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Holiday Packing Tips: Flying During the Holidays

Whether you’re planning a European getaway for a bit of rest and relaxation or a destination vacation is in the cards this holiday season, it pays to be as efficient and organized as possible when flying during the holidays. After all, you’ll be stuck lugging around everything you bring. On top of this, trips to and from the airport and the hotel are longer and more challenging than you think.

Besides, we all know how common it is to pack a suitcase or two full of various outfits only to stick with a couple looks throughout your entire trip. Even through creative accessorizing and mixing and matching what you do decide to bring, you won’t need tons of options, no matter how long your trip is.

So, without further ado, here are some holiday packing tips to help make your trip go off without a hitch.

Holiday packing tip #1: Know your airline’s rules

Before you even think about packing a suitcase when flying during the holidays, check your airline’s rules and regulations. These regulations include the number of bags each person can bring, the size of each bag type (carry-ons are typically smaller and may not allow certain items), and your weight limits. Also keep in mind that aside from your carry-on, bags don’t typically fly free. Make sure you are aware of the possible significant charges for that extra bag, especially if you’re over a weight limit.

Furthermore, if what you thought was a carry-on is forced to be checked, you’ll be spending a good amount of time at the baggage carousel instead of catching up with loved ones and seeing the sights. An additional possible issue is having your bag be lost or damaged in the process, causing your vacation to be off to a poor start, even before you’ve arrived at your destination.

Holiday packing tip #2: Pack only what you need

Depending on where you’re going, how long you’re staying, and the events you’ve planned, you should have a good idea of the type and number of outfits you’ll need to bring. But think about bringing just one jacket, sweater, jeans, and shoes. These are your heaviest and bulkiest items.

It also doesn’t hurt that you can get away with wearing just one jacket or pair of jeans a lot easier than trying to rock the same dirty t-shirt day after day. Consider buying most of your disposable items, like toiletries, after you arrive at your destination to avoid weighing down your luggage and having to check your carry-on. Not only will you save tons of space, but your back will thank you for it.

Holiday packing tip #3: Ditch the folding and optimize your space

Even though a packed suitcase often conjures up images of neatly folded and pressed items, you’re better off rolling your clothes when flying during the holidays. A common hack of frequent travelers and flight attendants, rolling your clothes allows you to maximize all those nooks and crannies in your bags and luggage. It also prevents wrinkling better than folding.

To further optimize your space, wear all your bulky clothes like jackets or jeans on the plane so you don’t have to fight for real estate in your luggage. You can also try vacuum bags if you need to utilize every last drop of space. Keep in mind that once you open the bags, you’ll need a mechanism to suck all the air out again — without it, you may not be able to pack for your return flight!

Holiday packing tip #4: Give yourself time to pack

While most people know what they want to pack for an extended holiday out of the country, if your packing is taking place at the last minute, all bets are off. While rushing and trying to plan out your trip, you’re likely to over-pack or, worse yet, pick the wrong piece of luggage or pack a prohibited item. This could extend your travel time by hours if you’re forced to check a bag or deal with these issues at customs or elsewhere during your travel.

If you’re packing last-minute, you also run the risk of forgetting something crucial to travel, like your passport, ID, wallet or phone, or even your airline ticket. Giving yourself ample time to plan and strategize for your trip is the best way to pack. This way you won’t be stressed or left running around for last-minute items that you may or may not need.

Holiday packing tip #5: Bring plastic bags and other containers

During your trip, you’re bound to generate some dirty clothes. Underwear, t-shirts, and socks will need to be changed, and will also need a place to go. If you encounter some rain or other poor weather, you may not be able to hang your clothes to dry. But instead of relegating a corner of your bag for dirty or wet clothes, carrying a few spare plastic bags or other soft containers will allow you to separate the dirty clothes from the clean.

Even better, if you get the chance to do laundry you won’t have to bring your entire suitcase — just grab the dirty clothes bag.

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Once you’re packed and ready to go, we hope you’re fully prepared with these useful holiday packing tips.

In the event that your European holiday is disrupted by either a significant flight delay, cancellation or if you’re denied boarding even though you’ve checked in for your flight, you could be entitled to as much as €600 per passenger. This is possible because of the European flight cancellation rights law EU261.

Passed in 2004, this little-known EU law protects all passengers, regardless of nationality, from significant travel disruptions that are the fault of the airline. The only requirement is that your flight must be traveling from an EU member country or to an EU member country on an EU airline. Just make sure this rule is met by each leg of your trip.

Sure, flying during the holidays can be a drag, particularly if there are issues with your flight. Let us help you retrieve the money you’re rightfully owed by opening and filing a claim on your behalf. You’ll pay nothing if we’re unsuccessful, and we’ll never ask you to pay out of pocket for anything. Call or click today to see how we can help you with flight delay compensation.