The security agents at the airport may seem like the world’s biggest Grinches, but try to remember that they are there to keep everyone safe.
- Do you have someone in your family that just loves collecting those snow globes? If they are traveling home by air after the holidays, you will want to get their something that is no larger than a tennis ball. Anything bigger will be confiscated. Anything taken on an airplane will need to be kept in a quart plastic bag.
- Those Magic 8-Balls? They’ll never make it through security. So just don’t bother giving anyone that gift.
- And be sure to put your cigar cutters into your checked bag. These are items that are usually allowed, but agents are given some leeway there. So it’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Okay, this seems a little ridiculous to me, but remember that they are just protecting everyone, kitchen gadgets may also get scrutinized. This is especially true for knives and things that might possibly be used as a weapon. And remember, you may be the most trustworthy person on earth, but you never know who might try to take something from you.
- And then we have batteries. Are you and yours looking for electronics for Christmas? Then again, who isn’t? The regulations on batteries are ever changing. Just wait to get your batteries until you are safely home.
Today let’s look at some gifts that you will want to be more careful with if you happen to be flying for your holidays.
- Um, this should be obvious, but give your security people a break, and do not bring weapons on board. If someone is dying to get their Red Ryder? Buy it when you get to your destination. Or is the gun lover going home with you? Give them an IOU for when you get home.
- And no, security does not even like the fake guns. They still make them pretty nervous. You’ll avoid a lot of hassle if you do not bring anything like that. You’ll be surprised at what all they might frown upon
- They don’t like wrapped gifts either. Okay, let’s remember that some people might wrap a bomb in a beautiful package. The security people do have their reasons. The best way to avoid this is to just put everything in gift bags.
- You will even need to be careful about which foods you bring home. They are going to consider anything spreadable or pourable to be a liquid. And liquids can be used in bomb making.
- They may have mercy on you if you bring some of Grandma’s baking. But if you love her soups, try to get enough of that while you are visiting. Did someone give you a bottle of fine wine for Christmas? Go on and enjoy that while you are with your family.
Let’s get back to our discussion on holiday travel. I would love to know what you are doing for the special time of year.
- Are you at all flexible in your holiday plans leaving home the twenty-sixth and returning after the fourth is going to really cut down on traffic, no matter which way you travel. Want to have no one in your way when you travel? Travel on Christmas Day itself.
- Do you have transportation to and from the airport? Might it be nice to have a hotel because of an extra early flight? These are the things you’ll want to be figuring out now.. Wait, your flight is booked, isn’t it? If it isn’t, I would seriously consider driving.
- Are you gifts packed? You should not wrap anything until you get where you are going. Nothing will be pretty if you do. Or do you want an excuse to shop with your family?
I have shared some things I like about this time of year. I would love to hear about some of your favorite traditions of the Christmas season.
- Have you ever dreamed of spending the Christmas holidays in the Swiss Alps? Baur Au Lac Hotel was established near a beautiful lake in the 1800’s. They will have one of the tallest Christmas trees in their area. Stay at this hotel and you will get a taste of Swiss holiday favorites. And you will also get taste of some of their music.
- Has the climbing bug got into you? You might want to go to Tanzania. There are places that will serve you roasted turkey and other delicious treats. And you can also do as much climbing as you want.
- Or are you looking for something that is luxurious? If that sounds more like you, you might want to try Hotel Bel-Air which is in Loos Angeles. Pastry chef Tiffany Pascua will be more than happy to give your entire family cooking lessons. You will also be able to enjoy a four course dinner?
- Has Paris always been on your bucket list? Consider going to Le Royal Monceau where you will be able to revel in all kinds of festivities. They will have igloos that will comfortably house six guests where you will enjoy a tasting experience. You will be eating appetizers and drinking wine.
- Have you wondering what an Irish Christmas would be like? You might want to go to The Merrion, which is a hotel in Dublin. There will be afternoon tea which will feature several delicacies. There will be tasting menus on Christmas and New Year’s where you can sample Irish fare. Father Christmas will make an appearance on Christmas Eve, followed by an evening of caroling.
I’m crazy about Christmas. I love the plays and parties, and all the decorations. I love the the Hallmark movies, even if I know they are cheesy and predictable. I love the excuse to gather with family and friends.. But anyway, let’s get back to our discussion of places to go for the holidays.
- The first one we are going to look at today is Ireland. The people at Eske Castle, which is in Donegal, are preparing special treats for everyone who visits them. First, are your forever wanting to help you in the kitchen, but you don’t want the mess? The staff at the castle will welcome your little ones’ help as they bake treats. Children will also be enjoying a visit from Adults are going to enjoy a three course dinner at a fine restaurant. There will also be special programming and live music each evening.
- Does your family love history and tradition? Spend the Christmas holiday in DC. The Jefferson, a hotel there, is going to have all kinds of decorations to celebrate this special season. You may want to go to The Quill, which is a popular lounge where you can enjoy holiday drinks. You might also enjoy having dinner at the restaurant called Plume.
- Do you want to do something different, something exotic for the holidays this yearGo to Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort and Spa. Here you will be more than welcome to help decorate the lobby Christmas tree. Your children will have an opportunity to take a a picture with Santa. They can also take cooking classes with real chefs. The holiday meals are Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas brunch and Christmas dinner.
- Is your favorite part of the holiday all of the shopping? You might want to go to Europe and see their Christmas markets. There are tours that you can go on that will show you several different markets. So which markets might you be interested in visiting?
