Six travel tips that can make your holidays more jolly!

Here are six travel tips that can make your holidays more jolly. You may not be able to shorten the security line at the airport but some easy prep can help make your travels a lot less stressful.

Pack early. Do not wait until the last minute to pack. Tis the season for holiday parties. You know this in advance and you know that you will be running around getting your last social appearances in before winter hibernation. Your travels will sneak up on you before you know it, so to avoid the last-minute scramble, start packing sooner than later. (Credit: essence.com)

Pack light. Consider how many outfits you really need to bring on your trip and avoid the “just in case” pieces. If most of the time will be spent lounging around the house, use that to your advantage and pack as light as possible. Even consider the idea of packing pieces that you can wear multiple ways like a shirt you can dress down for casual activities during the day and spice up a bit for going out at night. Packing light will also help you avoid that horrific checked bag line. (Credit: essence.com)

Get ahead of the curve. Every major airport deals with the worst kind of congestion around the holidays. Needless to say, the highways that take you there will likely also be backed up. Allow yourself an extra 30 minutes to one hour to get to the airport. It’s better to be a few minutes earlier for your flight than to just miss your flight and have to wait hours for another because the remaining flights for the day are booked. Also, if your airline has the option, check in online 24 hours before your flight, making a more seamless process once you actually get to the airport. (Credit: essence.com)

Pack Prepared. You can’t control the length of security lines or flight delays, but you can control other inconveniences. Bring a phone charger in case you unexpectedly drain your battery (or your kid does playing a game on your phone during a delay). The inflight magazine can entertain you for only so long. Pack extra snacks. Even if you get timely service during your flight, a bag of peanuts is small consolation if you missed lunch or dinner sprinting to make your connection. Finally, don’t end a flight with an unwelcome stain on your “I need this to last me a full week” sweater. We recommend NEATsheets which fit easily in any carry-on and will save you from the turbulence announcement that should have been conveyed 30 seconds earlier. (Credit: NEATGOODS)

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Ship Gifts. For air travelers, sending presents to your destination in advance has advantages. You avoid any potential excess baggage and overweight fees and you minimize the likelihood of the presents getting lost en route. (Credit: nytimes.com)

Wrap when you arrive. It doesn’t matter how beautifully you tie a bow — the TSA can still make you open your gifts at security. They also have the right to open wrapped presents in checked luggage. Thinking of bringing edible surprises? Stick to hard foods like Christmas cookies. Those jars of your famous cranberry sauce are considered a liquid, and so must follow the less-than-3.4-ounce rule and be stored in a one-quart zip-top bag. (Credit: Atlanta Journal Constitution)