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Holiday Travel Tips

The day before Thanksgiving, and the Sunday after, are 2 of the most heavily traveled days in the year. In order to make your trip easier, especially if you are flying, here are some things to remember:   Leave extra early-lines at security checkpoints will be longer, and there will be more casual travelers flying. Those who do not fly often are less familiar with the procedures so help yourself out by being early, and being prepared. Unless you have TSA Pre√®, you’ll need to remove your shoes, take your laptop and 3-1-1 bag out and remove your coat, and belt before entering the scanner. Be sure your pockets are empty as well. Be sure that your carry on is the correct size. If you are able to check luggage, you may want to consider doing so. Overhead bins will be full and when everyone brings carry ons, the boarding process slows down a great deal. Checking bags may not be your preference, but if you can, this is a good time of year to free up space in the overhead bins. If you’re bringing food to Grandma’s, know that you’re allowed to carry on your pumpkin pie and even your turkey! But, cranberry sauce, gravy, jams and wine need to be in checked baggage. You can see a video produced by TSA for further information.   When bringing along holiday gifts, do NOT wrap them until you get to your destination. If there are questions about what is inside the package, the agent will have to unwrap and open the box which slows down the security line for everyone. For holiday road trips, be sure to check your tire pressure, oil, windshield washer fluid and lights before you set off on your journey. Again, allow plenty of time-traffic will be heavy. Gas up before you go and don’t forget your car charger for your cell phone. If you’re traveling more than a couple hours, take frequent rest breaks to stretch your legs, grab a soft drink or snack and use the rest room. Trains will also be busier during the holiday season. Have your tickets printed, or easily accessed via email or app. Amtrak allows 2 larger pieces of luggage (up to 28” and 50 pounds), plus 2 carry ons per person. Storage space for luggage will be at a premium, especially on the heavily-traveled North East Corridor, so pack accordingly. Cities like Philadelphia and New York have Thanksgiving parades, which can result in higher hotel rates. But, if you’re visiting a town like Washington, DC or Chicago, you may be able to score a great rate over Thanksgiving or Christmas. This way, you can spend time with your extended family, but have a nice, quiet retreat that you can escape to once the dinner is done! Most importantly, pack patience and a sense of humor. The roads, rails and airports will be very busy. If you’re able to go with the flow, be flexible and keep smiling, your trip will be easier. Remember too, that those in the travel and hospitality industry are working on the holiday so they’re away from their families. Don’t get angry at them if things go wrong. It’s not the fault of the front line employee. They WILL try and help you get to dinner on time! Have a great holiday season, from your friendly Travel Experts ® at LuggageFactory.com  

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