Santa's travelling tips

The festive season is fast approaching and with it the stress of shopping, baking and travel to visit friends and family.  

Travel during this holiday season can be hectic, unnerving and plagued by unforeseen weather challenges.  

Realistically, accepting that which you cannot change is your first challenge, however there are things you can do to avoid and minimize the pitfalls of Christmas crisis.

Online Check In.

  • Most airlines now allow their passengers to check in 24 hours prior to their flight departure. 
  • You are given the opportunity to pre-select your seat and if flying internationally, you can also provide your passport documentation. 
  • This is also the time to prepay your checked luggage. Many airlines offer the incentive of cheaper online baggage charges. 
  • All this facilitates a more fluid check in process at the airport. Advance check in also protects you from getting “bumped” on over-booked flights.  

Be early!

  • Even though you have done online check in, that doesn’t help with the security line ups. The sheer number of sold-out flights operating during the holiday season results in overloaded systems and longer than normal wait times.  

Wear the right clothing. 

  • Shoes that easily slip on and off. Spare the long-suffering passenger behind you from having to wait while you “try” to get thru the sensor with your shoes on. 
  • Many passengers throw their winter jackets into their checked luggage upon arrival to the airport rather than carry it with them.  
  • The less you need to have screened, the better.  Once you’re thru to your gate, relax with a downloaded movie or book. Or better yet, start spending quality time with your family by playing a game of cards or digital board game.  

Carry on Luggage.

  • Airlines are getting more vigilant with monitoring size and weight of carry-ons. 
  • Now’s not the time to try to get by with that big duffel bag or oversized satchel. Flights will be fully booked and there is no room for extra hand luggage.  
  • If carrying presents, be sure they are unwrapped to allow for screening. 
  • If you are travelling internationally, be careful that any food items such as fruit, nuts or any sort of plant life is allowed into the country you’re travelling to.


  • 2600 parking stalls seems like enough however consider that it is the holiday season and that our airport services Vernon, Peachland, Revelstoke and many other outlying regions. 
  • Are you willing to bet that you’ll find a spot at the last minute on Dec. 22?  
  • Consider shuttle services, taxis or pre-book your parking through Royal Star Valet to avoid last minute panic.


  • Sadly, the highest airline traffic happens during the winter season when weather is at it’s most fickle. Delays can and do happen every year. It is unfair and futile to let loose on airport ground staff.  
  • They have no control over mechanical issues or weather delays. If you’ve booked your flights thru a travel consultant, get them involved. They have access to your file and can try to re-protect you on alternate routes.  

Insure Your Trip.

  • Insurance covers situations involving cancellations, delays and forced overnight stays. Peace of mind is worth every penny.

Avoid the pitfalls of procrastination. Prepare, and enjoy all the Christmas season can offer.


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About the Author

Joy has long been a believer in the art of travel: the belief that a vacation is something to be anticipated savored and then long remembered as one of life’s great adventures. 
Website: thejoyoftravel.ca

You can contact Joy at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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