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Holiday Travel Checklist (Part 1): What to Do Before Getting to the Airport

Holiday Travel Checklist (Part 1): What to Do Before Getting to the Airport


That long-anticipated vacation over the holidays is almost here. While you’re getting ready for the big trip, keep these tips in mind.

Take care of the house.

Make arrangements to stop mail and newspaper delivery so that they don’t pile up in the mailbox or outside the front door. Contact your bank and credit card companies to let them know where you’ll be traveling so they don’t put a stop on your account if they see your card being used in an unfamiliar location.

Do a home inspection to make sure that all windows, doors, and gates are securely locked and appliances are unplugged.  Make sure anything you have out in the yard is secured or put away. Check the settings on heating systems to ensure that pipes don’t freeze if there’s a cold snap. Remember to put a lamp on a timer so that there’s a light on in the house at night.

Don’t forget to check-in for your flights 24 ahead of your scheduled departure. At this time, you can find out if better seats are available. Be sure to either print out your boarding passes or use the airline app to pull them up on your smartphone.

Finally, make sure that a neighbor or family member has your contact information in the event of an emergency.

Packing for the trip.

Packing light and layering should be the order of the day. Look at the weather forecast for your destination—daytime and nighttime. Lay everything out on the bed, think about how long you’ll be gone and what you really need, and put back one or two items. You can take that bulky jacket on the plane so it doesn’t take up space in your luggage. Wear shoes that you can remove easily at the security checkpoint. If you’ll be doing shopping or sightseeing, have a plan for bringing back souvenirs, whether it’s an extra bag or room in your luggage.

If you have gifts, think about sending them ahead. That’ll give you one less thing to carry through the airport. If you do bring gifts, try to keep them unwrapped until after you go through security because if further inspection is required, they’ll be opened by airport screeners.

Getting to the airport.

The big travel day has finally arrived! The night before, make a list of everything that needs to be checked before you leave for the airport. Make sure you haven’t forgotten medications or chargers for electronics.

If you’re traveling abroad, double check that you have your passport.

Do a last walk around the house to make sure everything is in order.

Finally, give yourself some breathing room. You’ll be among millions of Americans traveling between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. That means there’ll be more traffic than usual on the route to the airport and once you get there, parking lots are more likely to be filled to capacity and security lines will almost certainly be longer. So, allow yourself plenty of time to get to the airport—more than you think you’ll need. You’re so close to your vacation or time with your family that you don’t want to have any worries about getting to the plane on time.

For help planning a trip over the holidays—or any other time of year—contact us, your travel agency.

© Travel Leaders Group