If you’re traveling by plane this holiday season, whether you’re visiting family or are planning a cozy, relaxing getaway, chances are you’ll be returning home with more than you packed for the journey itself.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you’re traveling with holiday gifts:
* Either pack an extra duffel bag, (like this one from Sea to Summit that packs down super small), plan to purchase one at your destination or leave plenty of space in your luggage so that you can carry gifts home.
* For delicate items, pack them well within your clothes in a sturdy piece of luggage or carry them in a carry-on bag so you have better control over how they get handled.
* Plan on spending a half day boxing up gifts that you’ve received or souvenirs purchased at your destination and shipping them home. DHL, UPS and Fed Ex have international locations if you don’t feel confident about a country’s postal service. And if you’re traveling in the U.S., use the USPS Priority Mail option for the most bang for your buck.
* If you’re purchasing expensive items and having them shipped home by the shop where you made your purchase, be sure to pay by credit card and keep your receipt. You’ll then have recourse through your credit card company if the item arrives broken or doesn’t show up at home.
* As always, travel light so that you don’t have to worry about lugging your bags through the airport or fighting for space in the overhead compartment.