The holidays. The bane of frequent travelers. The airport is overrun by those who lack with-it-ness or just plain common sense. This year, we decided to stay on the West Coast after seeing the expense for such a short trip, but will be taking a much longer trip in December. If you’re heading out of town for Thanksgiving, here’s a few holiday travel survival tips, even for those of you who travel regularly.
Get to the airport early. Usually, I get to the airport 20 minutes before my flight boards, but not during the holidays, even with TSA Precheck. Everyone and their mother (literally!) is traveling, which means more people at check-in counters and at security. You’re also traveling with people who move more slowly and might not know TSA’s policies on liquid limits or removing shoes and jackets.
Clearly mark your bag. I still can’t believe the number of people that remark on what a clever idea our bright luggage tags are. Since there are more people traveling, you could face having to gate check your bag, which means it goes to baggage claim. I’ve found this to be useful even with cabin baggage when someone mistakenly grabbed my bag out of the overhead bin. Our J.Crew luggage tags have lasted for several years now.
Pack a pair of noise-cancelling headphones. You’ll stay in your own little world, free from crying babies or overly chatty seatmates. I’ve been very happy with this pair. Don’t forget to check your battery’s strength before leaving, too. Check out my other travel essentials here, too.
Double-check that you have ID. Seriously. Last December, as we got off the train at SFO, I had the sickening realization that I had left my driver’s license in my gym bag. Fortunately, with some additional security screening, I was able to board my flight. If you ever find yourself in the situation of having no government-issued ID, immediately ask for the TSA supervisor on-duty. I was able to prove my identity to TSA by showing several credit cards, magazines that had my home address, and a prescription medication label.
Have patience. No matter what, you’re going to be aggravated while at the airport. Take a deep breath and relax. And consider hitting up the yoga room if there is one at your airport.
Taking a red eye? Check out my survival tips here!