Galley Gossip: Snow globes, gifts, packing – just a few tips for travelers this Christmas

1. LEAVE THE SNOW GLOBE AT HOME: This time last year I asked a TSA agent in Dallas about the craziest thing he’d ever seen. I won’t lie, the answer shocked me, which is why I won’t repeat it here. Then he then went on to complain about the number of snow globes he’d collected. For the last few years snow globes have been on the list of banned carry-on items due to the fact that they contain an undetermined amount of liquid, yet based on the number confiscated last year many people seem to have not gotten the message. If you really just can’t leave home without it, pack it in your suitcase and check the bag.

2. SHIP THE PRESENTS: It might be too late to ship your gifts to wherever you’re spending Christmas this year, but before your return flight home you might want to make a quick stop at Fed Ex. Last year on one of my flights a passenger came on board at the last minute carrying a gigantic toy train in an unwrapped box. The overhead bins were full, so there was no place to stow it. Unfortunately we had no choice but to check the train. (I hope it made it to its final destination.)

3. DO NOT WRAP THE GIFTS: Unless of course you don’t mind TSA unwrapping them to take a look inside. Wrapped gifts packed inside checked luggage are fine.4. PACK LIGHT – Trust me, there’s going to be a washer and dryer wherever you end up. Take advantage of it. By doing so you’ll be able to carry your bag on board with you and not risk having it get lost in transit. You’ll also have the perfect excuse as to why you can’t take all that crap stuff your mother in law is trying to get rid of back home with you. It also forces people to buy smaller gifts.

5. GET TO THE AIRPORT EARLY: Stress makes air travel miserable, and nothing can be more stressful than running late. Remember it’s amateur week this week. Everyone and their grandma is traveling, so the lines at security are going to be long. Do yourself a favor and get to the airport early and this way you’ll be less inclined to flip out while passengers determine what goes through the machine or how to collapse the stroller.

6. BRING FOOD / BUY WATER: I’m surprised how many people don’t know it’s okay to bring food through security. Or how many people assume there’s an unlimited supply of bottled water on board. Air travel is not unlike being on the television show Survivor. It’s important to plan ahead and take care of your most basic needs. You never know when there’s going to be a mechanical, weather delay or even an ATC (air traffic control) hold in the air.

For more tips, check this out: Ticket Agents Advise Holiday Travelers to “Be Prepared”

Photo courtesy of The Killer Biscuit