10 Tips To Flying Over The Silly Season or, How To Get To Your Family With Sanity Intact

The silly season is exactly that at airports, so take heed of the following pearls of wisdom on how to survive the desperate dash to spend the festive season with loved ones.

1. Check In Online

Do use that pre-check in email and print out your own boarding pass, as it will save time.

2. Pack Properly

Pack your bag properly if on an international flight and have those annoying "tiny" liquid containers in your hand luggage secured in a re-sealable plastic bag in an easily accessible place.  Don't be one of those morons in the security lane that can't find it at the last minute.

3. Carry On If You Can

How many clothes do you really need?  Carry on luggage will save you time at both ends of your flight and it is a bonus if you are physically challenged sticking your own bag label on.  Those horrendous sticky paper labels have a habit of going wonky at the last minute, especially if you are in a hurry.

4. Dress For Travelling

Think carefully before you get dressed to travel.  Will your pants stay up if you have to take your belt off?  Have you got holes in your socks that will embarrass you when you take your shoes off?  If you want to find out if your partner gave you "real" jewellery compared to a knock off piece of junk, try walking through the x-ray machine and you will find out very quickly.  Don't have a piggy bank of change in your pocket that you will have to fish out.  And, do remember to tell the security personnel if you happen to have a metal pin holding your hip together, a heart pacemaker or any other metal bodily implant hidden beneath your flesh, they will appreciate it.  You get the lucky treatment, if you do have such an object lurking somewhere.

5. BYO Food - Maybe

BYO food that is not of the acceptable smelling variety is the biggest "no no" ever in such close confines as a plane cabin.  Leave that onion and sardine sandwich at home if you don't want the person beside you to be gagging all the way.  Better yet, forget taking your own and treat yourself to the sumptuous plastic fare on offer.  Of course, this is not a problem if sitting at the pointy end of the plane.  In that case, be more worried about how much alcohol you consume or the person beside you imbibes in.  You do know that alcohol dries out your skin during flights, let alone affecting your co-ordination when getting off the plane at your destination.

6. Be Early To The Airport

Timing of arriving at the airport is not to be taken lightly during this time of the year.  Domestic flights with a one-hour time frame and international flights of 2 hours before, no longer applies.  Go by the boarding time, not the departure time of the flight, and add on at least another 45 to 60 minutes to the above time frames to allow for the hordes of excited, stressed-out or just plain impatient people that don't like to queue, who will stand between you and that check-in or security point.

You might also be interested in 11 Airport Mistakes That Can Be Avoided.

7. Cheeky With Parking

Be a tad on the cheeky side and utilise the arrivals car parking area if there are too many cars in the drop off zone, unless a plane has just landed.  You will have ample space to unload a loved one, or maybe a loved one, and give them a smooch goodbye.

8. Grab A Granny

Grab a granny if one is at a loose end or if not, befriend a family with loads of kids and utilise their special status lane to get onto the plane early. If totally desperate, offer to push that lovely elderly man in his wheelchair.  Or, indulge yourself and buy a business or first class ticket, and then you don't have to worry about any sneaky subterfuge.

9. Observe Personal Space

Know the acceptable and polite limits of personal space when sharing a squishy environment, such as not hogging the armrests or the overhead luggage compartment.

10. Ensure A Cuddle On Arrival

Be the person someone wants to cuddle on arrival at their destination and make sure you have cleaned your teeth with one of the freebie hotel toothbrush combos and apply a dash of deodorant to take away that nasty 24 hour travel odour.  Yes, it is annoying to do this in the cupboard toilet, but you never know, you might get lucky and join the mile high club at the same time.

Above all and in spite of any inconveniences and annoying co-travellers you may experience during your flight, retain your dignity and smile, as Santa only comes to the good kids who play nicely.