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Travel + Travel & Packing Tips for the Holidays

Can you believe that Christmas is on Saturday? This is the first year that I am going to be flying home for Christmas for a week! Since being in college, I’m normally home for almost two weeks if not more! Our one week at home is going to be JAM PACKED with family, friends, wedding details and food. With all of this going on we’ll be eating a lot, so I hope my dog appreciates the large amount of walks he will most likely be getting! Here are my top tips for traveling home for the holidays and for packing.

Travel Tips

  1. Start drinking water NOW!: Depending on when you’re headed home, you might not have time to recuperate after your flight. In order to stay hydrated and look fresh when you get off the plane, you should start hydrating now. Add an extra water bottle or two to your daily intake to avoid dehydration.
  2. Pack a carry on: Even if you’re checking a bag, pack a small carry on with everything (or most things) you’ll need for your first couple of days. We’re flying on Christmas eve, so we’re packing clothes for Christmas Eve night and Christmas day. If you can, pack presents too. This way, in case your luggage is lost, you’ll be able to celebrate without stress!
  3. Arrive a little earlier than normal: This is a really busy time of the year, so make sure to arrive a little earlier. Have everything ready to go, and be patient with the workers. It’s a crazy time of year for them too, and kindness goes so far.
  4. Starting taking Emergence-C or Vitamin C & D: Airports are breeding grounds for sickness, and being in an airplane with recycled air can wreak havoc on your immune system. Take these before hand to help make sure that your immune system is strong.
  5. Do NOT wrap your gifts: The TSA does not like wrapped gifts. Wait to wrap them when you get where you’re going, or get creative with how you gift them. They won’t necessarily unwrap everything but they are within their rights to unwrap them no matter if they’re in your checked or carry on luggage.

Packing Tips 

  1. 75% of what you pack should serve a dual purpose: If you pack a lot of things you’ll only wear once, you’ll be packing a lot of space where presents can be.
  2. Wrap breakables in sweaters: Don’t worry about paper or bubble wrap, you have items that you’re already taking with you. This is great especially when you’re flying back from Christmas!
  3. Only pack a couple pair of shoes: Depending on where you’re flying, don’t over do the shoes. I’m one who thinks that 6 pairs of shoes maybe enough, but knowing that isn’t always the most practical way to pack. I will bring a pair of riding boots, ankle boots, bean boots, and tennis shoes. That should cover everything, but heels may also be  necessary for you to go to more elaborate with your footwear. I’m bringing tennis shoes home to work out, but we’ll see!
  4. Pack layers: I will be bringing lots of layers in order to create multiple outfits. It’s easy to bring neutral layers with a couple statement pieces you can mix and match so it doesn’t look like you’re wearing the same thing over and over.
  5. Save room for presents: Maybe don’t pack as much if you know what volume of gifts you’re going to get. You don’t want to be caught with having to check even more bags!
  6. Group your items: When you pack, put everything you need to get from your apartment to the gate on the top of your bag, what you need for entertainment in the middle, and any emergency things or “extras” on the bottom. This makes it a lot easier to fin what you need. Do something similar in your packed bag. Pack what you need on the top (clothes wise) for me this normally means my pajamas or what I need to change into when we get where we’re going!

Where are you going for the holidays? The only thing I need to dress up for is Christmas Eve service, so I’m excited for a week of cozy sweaters, boots and scarves!

Any holiday travel tips? Let me know in the comments below!





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  • These are great tips! It’s too late this year, but whenever I’m traveling for the holidays I try to order most of my gifts ahead of time and ship them to wherever I’m staying (usually my in-laws house). Upping your water intake before traveling is a great tip! Merry Christmas!

  • Miss ALK

    Agreed with not packing gifts! I’m flying home tonight with a whole suitcase of unwrapped gifts- haha!

    xoxo A

  • mckenna bleu

    Great tips! This is a great post to read if you travel a lot!

  • Hannah Stark

    I have been traveling a lot this past 6 months and I 100% agree with the “pack a carry on”. The amount of times my checked bag hasnt made it onto the plane and then I have nothing but a carry on is crazy! I always pack an extra change of clothes in my carry on along with any medicine so I can survive a day without my checked bag! Thanks so much for sharing these tips 🙂

    xoxo, Hannah

  • Totally agree with staying hydrated and taking Emergen-C. I was traveling all last week and definitely started to feel a little under the weather because of it. Those are great tips!

    Cristina /

  • Ashley

    Luckily my family all lives in the same town, so I don’t have to travel more than 15 minutes to get to any destination. I can’t imagine having to fly home for the holidays! These are awesome tips for being prepared and making the trip effortless!

    xo Ashley

  • Greta Hollar

    Have a great time at home during the holidays! All of your tips are spot on!

    Greta |

  • Sydney Power

    These are such great tips. I always overpack for everything I need to pack smarter!

  • Drinking water is so important! I always get dehydrated while flying! On the note of water, I would add one tip – pack a reusable empty bottle to get you through security! Most airports have standup fill stations now to re-fill and top it off all the way to the top without the awkward water fountain angle – and it’s wayyyy better than spending $5 for water or drinking the Dasani some plains serve (they actually put sodium into Dasani and it leaves you feeling puffier and more dehydrated!) — ok end water rant haha

    Rachel | The Confused Millennial

  • So many great tips! Luckily my holiday travel is only a 30 minute drive, but I’ll keep these tips in mind for my next flight 🙂 You covered everything!

    XO, SS || Seersucker Sass

  • Kristine Circenis

    These are all great tips! I cannot stress enough how important it is to drink a lot of water in the wintertime and especially when you travel. I learned the hard way one year with the TSA not liking wrapped gifts – they unwrapped mine at the end of security and then gave me back the torn wrapping paper and gift.

  • Adriana

    These are such great tips! Packing layers is so important! Holiday travel can be so stressful so anything to help that stress level is a win-win for me!