Travelling away this Christmas? If you are visiting loved ones around the world this Christmas then you may be tempted to stuff your suitcase full of presents. However, unlike Santa’s sleigh, there may be weight restrictions in place on airlines as well as other restrictions that you need to be aware of.
If you are travelling with liquid gifts, anything more than 100ml will need to be packed in your suitcase, even if it is unopened and in a nicely wrapped gift box. If this is the case then make sure that you cover it in plenty of layers to protect from any bumps in transit. If your goodies are under 100ml, they can travel in your hand luggage but must be carried in a single clear re-sealable plastic bag (subject to measurement restrictions), so wrapping will have to wait until you reach your destination. Likewise any gifts that are sharp or contravene hand luggage regulations will need to be safely wrapped up in your checked in luggage. If you are travelling with valuable gifts, check your travel insurance policy wording for specific information relating to their cover.
If you wait to buy perfumes, alcohol or other gifts in duty free, be wary of how this may increase the size of your hand luggage. Some airlines, particularly in the budget category, have strict rules about carrying duty free bags in addition to hand luggage so it’s best to check the latest guidance.
You may also need to reconsider travelling with traditionally festive items such as Christmas crackers; the contents may contain items that are prohibited in airlines (such as mini screwdrivers or scissors). If your airline allows you to travel with crackers then they will need to be stored securely in your suitcase. Celebratory party poppers are banned from many airlines. To be sure that your festive goods are allowed on board and you don’t cause any delays to your fellow passengers, always check your airlines luggage policy.
The increased number of passengers around Christmas combined with potential baggage issues owing to people travelling with presents may mean extra delays. The cold weather can also slow down your journey to the airport so be prepared and allow plenty of time to get to the airport and through all the relevant checks.