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The Traveller's Magazine
  •   2 min read

You’ve printed your boarding passes and are getting ready to pack your bags for the holidays but if you’re bringing Christmas presents with you then there’s a trick or two you should know if you want to make sure that Santa’s gifts and toys arrive safety on the other side.

If you have a bulky or heavy gift and need to purchase it in advance, it’s a good idea to check if you can get the gift delivered to your destination or try door-to-door luggage shipping services. It can be much cheaper than paying excess fees with an airline, particularly if you’re flying Ryanair.

For valuable and fragile gifts, consider purchasing priority boarding with your flight ticket. Priority boarding means first dibs on overhead compartment space and then you can also make sure that your gifts are stowed directly above your seat. Some airlines like easyJet are known to stow carry on luggage in the hold if the overhead compartments fill up.

Security may want to check the contents of some gifts if they appear suspicious on the scanner so keep that in mind. It’s always a better idea to travel with gifts unwrapped and rather pack some cello tape and folded up paper.


Remember that some items are restricted in hand luggage: liquids more than 100 mL (including drinks, perfume, gels…), chemical weapons (also ammunition), certain sports equipment (baseball bats…). Good to keep in mind if you plan to give your mother-in-law a fancy perfume or your nephew a toy gun for Christmas. Some countries have restrictions on food, so check in advance or kiss that specialty chorizo goodbye at Airport Security.

Think twice about giving a dog, cat or other pet as a gift at Christmas. Every airline has different conditions of travel and some animals will need to be quarantined upon arrival. For more information about travelling with animals, check out post: tips for flying with your dog or cat. Pets are for life, not just for Christmas so make sure that the person receiving this furry bundle of joy is ready to take care of them for its entire life.

Small, fragile gifts should be stowed in a small bag that can be tucked safely under the seat in front of you instead of up in the overhead compartment where it could be jostled and bumped by other luggage. Bottles and other glass objects will travel safety in your checked luggage. Wrap wine in a resealable plastic bag first, then bubble wrap and then clothing. Bottles should be placed in the centre of your bag. Hollow glass vases or similar objects should be filled with either paper or socks and then carefully protected with your jumpers.

Good luck! 

Imgs: marc lagneau, labyrinthX / Flickr cc.

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