Getting to Grandma’s house — or anywhere, really — during the busiest times of the winter holidays can be challenging with kids and luggage in tow. You may wonder: Will all of these gifts get through security? Can I keep the kids entertained on the road? How do I make the season special when we’re not at home to trim the tree or light the lights?
Here are a few easy holiday travel tips to make your season bright, even when you’re far from home.
Pack Smart for Your Holiday Getaway
Fitting everyone’s clothes, toiletry bags, toys and gifts into a few suitcases may seem like a big, bulky task. But you can do it with these holiday packing hacks.
Create space in your suitcase. Using vacuum-sealed storage bags makes it easier to pack and organize bulky winter clothes. To keep things organized, use separate bags for each traveler. Also, wear your heaviest clothes on the plane; carrying your winter parka will keep you warm during the flight and save space in your suitcase.
Leave your gifts unwrapped. Because the Transportation Security Administration has the right to unwrap anything in your suitcase, it’s best to wait until you get to your destination to prepare your gifts. If you’re worried your kids will sneak a peek at their unwrapped gifts when you’re packing or unpacking, put things in gift bags that are easy for TSA reps to open should they need to.
Pack a duffel bag. You can count on your kids getting more gifts than you know what to do with — or certainly more than you have room for. To accommodate the presents and other extras you’ll be bringing home, pack a spare collapsible duffel bag for the return trip.
Rent a car. Having your own set of wheels at your destination means you can safely transport your luggage — avoiding the hassle of hauling gifts, gear and suitcases onto buses and trains — and it gives you the freedom to go where you want to go, when you want to go. For example, renting a car makes it convenient to zip off to the store to buy gift-wrapping supplies.