The Ultimate Holiday Travel Checklist


Your travel plans for your upcoming holiday trip are set; all that’s left is to ensure that everything goes smoothly before leaving home and after arriving at the airport. As a result, it’s a good idea to make a checklist of the things you need to do in the weeks leading up to your trip. Here is some advice.

Arrange to stop mail and newspaper delivery so that nothing piles up in the mailbox or outside your front door while you’re away. Contact your bank and credit card companies to let them know when and where you’ll be traveling to reduce the odds of your legitimate transactions getting flagged as fraud. And if you’re going abroad, a necessary purchase is for an adapter so that you can plug in your electronic devices.

When it comes to packing clothes, think light and layers. Look at the weather forecast for your destination, both daytime and nighttime. Lay everything out on the bed, think about what you’re really going to wear, then put back one or two items. Plan on taking that bulky jacket on the plane so that it doesn’t take up room in your suitcase.

On your travel day, do a quick inspection around the house to make sure that windows, doors and gates are locked and appliances are unplugged. Double check that everything in the yard is secured or put away, heating systems are on the right setting and a lamp with a timer is turned on. Make sure you haven’t forgotten medications and chargers for your electronics. Check that you have your boarding pass and, if you’re traveling abroad, your passport and a photocopy of your passport packed separately in your carry on.

You will be among millions of Americans traveling between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. You may encounter traffic on the drive to the airport. If you’re not being dropped off, you may have to hunt for a parking space. Security lines will almost certainly be longer than usual. So give yourself more time than you think you’ll need to get to the airport.

When you arrive at the airport, check the monitors to make sure your flight is on time and double check your gate. Things could have changed since you checked in for your flight the day before.

After dropping off your checked bags, it’s time to head to the security line.

Do your part to help keep the line moving by having your boarding pass and identification out and ready for inspection. Groups or family members traveling together should make sure each individual is holding his or her ID and boarding pass. If you’re traveling with small children, present your ID and boarding pass first, then the boarding pass for each child.

Remember that unless you have expedited screening via TSA Precheck, you’ll need to remove your coat, belt and shoes, take everything out of your pockets, and remove your laptop and 1-quart bag of liquids from your carry-on bag. Don’t forget to empty beverages that you’ve left in your carry-on. You can bring an empty bottle through the checkpoint and then fill it up once you are past security.

For help planning a holiday trip, contact your travel agent.