Whether you go by car, train, or plane this holiday season, you will be traveling with millions of other people who are in a hurry. So here are some things to consider before you go.
Beware: the most dangerous seat on the plane can be the aisle seat. An estimated 1,500 U.S. travelers are hurt every year by heavy carry-on bags that fall from the overhead bins, causing head, neck or shoulder injuries to the person seated below. Be alert or move aside when passengers open the bins above you on the plane.
Carry emergency rations because there may be long lines at food counters. Tuck an apple and a power bar into your carry-on bag. If your flight is delayed for hours on the runway or in the air, you will be prepared.
Danger lurks at the food court. Be aware of accidents and disturbances. If someone spills coffee or ketchup on you, be suspicious.
Protect your purse and bags by putting them between your legs before you begin to mop up the mess or you may have a bigger mess on your hands when you notice your valuables disappeared while you were distracted.
Place your purse and valuables in front of you on the counter when you check in. Do not leave them at your feet or behind you. While you’re conversing with the airline attendant, it is easy for a thief to move in next to you and walk away with your bag.
Check all your luggage through to your destination if you are flying. The overhead bins are filled by the first passengers to board the plane. Travelers pack them to capacity with winter coats, presents and carry on bags. Don’t count on finding an empty bin.
Avoid inconvenient delays at the security check. Don’t’ pack these items in your carry-on bag: nail files, safety pins, sewing kits with small scissors, Swiss Army Knives, and corkscrews.
Leave for the airport very early. On peak travel days it can take an extra 30 minutes just to approach the terminal. It won’t matter if you are in a bus, car or taxi, you will need extra time just to get in the door. Lines at the security check may also be very long and move slowly.
If you plan to leave your car in airport parking, call the parking company the day before to ensure empty parking spaces are still available. Don’t be stuck without a backup plan. You may need to find another parking lot off site.
If you have an early morning departure, consider spending the night at an airport hotel. Many airport hotels offer up to a week of free parking to guests.
Pack your patience. In the end, it’s worth the hassles to see family and friends. and Happy Holidays!