Stress-Free Packing Tips for the Holidays
Travel Expert Anne McAlpin has been a featured guest on Oprah®, The View, and CNN, sharing up-to-the-minute travel tips. She has flown more than 2 million miles, traveled in over 71 countries, and cruised through the Panama Canal 98 times. When her nieces and nephews turn 16, she gives them a passport and takes them on a trip anywhere they’d like to go. She is currently planning next summer’s adventure for her niece, Mary Beth: Africa.
Traveling at any time can be a challenge, but add the holidays into the scenario and it can be quite stressful. Here are some tips to make your holiday travel more enjoyable and some gift ideas for the traveling niece or nephew on your list:
Air Travel Tips:
Be sure you’re up to date with security regulations by visiting http://www.tsa.gov for a list of what you can (and cannot) pack in your carry-on bag.
All liquids in your carry-on bag must fit into a quart size bag, no larger than 3.4 oz. each.
Pack what you need for the first 24 hours in your carry-on bag (in case your checked bag doesn’t show up immediately).
Always keep your medications (and anything valuable) in your carry-on bag.
Pack some travel friendly food—instant oatmeal is one of my favorites. Just ask the flight attendant for a cup of hot water, and viola! You have a healthy snack. If your niece or nephew is traveling with you, think about packing kid-friendly snacks for the flight.
Traveling with Gifts:
Don’t wrap your gifts until you arrive at your destination. Security might need to inspect them.
To save money on baggage fees, ship your gifts in advance (e.g., UPS). Travel lighter with only your necessities.
Purchase gifts online, and have them shipped directly to your destination. Or pack gift cards—they’re small and save space!
Some of my Favorite Gift Ideas:
For the niece or nephew on your list, brightly colored travel essentials that also do double-duty as space savers in a bedroom or dorm room when not traveling are always a hit. Here are some of my favorites:
Hanging Toiletry Kit:
Designed with a TSA compliant see-through zip-off bag, it will make your trip through security a breeze. Fits easily in the front pocket of your carry-on bag and includes a hook for hanging when bathroom counter space is at a premium, whether in a dorm, bedroom, or hotel room.
Rolling Duffle Bag:
Perfect for any length of trip, a rolling duffle is the perfect gift! From a weekend getaway to a European adventure, duffels are available in bright fun colors and varying sizes. An added bonus: they pack flat for tight storage spaces (i.e., under beds or small closets).
Perfect for saving space in any bag, just put your sweaters or bulky items inside, zip the top across, and roll the air out the one-way air valves. These are also great for gym bags and laundry, as they seal in odors.
Published: December 11, 2012