Tips for keeping Christmas travel merry and bright

By Jill Sperling
December 18, 2017 - 4:15pm Updated: December 18, 2017 - 5:34pm

KAMLOOPS — It's the most wonderful time of the year, and at the Kamloops Airport, it's also the busiest.

"Usually December and January are our busiest months for passengers at Kamloops Airport," said Managing Director Heather McCarley. "In December last year, for example, we saw almost 3,800 more passengers than in November."

With all the hustle and bustle of the season holiday travelers are encouraged to give themselves a little extra time, and be prepared for schedule changes.

"Most important: check with your airline in advance of your flight," McCarley said. "Even if there's no snow here in Kamloops, weather at other locations could affect airline schedules." 

To avoid delays while going through security, travelers will need to be aware of what they can or cannot pack. 

"When it comes to packing your presents, try to keep them unwrapped, they may need to be opened for inspection at the security point," McCarley said. "Just go ahead and pack some extra gift boxes, or wrapping paper to make quick work of wrapping once you get to your destination."

Electronics are allowed in carry-on luggage, but they may need to be turned on and removed from their protective casings for security. 

Scissors and small knives less than six centimetres in length are also permitted in the carry on unless the destination is in the U.S., in which case they must be packed away in the checked luggage.

"Travelling with a carry-on at this time of year is always easier," said Travelwise owner Roxanna Ferguson, "because you're not waiting to check your bag, you're not waiting to pick up your bag, but you have to follow the rules, and it's going to be busy." 

Ferguson says the next few weeks will be especially busy as people fly to visit family, or jet off for a winter getaway. 

"The 25th will be the least busy of the following days, but given the kids are in school until Friday, Friday you're going to see a lot of people traveling, and then Saturday will be crazy ridiculous, and then of course after that it will be busy for the next two weeks." 

Which means travelers will have to pack a little extra patience this holiday season. 

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