Tuesday, April 23, 2024

21 travel tips for Victoria residents flying home for the holidays

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Around this time of year, students and people working away from home are starting to make the journey back to their families for the holidays. 

While travelling this time of year can be stressful for many, being prepared and ready for your flight will help you avoid chaos and enjoy what really matters—time spent with family. 

Whether you are leaving Victoria or coming back to the Island these 21 travel tips will help ensure you start your holiday adventure in the right direction.

  • Make sure you have all of the documentation required to travel.  Requirements can vary depending on whether you are travelling domestically or internationally so you might want to check with your airline. Be sure to have a valid (not expired) government-issued passport for all flights.
  • This time of year with an influx of passengers, airlines may be strictly enforcing baggage limitations.  Please check with your airline to confirm your flight and verify that your luggage is within the size and weight restrictions for both carry-on and checked baggage.
  • Most major airlines offer customers the option of saving time by checking in for their flights online up to 24 hours before departure. While it is not mandatory, checking in online can help save you a considerable amount of time once you arrive at the airport.
  • Before leaving for the airport, it is always a good idea to check the airline to ensure the flight is still on schedule.
  • When driving or ridesharing to the airport give yourself extra time to park, check your baggage, and clear security screening.
  • For those bringing their own vehicle, the YYJ airport does not accept parking reservations. Have no fear, there is plenty of parking at the airport as well as short and long-term parking spots.
  • Payment options for short-term parking are debit or credit only. Cash is not accepted
  • Payment for long-term parking includes cash at the exit booth, debit, credit or online using PARKEDIN application.
  • It is recommended that during the holiday season, those flying should arrive at least two hours before a scheduled departure time for check-in and pre-board security. 
  • If you are travelling with a smart bag or stroller, make sure you remove the battery before check-in or boarding.
  • With many bags looking the same, it is always a good idea to add a distinctive feature to the bag so that it will stand out for you.
  • In case your luggage was to go missing, passengers should take photos of checked luggage to help with the location of the missing bags.
  • If you are travelling internationally, remember what you packed and be aware of the destination border inspection rules for agriculture items and prohibited items. 
  • When it comes to security checks, if you are travelling with gifts, it is recommended that they be unwrapped.
  • If you are taking a wrapped item, it is best to place it in your checked baggage.
  • Keep valuables, medicine and other important items in your carry-on baggage.
  • Have your boarding pass and proof of full COVID-19 vaccination ready to present for verification when you get to the screening checkpoint.
  • When it comes to the security check, you can choose the order in which you place your items in the bins. If you have something that you want to keep an eye on, you should place it in the last bin that’ll go through the X-ray.
  • Sports equipment such as skis, snowboards, ski poles, hockey sticks and golf clubs are not permitted as carry-on items and must be transported as checked baggage. 
  • If travelling with your personal pet – please check with your airline first to ensure your animal is allowed on board. Some airlines do not allow pets into the cabin during the holiday season.
  • Last but not least, never joke or make “small talk” about bombs, firearms or other weapons while going through pre-board screening. In Canada, it is a criminal offence

Have a travelling tip you’d like to share? Let us know in the comment section below!

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