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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ho-Ho-Holiday Travel Tips

Let's make a list and check it twice. It will have nothing to do with who's naughty and nice, however. Rather, said list is designed to help you, dear reader, get through your holiday travels with the greatest of ease.

Tip #1: Stay home and have everyone come to you. Sure, you may have to pick people up at the airport (depending on the time they are arriving, it may be easier to pick them up from the departures area than at arrivals--chew on that for a minute), but you never have to actually step foot in the airport.

Tip #2: If you are flying, check in on line. Getting your seat assignment and boarding pass ahead of time will ease your journey through the airport.

Tip #3: Don't wrap gifts. Most people know not to wrap gifts being tucked into carry-on bags. But wrapped gifts in your checked bags may also send off warning signals to security officials. Forget the gift wrap and just use gift bags. Or...

Tip #4: Send those gifts ahead of time. The cheapest way to do so--order goodies on line and have the e-commerce site send the gifts directly to the recipient. Look for sites offering free holiday shipping to save even more.

Tip #5: You've probably already booked your flights. If you haven't, what are you waiting for? Christmas? But if you haven't, look for non-stop flights leaving from "alternative" airports (Chicago Midway, Burbank) early in the day. If you have to connect, consider the hub carefully. Flights through Chicago are more likely to be delayed by winter weather snafus than those through Dallas or Atlanta. Also, consider flying on the holidays themselves. Planes are less crowded and I have found that everyone, from the flight staff to your fellow passengers, is nicer.
Ho, ho, ho.

Tip #6: You want to stay healthy during the holidays, right? If so, I recommend three things. First, wash your hands constantly (you'll need to carry body lotion to re-moisturize). Second, bring along an anti-bacterial product in a three-ounce bottle. Third, I love Emergen-C. This elixir of the gods, as I like to call it, contains super-high doses of Vitamin C and other essential nutrients, all of which help give the immune system a much needed boost. And who couldn't use a little more energy, particularly when dealing with holiday travel?