Valley International Airport

Packing Tips for Protecting Your Presents

Well, it’s that time of year again! Time to load up the sleigh and prep the reindeer for flight. After making it through Thanksgiving, we now embark on the true winter holiday season. With all the hustle and bustle that comes with this time of year, we want to remind you that there are some things to consider when traveling with your cargo of gifts this holiday season.

With more than half a million people taking flight for the holidays, we at Valley International Airport want you to be as prepared as possible before entering the gates with your precious bag of gifts.

1. Gift Cards Keep on Giving

Since space in your carry-on and checked bags is limited, why not consider packing light without skimping on the presents? We’re talking about gift cards of course! From your uncle’s favorite restaurant to your daughter’s favorite online boutique, gift cards exist for a variety of locations and reasons. 

If you’re stumped on what card would be best for your brother-in-law, try a reloadable prepaid card so that he can spend it on what he wants- no guessing involved! This will allow you to pack for everyone and their cousin- literally! With all that extra space in your luggage, you might even fit another warm jacket!

2. Little Presents Pack a Punch

If you’re the type of present-giver who feels that gift cards are a bit too impersonal, consider packing other smaller accessories that TSA won’t bat an eye at! Gifts like wallets, scarves, tea towels, and socks can easily fit inside a checked bag or carry on and not trigger any delay in security. This can also work with unboxed clothes and softer gifts like stuffed animals. 

While these gifts make great stocking stuffers, they can also be wonderful as the main gift, as well! After all, getting home for the holidays is a gift in and of itself!

3. Breeze Through TSA

If you’re thinking about more of a sentimental Trotsky or elegant gift like jewelry, we urge you to check with your airline’s checked and carry-on limitations. Gifts like snowglobes, for example, still need to follow guidelines in place for liquids if in your carry-on bag. Most airlines will allow a normal snowglobe in your checked bag but will have the size and liquid limitations if within your carry-on. 

Gifts like jewelry will also pass if in your checked bag but will need to be inspected if you plan on putting them aboard the cabin of the plane in your carry-on. We at Harlingen Airport recommend securely wrapping your fragile gifts in plenty of bubble wrap and clothes from your suitcase if in your checked bag. If these gifts are stowed in your carry-on, note that TSA might need to unwrap your gift to do a proper security check. For this reason, we recommend keeping gifts like these in an easily opened gift bag or gift box.

4. Wait With That Gift Wrap

At Rio Grande Valley Airport, we understand that the holidays can be a hectic time for most, without much time between activities for wrapping gifts. However, we recommend not wrapping your gifts before traveling if at all possible. It might save you a headache or two in the security department. 

TSA will not hesitate to unwrap your carefully wrapped boxes and packages if they suspect your gift might contain a prohibited item. Please be sure to follow all safety guidelines in accordance with your airlines’ website and frequently asked questions section regarding what you bring in your carry on and checked bags. If TSA flags your gift in security, it could delay your bag so that it doesn’t make it through security in time, and that could ruin your holiday surprises for your family and friends.

Get Home for the Holidays With VIA

With holiday traffic in south Texas booming, as always, we recommend getting to the airport 2 hours early for domestic flights and 3 hours early for international flights. This way you can stop any delays or lines from preventing you from getting to your destination on time! 

In the meantime, we hope you will enjoy this holiday season with your friends and family and enjoy your time passing through the Valley International Airport! 

Travel with care and comfort this holiday season on a flight from your Harlingen international airport.

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