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Travel tips for the busiest travel day of the year

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138,000 air travellers will pass through Toronto Pearson Airport today

14 TRAVEL TIPS FOR SMARTER HOLIDAY TRAVEL

Let’s face it, holiday travel is exciting, wanting to get away to an amazing vacation destination or visiting family and friends in another province or country; but a downside can be the long delays that everyone experiences at airports, particularly today, the busiest day of the year for air travel.

Unfortunately, delays are part of our every day holiday travel lives. Whether it be the sheer volume of travellers, the weather, mechanical problems or even problems with travel documents, but you can certainly do things to minimise the stress and make it easier for yourselves.

Getting ready for your trip starts at home and not when you are on route to the airport. It is vital to check your passport. Ensure that it does not expire within six-months of your travel date. Many countries can and will refuse you entry if it does.

Here are 14 tips to help you with a much smoother and more efficient arrival and check-in. The objective here is to make it through the check-in and security so you can relax at the gate with a coffee (or other beverage of your choice) in hand.

  1. Check your airline tickets to ensure the appropriate travel date and time are correct. Make an extra copy for safety and security.
  2. Check your luggage to ensure you adhere to airline restrictions for weight, carry-on and check-in quantities or you may be in for delays and the dreaded extra fees.
  3. Ensure that your luggage has a covered luggage identification tag with an office address instead of your home for security.
  4. Always provide a family member or friend with your itinerary and hotel contact number.
  5. Be Organized: Place all of your travel documents (airline ticket, passports, identification documents) in a quick accessible area in your carry-on luggage.
  6. Bring any prescribed medications, supplements or vitamins in your carry-on with your prescription as proof so you can access them when needed.
  7. Always bring some cash in the currency of the country you are visiting. The rest can be exchanged at the destination which many time provide better exchange rates.
  8. Leave early and know the airport.
  9. Turn your smartphone into your travel companion. Sign-up with your airline for flight travel status updates and download apps that will help and keep you entertained. Ensure you have all of the emergency and contact numbers you require (family, friends, hotel, airline, rental agencies, credit card companies, the Canadian Embassy, etc).
  10. Make sure all of your electronic devices are charged before leaving your home.
  11. If travelling to a foreign country, ensure you have the appropriate power converters for your electronic devices.
  12. Check security restrictions with carry-on and personal item bags to ensure you do not need to leave anything behind.
  13. Upon Boarding, listen to the announcement and go in when your section is called. Go to your seat, place your carry-on in the overhead compartment or under the seat in front of you; no fussing, no messing around or stopping to speak with family and friends who have already taken their seats.
  14. Never get out of your seat after landing to deplane ahead of others. You will not get your luggage any faster. In fact, almost always as the last few people arrive at the luggage carousel, the luggage come out…think about that!

Always know that delays are unavoidable, but if you do your part at least the holiday travel experience will become less of a headache and actually enjoyable.

Frank Greco is a world traveler and television producer of “The Travel Guy, Gourmet Escapes, other lifestyle programs and documentaries.” Follow Frank on Instagram (thetravelguy1 and travelwithmeandde) or become friends on Facebook (www.facebook.com/frank.greco.338)

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