towards a variety of travel options – flights, hotel stays, car rentals, cruises and more. Think beyond Christmas with this gift – it could to help celebrate that special anniversary or birthday next year – now that’s really planning ahead. Kudos.

Even though Christmas presents can play an overwhelming part of our holiday festivities Airlines.ws, suggest concentrating more on the true Christmas spirit – it’s a wonderful opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends that we love.

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