TheTomKid’s air travel tips for the holidays

The holiday season is a time to spend with your family and enjoy some time off. But these positive things can get lost in the stress of traveling to your holiday destination.

I’m here to provide five holiday air travel tips so you can be less stressed and not kill your family in the process.

1) Plan ahead. The worst thing you can do is not thoroughly plan for your holiday travels. If you’re flying, make sure you know what time your flights are slated to take off so you have ample time to get to the airport and get to your connecting gate. Also, make sure if you need transportation from the airport, whether it be a rental car or family picking you up, you have this arranged before you get to the airport. This is one of the busiest seasons for travel and so many things could go not according to plan. Be ready.

Checklist by Megan Tomkins

2) Bring Dramamine. Ok, some of you may not have a queasy stomach, but with the weather beginning to get worse, turbulence is very likely. I made the mistake of not bringing Dramamine one flight in the winter and was miserable the entire flight. Also, unless you want to be knocked out for the whole flight (which some people may actually like) I would suggest taking the less-drowsy version.

3) Pack efficiently. Most airlines charge for each piece of baggage now, but they also add an extra charge if over a certain weight. So in order to make sure you’re not over packing, which I am infamous for in my family, stick to a certain color palette (blacks or browns) when planning your wardrobe. That way, everything matches and you don’t kick yourself for bringing too much or not packing black shoes when you should have packed your brown ones. Also, when packing your carry-on, remember there is limited space beneath the seat in front of you and in the overhead compartment. Don’t bring more than you need and don’t bring what you’re not allowed. Visit the TSA website to know what is and isn’t acceptable to bring.

Luggage by Megan Tomkins

4) Dress for security. Lines are ridiculous when going through security at airports and they have a tendency to back up when people have to take off their shoes and belts and chunky jewelry and coats. If you don’t need to wear a particular accessory while traveling, don’t. Keep it simple. I like to dress nice while traveling, but I stick to basics: dark jeans, slip on shoes, nice sweater.

Clothing by Megan Tomkins

5) Don’t sweat the small stuff. While traveling there is bound to be delays, crying babies, too chatty flight companions and cranky family members. Remember what is important, you’re going to spend time with your family! Don’t allow the inevitable create a situation you may regret in the long-run. I’ve gotten into unfortunate tiffs with family members while on vacation because of travel situations out of my hands. You’ll always be happier if you let the nonsense roll off your back and allow the craziness of holiday travels draw you closer with your family. Don’t forget the reason for the season!

Do you have any additional holiday travel tips?


6 responses to “TheTomKid’s air travel tips for the holidays

  1. Such helpful tips for the upcoming holiday travels TomKid! I think the most helpful tip for me was the suggestion to wear minimal accessories and anything else that will create more hassle when going through airport security. I was wondering what you would suggest to do when it comes to traveling and presents though. If someone is flying somewhere for Christmas, what is the best way for them to transport any presents they are bringing along? Do airlines have a special accommodation for this or does the traveler just have to pay more to check baggage?

    • In the past, when having to take gifts to family gatherings, my family either purchased small gifts to pack in our luggage or shipped them ahead of time to avoid the increasing costs of excess luggage weight. I would suggest looking at different airlines’ websites to see what their policies are to make sure you’re prepared when taking presents with you. Also, don’t pack breakable presents, airlines generally will not reimburse you for broken items in my experience.

    I really appreciated this advice. I felt it was well communicated and the inclusion of your last tip was crucial in creating a friendly, heartfelt tone. Again, I felt that this article was very well written and had a comfortable tone, but in reading tip #4 I found it troubling that there was no advice on how to deal with jewelry. In concluding, it was easy to read and understand this article and I felt that including the “TSA website” link was a great way to interact with the reader and build community relation by way of participation.

    • Nico,

      I would consider jewelry to be in the accessories category. Generally, I don’t wear much jewelry other than my earrings to avoid making the metal detector go off. Last year while traveling I had shorter hair and was using about 6 bobby pins in my hair to keep it back. They stopped me to make sure I wasn’t carrying a weapon in my hair! My biggest suggestion is to keep as much metal off of your body and in your luggage or carry-ons to make moving through airport security a quick process.

  3. Hey Megan, i liked this post as well. I especially it is good advice to ‘dress for security’. I have actually done a few tests at the airport where I would dress nicer/less nice and really noticed a difference. As a 20-something I was treated with noticeably more respect when I wore a button up shirt and jeans opposed to shorts and sandals. Its obnoxious to get profiled based on what you wear.. but at least if you are aware of it you can do some things to make your time going through security a bit easier.

    • Nate,

      I have to thank my parents for teaching me to dress well wherever I go. It absolutely helps you get through airport security with ease and you never know who you may meet while traveling. I love dressing for success whenever I can. 🙂


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