10 tips on travelling home for Christmas with gifts
During the month of December, I will be doing a variety of Christmas themed blog posts to help you get through the festive season.
For many people, Christmas means travelling back to our place of origin to be with family and loved ones. Whether that is getting on a plane or driving for long hours, one of the major difficulties that people forget is how to bring presents home. You are getting ready to pack your things for travel when you realise that the gift you bought won’t fit in your bag. Or that toy you bought your niece is too awkward to carry. Here are some things to bear in mind when travelling home for Christmas with gifts.
1. Whatever luggage you are taking, make it identifiable
Sometimes when we are travelling home and not on “vacation” we forget the same rules apply. When you are packing a bag make sure you are able to find it among other bags such as a name tag or some keychain. You will be safe in the knowledge you won’t end up with someone else’s bag after a long train/bus/plane journey.
2. Check out flight restrictions if travelling by plane.
If you are travelling overseas make sure you check out the flight restrictions before you buy gifts. If you are flying with just a carry-on you are only allowed a certain amount of liquids and certain sharp objects may not be allowed. This blog post on packing a bag may be helpful
3. Buy presents at the Airport
If you want to buy perfume or makeup for someone why don’t you check out the airport website and see if your chosen gifts are available there? Any liquids you buy at the airport are not included in your liquid restrictions once you pass security. This is a great way to kill time and also get your Christmas shopping done. Airports often do great deals so check out their website and see what is on offer.
4. Get your presents delivered.
If you need to buy a lot of presents why don’t you order them online and get them delivered to the destination you are travelling to. This will save you on the effort of taking them on the bus or plane and keep your sanity by not having to deal with crowds of people in shops.
An Post are doing a great service now called AddressPal. It allows you to get post delivered to Ireland from companies that only deliver to countries outside of Ireland. For companies that do deliver to Ireland, price the fees first before ordering. Many companies offer free delivery within their own country but charge exorbitant prices to deliver to Ireland. I have found for some companies it is actually cheaper to get it delivered through AddressPal.
5. Try to avoid awkward presents.
If you cannot avoid buying them before you set on your journey home try to buy presents that are not going to be awkward to carry or are very heavy. When you buy a present think about how this will fit into your bag and how will you manage it with the other presents you have bought. Can the outer packaging be taken off and may be swapped for a nice Christmas box or bag instead?
6. Do not wrap your presents until you get there.
In order to save time, I have often wrapped presents before I set out on my journey. However, there have been times when I have arrived home to wrapped presents that have been torn along the way. If you can, do not wrap the presents until you get to your destination. Buy wrapping paper when you get there and that way ensuring they are in perfect condition.
7. Keep all valuable presents with you at all times.
If you have bought something expensive like jewelry make sure you keep them with you in a bag at all times. You don’t want to be in the situation where you have found out your luggage has been lost or stolen with all your expensive gifts inside. If you are taking a lot of bags home, keep one bag to hand with the most valuable items in the overhead compartment or on your person. You don’t want to be running around Christmas Eve trying to replace all your presents.
8. Put breakable items in between clothes
While I don’t recommend buying gifts that could possibly break, putting them in between clothes will make them safer. If they are smaller stuffing them in shoes will support them when travelling. When you are buying the items tell the shop assistant you are travelling with the item. Often they will be able to give you bubble wrap or extra wrapping paper for protection.
9. Gift Cards
When you are taking large journeys and you don’t have much space, gift cards are your friend. While it’s not as personal as a present you bought, why don’t you buy or make a nice card and write something personal in it. You will have put some thought into it and the person will be able to get something they want in the sales.
10. Get a friend to bring them home.
If you know of a friend that may be driving before Christmas to your home destination why not ask them to bring the presents home for you. This will save you from having to carry a lot of bags home. Just make sure to say thanks to the driver 🙂