FFE Magazine

How to pack for the holidays – Part 2

Photo from london24For those celebrating the Christmas holiday abroad, sending gifts can be either inconvenientor stressful. Some may not be that fond of ordering, filling up and sending balikbayan boxes back home. Some may not even trust the idea of couriers at all and worry about their boxes getting lost or reaching their destination in shambles. Whatever the reason may be, many opt to carry their gifts when flying and some times risk having overweight baggage fees instead.

However,carrying gifts can be bothersome for a number of reasons. Common incidents include security personnel ripping wrapped items into shreds for inspection, or having to leave gifts behind because they were unsafe. Other incidents leave passengers equally frustrated. Thus, to help all those flying this season, here are a few essential tips and packing techniques to help you travel with your Christmas gifts with ease.

Avoid wrapped gifts. Since security personnel will inspect your belongings, they might need to open your wrapped items. So instead of wrapping gifts beforehand, try to wrap them once you have reached your destination. To reduce the risk of having them opened, place them in your checked- in luggage rather than your carry-on. The chances of them opened and unwrapped are lesser if properly placed in your checked in luggage.

Avoid bringing gifts that contain liquid. Especially if you decide to carry gifts in your carry-on, make sure they do not contain liquid that is more than the allowed amount. You might think that obvious souvenirs like snow globes can easily pass security check, but the truth is that they are more likely to be confiscated. If you really have to bring semi-liquid gift items, then make sure to inquire about the allowed amount to bring on the plane.

Avoid bringing gifts that look like weapons. It is also advisable not to carry gift items that can easily be mistaken for weapons such as toy guns, baseball bats, and the like. Although they are generally allowed on the plane, some airlines prefer not to have them onboard for safety measures.

Avoid oversized gifts. Not only are oversized gifts a hassle to carry onboard, they might be expensive as well. Some airlines will charge you whopping fees of €154 and more for oversized items. So if your gift is an oversized ride-on truck for your little nephew back home, consider shipping those or buying a similar item once you arrive at your destination.

Bubble wrap fragile items such. Make sure to bubble wrap them then place them inside a thick jacket or shirt for extra cushioning. Put it at the center of your checked-in luggage or carry-on bag to secure it.

Carry valuable gifts close to you. Do not ever check in any valuable or irreplaceable gift item. Although airlines promise to keep your luggage and bags safe, unfortunate accidents may occur leaving your itemsdamaged, stolen, or lost.Keep your grandmother’s heirloom or whatever valuable item you have close to you. Put it in a small carry-on bag, which you can place underneath the seat in front of you. Place them where you can easily see and touch them. Do not even bother putting them inside the overhead bins. When overhead bins are full, flight attendants might ask you to leave it with them or place it in another bin, which you cannot easily keep an eye on.

Carrying small gifts are not much troublewhen you are traveling. However, if you plan to fly with bags full of oversized items then the best and most hassle-free option for you would be to ship them instead. If you are concerned about shipment, you should not worry as most couriers and shipping companies provide insurance, tracking and even extra insurance to their customers. In any case, whichever way you prefer, getting your gifts to their destinations and into the hands of your loved ones is still topmost priority.


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