Sail through the “most wonderful time of year” with these road-tested holiday travel tips and advice from Eagle Creek expert Veronica.
From grumpy security guards wearing Santa hats to flight delays causing group campouts in the terminal—not to mention that crazy lady trying to check an uncooked turkey!—there’s nothing quite like the sheer madness of holiday travel. Since hiding out ‘til January isn’t exactly an option (at least, not according to Mom and Dad!) most of us simply cross our fingers and hope that the travel odds are ever in our favor…or at least, that they are this year.
Is there anything we passengers can do—anything at all—to make holiday travel a little easier? According to Veronica in Eagle Creek’s marketing department (and frequent traveler), there’s one key simple change you can make that will transform the experience of your trip: Upgrade your attitude.
“Remember that everyone else traveling during the holidays has the same intention as you, visiting friends and family. So why not treat fellow travelers and airline employees like they’re friends or family too?” asks Veronica. “It will make waiting in long lines and any stressful situation a little more pleasant, and you could even make a new connection.”
A positive outlook can go a long way toward making your holiday travel experience a little more festive. For the other travel challenges submitted here by our readers, Veronica offers these road-tested solutions.
Q. What are some present ideas for the wanderlust-stricken travelers on my gift list? – Skylar: Denver, CO
A. I like to think of gift giving in themes! Here are some ideas:
The Gift of Travel Organization: a set of Pack-It™ Specter Cubes to help keep everything in its proper place.
The Gift of Travel Comfort: a travel pillow, an eyeshade and some earplugs for a quiet nap. Put it all in a Pack-It™ Sac! To complete the package, add in a travel blanket to keep the recipient cozy and warm on the plane or for use at their destination.
The Gift of Travel Convenience: 2-in-1 Ultra-light Packable Backpack/Duffel, Waistpack/Backpack,or Tote/Backpack for ease. These bags compactly stow in your primary piece of luggage and come in handy for shopping trips or as an extra bag to bring home souvenirs.
The Gift of Anything They Want: Get them an Eagle Creek online gift card!
Q. I’m going to be traveling across the country with tons of gifts for my family to open on Christmas day. I don’t want to bring a second suitcase, because I’ll just have to carry it home empty. Any ideas? – Liz: Las Vegas, NV
A. There are a few ways to approach the “present transportation challenge.” If you get your shopping done early, I recommend mailing your presents to your destination. They’ll be waiting for you, and you’ll avoid the excess baggage fees. The shipping costs could end up being cheaper than paying for a second suitcase!
If you’d like to keep the presents in your possession the entire time, then there are a few products to help. An Eagle Creek collapsible No Matter What™ Duffel will do the trick. It’s super sturdy and once you arrive and remove the presents, it stuffs down to a small size. Even better, you could give the duffel bag to one of your relatives as a present!
Another option is to pack a carry-on bag like the Tarmac AWD 22 with your personal items and a bigger bag with the presents. The ORV Trunk 30 is an excellent larger bag. On your way home just put your carry-on bag into the larger one that once held the presents and presto, a single bag! One last recommendation—buy small sized presents or give gift cards and cash—and then you won’t need to worry about the additional bag.
One important note: Since the TSA doesn’t allow wrapped gifts through security, I always wait until I arrive at my destination to wrap presents, with gift boxes and bags folded flat and presents in the cracks and crevices of my luggage. Just make sure to bring the tape, bows, ribbon, and gift tags (or buy them soon after you arrive).
Alexandra Baackes is a traveling writer, designer, and underwater videographer. She is currently in her second year of living as a full-time nomad.
Do you have any burning holiday travel questions? Ask us in the comments below, and we’ll use them for our next edition!