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Maintain a stress-free holiday trip by taking necessities

By Jessica Rodrigo
Nov. 13, 2012 at 5:13 a.m.


Extra advice

• Arrive at the airport two hours before departure

• Check-in online at least 24 hours before departure if possible

• Check the weather where your departure or arrivals are scheduled

• Print your boarding pass for a back up in case there is a computer failure

Know the TSA guidelines:

3-1-1 for carry-ons = 3.4 ounce (100ml) bottle or less (by volume); 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin. One-quart bag per person limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring. 3.4 ounce (100ml) container size is a security measure.

Source: Kelly Sadler, tsa.gov/traveler-information

Story by Jessica Rodrigo/jrodrigo@vicad.com

The holidays are fast approaching, and if you are like so many Americans who choose to spend the holidays with family and friends, you're probably preparing to pack up and ship out.

Whether traveling by air, by car, alone or with an armload of kids, preparation is the best weapon against travel woes.

Kelly Sadler has been blessed with easy traveling but has also seen her share of travel nightmares. As a mother and owner of Skymaster Travel in Victoria, she knows a few tricks of the trade to make our lives easier while traveling this holiday season.

She has owned the travel agency since 1997 and has dedicated 16 years to the industry. Her agency is in the business of helping people find places for vacations, honeymoons and cruises.

Her biggest suggestion for those traveling near or far is to take the necessities - "only take what you absolutely need with you."

If travelers can afford to check bags, then check them, she said. It will save the hassle of taking them through security checkpoints and having to empty bags for scanning.

After returning from a weekend trip, she recalled seeing people hold up the lines with all their bags and carry-on items. When traveling via airplane, she might take with her just a few things: a book or Kindle and her purse.

If it's a longer flight, she said to remember to take a few extra things with you: prescription medication, snacks, puzzles or an alternate book.

When traveling with the family, Sadler would give her children the option to pick out their own toys for the trip, but from a different group of toys they didn't normally play with, which might have included Go Fish cards or new coloring books.

"If it was something they played with seven days out of the week, then it wouldn't hold their attention for very long," she said. "It didn't have to be some thing brand new, but something they didn't play with all the time."

Sadler said her children were introduced to flying at an early age and have since become accustomed to traveling. Now, she gives them a chance to lay out what they want to bring, and then she'll add or take away things that aren't needed.

"You might end up with three shirts, a pair of shorts and a pair of underwear," she said jokingly. "It'll also keep them happy when they're choosing what to wear, because at least they picked some of it out."

Along with toys and other entertainment, consider packing food in children's carry-on bags. With the high price of airline food, this may not only save more money, but it also may save you from an upset child more than 30,000 feet in the air.

"Pack snacks that are dry, not pudding or yogurt, because TSA will take those away," she said. "Like Goldfish crackers and Chex Mix. They're also easier to clean up if you have to."

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