The smart way to travel with gifts this Christmas

There is a right and wrong way to handle travelling with gifts this holiday season.

The smart way to travel with gifts this Christmas

SJ is a regular travel contributor to YourLifeChoices. Her travel low point was buying a Beijing guidebook for her visit to Thailand in 2007. Thankfully her geography has improved since then.

If you’re celebrating Christmas somewhere other than your home it can be hard to know the best way to tackle the whole topic of gifts and how to get them to and from your destination safely. Should you wrap them before or after? Is it better to ship them, pack them or carry them? There are a lot of choices to make and definitely a right and wrong way to go about the whole process.

Thankfully, we’re here to help. Here’s how to travel with gifts the stress-free way this holiday season:

Buy now, wrap later
Unless you are travelling by car, do not bother wrapping your presents until you arrive at your destination. There are a few very straightforward reasons for this. Firstly, if you’re travelling by plane or train or any other form of transport where your belongings will be checked, you may end up having to unwrap said gifts meaning you will need to rewrap them at your destination anyway. Secondly, this allows you to inspect gifts to make sure they are not damaged when you arrive and thirdly, wrapping paper can crinkle and rip very easily leaving your presents looking rather unloved – remember, first impressions …

To pack or not to pack?
A few hard-and-fast rules here – anything irreplaceable or valuable should not be checked in – carry this in your hand luggage and keep in your immediate vicinity at all times.

Fragile gifts should be wrapped in bubble wrap and packed in the middle of your suitcase, with clothes or soft items surrounding them so they are cushioned securely on all sides. If the item is hollow, make sure you pad the inside as well to ensure it does not cave in on itself so to speak.

For oversized gifts, consider buying them at your destination if they don’t need to make the return journey home with you or, if they are for a family member who will be travelling after Christmas, give them a picture of the item to unwrap on Christmas day and leave the item at home waiting for them on their return.

If you have non-fragile items that aren’t of a huge value, consider express posting them or shipping them with tracking to save you some space and hassle.

gifts in a suitcase

Give outside the box
Most of us have enough material things in our lives. Think outside the box when it comes to gift giving and give experiences instead. These often end up being much more memorable and a nice way to spend some extra time with friends or loved ones. At the very least a voucher is a great way to ensure people end up with a gift that they want or need and won’t weigh you down or take up precious packing space.

A final tip – don’t forget to take something in which to transport your own gifts home. A foldable bag won’t take up much space and means you will have more luggage if you need it on the way home. If you’re travelling by car consider taking a washing basket or sturdy container to get all gifts home safely. Don’t forget to recycle your wrapping paper too – a small gift to planet earth this Christmas!

Are you travelling this Christmas? Do you have any other tips to add when it comes to transporting gifts safely? We’d love to hear them in the comments below.

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