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Holiday and Winter Travel Tips


So you are heading off to your families house for Christmas, but there is one problem... they live in Timbuktu. Here are a few packing tips and space savers to make that long journey to Timbuktu, a little easier :)

  • Christmas Gifts: Depending on what the gift is, you may save quit a bit of money by shipping your presents by UPS versus taking them along for the plane ride. You could also order gifts online and have them shipped directly to your destination. Just remember to let your family or friends know that a package is coming and NO peeking is allowed.
  • Wrapped Packages: Since airport security officials need to inspect all items, your hard work of wrapping each gift in the prettiest bows and paper might be destroyed if you attempt to take them with you. An alternative is to opt to wrap the gifts after you arrive at your destination, or wrap them beforehand and ship them instead.
  • Bulky Clothes: If you're traveling to colder climates, you're going to need to pack warmer and heavier, clothes. The best way to avoid taking too many dense sweaters is to layer up. Pack several thin long sleeve T-shirts, along with a few sweaters or cardigans (depending on the amount of time you are staying) that you can switch and swap for alternate styles. Rolling your clothes can also be a space saver, and will help to keep some items from wrinkling.
  • Boots: These hard-to-pack items may be better suited on your feet during the flight than in your suitcase. However, taking off your shoes to walk through security may become a problem if your footwear is a hassle to remove. Consider wearing boots with zippers because they tend to be easier to maneuver and may be the best bet while traveling. If you absolutely must pack your winter boots, use the interior as another spot to store socks, small gifts, or toiletries.
  • Moisturizers: There's no denying that winter can wreak havoc on your healthy skin, and a little bit of extra moisturizer can go a long way, especially when traveling. Keep in mind, however, that the 3-1-1 ruleis still in effect for carry-on bags, and you'll need to bring a travel-sized version in a quart-size zip-top bag (If you are flying that is).
  • Food: Even though you'll have to leave the cranberry sauce, homemade gravy, and jams or jellies at home—that is, unless they fit in three-ounce containers—the TSA does allow you to bring certain foods like pies and cakes onboard with you. However, these items are subject to additional screening, and may therefore slow you down at security. Not fun...
  • Coats: Though they come in all shapes and sizes, most coats present a problem when it's time to pack since they typically take up too much room in a suitcase. But don't fret. The awkward haul through the airport may be worth it because coats come in handy during a flight. In particular, you can use a cozy coat as a comfortable pillow or a blanket for extra warmth.
  • Hats, Gloves, and Scarves: These items can make even the coldest day a bit toastier, but they can be a hassle to carry with you since they are so easy to misplace. Designate a specific coat pocket for hats and gloves and tie your scarf to your carry-on bag. If you're packing them for after you arrive, try placing them inside shoes or that extra space in boots.
  • Skis and Winter Sporting Goods: Now that most airlines charge for the first and second checked bags, there's something to be said for renting your gear after you arrive. Oftentimes, the cost of rentals will be cheaper than the airline fees to bring your items along. Plus, it's a great reason to try something different or test out newer styles. Try to check out rental prices online before you leave.
  • Returning home: Ship items you can live without to help free up room in your suitcase for new clothes or other gifts you may have received. Or, if you hate to part with any of your belongings, consider bringing a small foldable suitcase that you can fill with your holiday haul. If you're traveling somewhere warm but departing from frigid weather, consider leaving a coat in your car as a warm welcome when you return home.

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