When I went to stroll yesterday at the local downtown market to my amazement there was increase in sellers and stalls laden with gifts of all kinds. There was rush of crowds with their hustle and bustle and honking of cars passing by to get some space to move on. The economic impact of holiday season is a factor that has grown steadily throughout the United States and will continue to be a significant event and key sales period for retailers and businesses. In a survey done last year it was found that people expect to spend over 500 U.S. dollars on gifts for the holiday season.
Most popular gift one can see is Christmas tree and in 2015 about 26 million real Christmas trees were purchased in the United States and cost, on average, about 50.82 U.S. dollars in 2015. As the season winds up with New Year people tend to travel to their relatives or families and join them to celebrate holidays together. Also being winter season and holidays combine a great get together to enjoy with family and friends.
Everyone wants a gift (at least expect one). As this tradition brings smiles and strengthens the love, kids wait for Santa to bring gifts, parents are anxious to be together with their adult children and exchange gifts, friends too look forward for it. Be it clothing, footwear, watches, smartphone or other tech gadgets, household appliance or gaming consoles, or even gift hampers and coupons, anything you buy is a perfect gift. So if you are planning to send a gift to someone or travelling to your hometown laden with gifts you need to make sure your precious cargo gets to your final destination in one piece. Here are the ten significant things to consider when travelling with gifts this holiday.
1. Your Gift Should Meet TSA Standards
You are so happy carrying gifts for your near and ear ones and now heading to airport to travel so as to reach your destination on time. But all your hard work on packing the bags will be futile if those presents get confiscated by TSA. TSA has certain guidelines to carry gifts which are to be followed.
Suppose you are carrying snow globes and that liquid needs to be 3.4 ounces or less, sporting equipment, toy guns or any toy that resembles a weapon, and cans of food that contain more than 3.4 ounces of liquid or even a cake. While these are all allowed in checked luggage, you can’t keep them in your carry-on. Though you get back items confiscated by TSA, it’ll be easier for you if you verify that your presents meet the TSA requirements.
2. Avoid Wrapping Of Gifts
Again if you wrap your gifts TSA agents may need to unwrap them if they spot something potentially suspicious during security checks which is part of their routine. Your best bet is to pack extra wrapping paper and finish up the trimmings when you reach your destination. After all, packages are inspected just like any ordinary suitcase or bag; thin, decorative wrapping paper and ribbons aren’t likely to befuddle screening machines. But a package, whether intended to spread holiday cheer or not, is still subject to search if its contents look suspicious. If you have any doubts about your gifts, consider shipping them instead.
3. Instead Put Your Wrapped Gifts In Checked Bag
But you still want to wrap as you have spend few bucks on that glittering paper bag and silky threads then better put them in a checked bag. TSA is less likely to unwrap them that way. Your suitcase should have space for your presents including heavy presents. Note never pack glass or fragile items in your carry-on. You never know how your luggage could be tossed around once it leaves your side.
4. Pack Them In The Right Suitcase
Regardless of what sort of gifts you’re bringing, using hard shell luggage automatically increases the odds of your presents staying in one piece. Use bubble wrap and your own clothes as padding. If you don’t have a hard shell suitcase, place heavy gifts on the bottom, put lightweight items on the top, and double up on the padding. Put layers of old newspapers in the bottom, then a layer of your soft clothing, place the gift and again place other lighter clothes on top is sufficient to protect your gift.
5. The Valuable Gifts Should Be Carried With You
If you are carrying a valuable gift like a jewellery set, or fragile items like crockery, glass items, clay paintings, bottle of wine, or any other delicate item it’s better to carry with you in your sling bag or carry bag that you will hold and keep with you at your side. That way, you have complete control over what happens to them on the plane. Items like gold chains, diamond rings, or expensive watches can be carried in your inner pockets of coats too but remember not to forget in case you take out your coat and forget to put on.
6. Keep A Carry Bag That Fits In Your Seating
This is the season when Air travel is full of rush, which means more people and luggage on a plane that doesn’t have much space to begin with. Other passengers will undoubtedly have the same idea as you and pack gifts in as much luggage as they can bring. That means your chances of finding overhead storage space are less so another reason to keep valuables in a bag that can fit under the seat in front of you.
7. Carry An Extra Bag For Your Own Gifts
This is interesting. After all you too are going to be loaded with gifts in return. So as you are unloaded with your items at your destination there is no guarantee that your suitcase will have enough space for your presents once everyone else’s gifts are out. Pack a duffel bag that can be folded up on your way there and can be checked or carried-on as needed for your return flight. Or carry any other extra bag to avoid the fuss later on.
8. Ship Gifts To Your Destination
If you think you do not meet TSA standard and wish to carry your gifts worth $200-$1000 ship it via a shipping service that includes insurance and tracking. The only way to ensure your items are not damaged, stolen, or lost is to carry them yourself, so that it’s you who is in control of them at all times.
Better shop online as there are amazing discounts available at this hour and sites like Amazon, offer free shipping if your bill reaches a certain amount. So simply ship them to your destination—just let whoever’s address you use know they’re coming—wrap them when you get in town, and you’re done! Shipping through USPS or UPS may be costly, especially if you buy shipping insurance, but at least you avoid the hassle completely.
9. Always Check The Luggage Fees With Gifts
Though fee of luggage may vary by airline to airline like Jetblue and Southwest charge no fee for the first bag and also vary by route (domestic vs. international). In general though, the major domestic airlines charge about $50 roundtrip for one piece of checked luggage that weighs up to 50 pounds, about $70 roundtrip for a second piece of checked luggage that weighs up to 50 pounds, and more for bags that exceed 50 pounds or are oversized. So better calculate like suppose you’ve got 50 pounds’ worth of gifts. The cost to take them with you on the plane might be an extra $50 to $70. Shipping them ahead via FedEx Ground for 5-day delivery might also cost about $70 (depending on how far you’re sending them.
You could save you a sore back and hours spent waiting in an airport check-in line. In most cases it will probably be smarter to avoid checking luggage and ship gifts, as long as you can ship by December 20 and thus avoid the high cost of shipping by air. FedEx Ground includes insurance and tracking, and you can purchase extra insurance, too as in most cases you’re better off if FedEx loses something of yours than if an airline does.
10. Go For Best Travel Deal
As you went through the best deal to buy your gift you need to do your research to shop around for flights. Compare prices to see what’s out there, but if you find an exceptional deal jump on it. Airlines must offer you the chance to hold a price or cancel a purchase on any non-refundable ticket bought at least seven days in advance for 24 hours after purchase. Use that time to see if there are any better deals out there or to give yourself peace of mind that you found a great deal.
So with these ten important things in mind it’s really a stress buster trip to carry gifts for your loved ones. Not yest decided what to gift then stay tuned here for our next post. In the meantime Happy gifting!