In pictures: How to take the stress out of holiday travels

Make your journey hassle-free with simple hacks by Adam Ewart, founder of Ireland-based luggage shipping firm Send My Bag
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Make your journey hassle-free with simple hacks by Adam Ewart, founder of Ireland-based luggage shipping firm Send My Bag
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1. Don’t wrap gifts: As you prepare to head off for the holidays and are travelling with festive gifts, do not wrap them. Security hold the right to rip them open should they want to inspect the package. This applies to both checked bags and carry-on luggage. Save the wrapping until you arrive so you don’t have to worry about your suitcase and its journey through security.
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2. Fly non-stop: Flight delays are a nightmare, but getting stuck in a connecting airport as result of an onward cancellation when rushing to get home for the holidays is even worse. Whenever possible, try and book a non-stop flight to your destination, even if that means being flexible on the day of travel.
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3. Have sufficient stopover time: If you must fly with a connection this holiday season, make sure you leave a stopover time of at least four hours to accommodate for delays, which are quite common during the festive period. Airlines are not obligated to find you a seat on a later flight and logistically, it can prove complicated to do so.
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4. Get distractions for children: Travelling with children makes festive travelling even more stressful. Prepare various distractions and snacks for your little ones to keep them occupied. Don’t feel guilty about loading up a tablet or smartphone with games and movies to divert their attention.
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5. Know your traveller rights: If you’re flying within the EU and your flight is cancelled or delayed by over three hours, you are entitled to compensation anywhere between £90 ($121) and £420 ($564). When a waiting period includes an overnight stay, the airline is obligated to arrange your hotel accommodation, so you don’t have to go through an uncomfortable night’s sleep on airport chairs.