The birthday season is upon us. Do you know what you are doing, where you are going for the holidays? Today let’s start looking at some places you might want to go this time of year.
- Have you ever been to France for Christmas? You might want to try Monaco, France to celebrate the holidays. They have a hotel there called Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo. It looks like this is the place for you if you love chocolate, because they will have a lot to indulge your tastes. They also have some fun activities for kids.
- Is having a white Christmas one of your top priorities? Consider going to the Bavarian Alps in Germany. Schloss Elmau is one of the country’s top resorts, and they have some special things planned for Christmas. On the big day, enjoy live piano music. Later that evening, try some of their cocktails.
- If you are tired of our traditions, go to Peru and experience some of. You will want to go to the Country Club Lima, Peru. You will get to enjoy their tea which features some great pastries. Not a tea person? Try some of their delicious hot chocolate.
- Are you looking for a place a little closer to home? A lot of people absolutely love going to New York City the during the holiday season. Kimpton Muse Hotel is one of the hotels that is offering a special for the season. With the “Picture Perfect Holiday Offer”, you are going to get a shopping experience at Bloomingdale’s where you will have a shopping appointment and receive a gift. You will have a photographer to capture your special moments.
- Are you looking to celebrate with all the fun Christmas traditions? To do this, you will want to go to Dallas. Here you will find a nice replica of the North Pole. Go to school with the elves.. Make slime with the Grinch. You can even get close to the animals in the live nativity.
Fighting the winter blues? Tired of the cold and the snow? Ready for some beach time? If this sounds like you, it may time to look into a cruise. And I would be more than happy to help you plan that cruise. Please let me know if you are interested.
- Yesterday we were talking about why you might want to take your children. But what if you want to get away from your children? Or maybe it isn’t your children, you want some adult time. A cruise in winter would be wonderful for you because most children are in school.
- Cruises have improved their entertainment over the years.. Many now have Broadway type shows for you to enjoy. Not interested in shows? You will also find a lot of clubs on board. Or maybe you want to dance the night away.
- Do you think you might get bored on a cruise? Think again. There will be things like rock climbing, and other sports you can play. Many ships now have water parks whom many families love. There are spas for when you want to relax. You will also have the opportunity to take classes if you are interested. And there are always the pools. Pools in winter, you say?
- Cruises can take you anywhere you want to go, including places that are warm. Taking a cruise to the Caribbean is one of the most options out there. You might also want to go to South America or Hawaii.
I know some people absolutely love winter. But it can get old when you need to be inside all the time, doing the same things day after day. Today let’s look at some reasons you might want to take a cruise this winter.
- One thing many people love about cruises is that pretty much all cruises are all inclusive. And that means that you are going to get your room on board, your food and drinks, and a lot of your entertainment for one price. Pay up front, and you will not have to worry about money while you are on the ship.
- Cruises can be cheap or expensive, depending on what you want. However, one thing that you will want to keep in mind is that the cheaper the cruise, the more likely they are to nickel and dime you once you are on board. Your best bet is to go with a midgrade cruise.
- A lot of cruises are going to have children’s programs, a lot of which have very flexible hours. Do you and your husband want to do dinner and a show without the children? That can be arranged. Or maybe your children are a little older and you want to send them to the program first thing in the morning? You are free to choose when your children go to the program and when you want to enjoy family time.
- Speaking of free, sometimes when parents cruise their children will sail free. And that can be a great money saver. This is a special cruises will offer from time to time.
Okay, so gifts are just one expense you are going to face during the holidays. There is also the special food everyone wants to have during the holiday season. You might be expected to do some entertaining during this time. You may need to get some new clothes. You may even feel the need to update your home decor for the parties you may be having. With all of that, saving on travel sounds good, doesn’t it?
- First, consider getting an airline credit card. We’ve talked about that here [how to ] and here [More about frequent flyer miles]. Basically these cards will help you rack up a lot of airline miles which can be used for all kinds of perks. And with all of the bonuses you’ll get when you sign up, you may be surprised by how far you can get.
- You can also get hotel credit cards which work much the same as the above. And you can rack up points and get all kinds of nice things. Earn enough points, and you might get a free stay.
- Holidays are great times to reconnect with those you love. Plan a trip where you stay with family and friends, at least part of the time. Staying with someone you love is going to save you a ton of money on lodging. Treat them to a nice meal or two in exchange.
- Are you willing to travel on the holiday? Everyone else wants to be at their destination on the holiday, so you are going to get an excellent deal.
The holiday season can be such an expensive time of year, especially with all the gift giving everyone does. Your family, of course, expects gifts. There will be office parties where gift exchanges will be likely. And the same is true with church, or small group, parties. Where can you catch a break financially? Today let’s look at some ways you can save on travel.
- If you and your family can be flexible on when you travel, consider traveling either right before or right after the big holidays. You will be surprised by how much you can save when you don’t travel on the holiday itself. You and your family may even want to consider serving at a soup kitchen on the holiday.
- Air is always going to be expensive during this time of year. Consider going somewhere that you can drive to. This should save you a lot of money, even if you have to drive a good distance. All you will have to pay for is gas, and maybe some food.
- It always pays to bundle. Haven’t you learned that with your cable/internet\phone packages? If you have your heart set on going somewhere exotic for the holidays, bundling may be your best option. Try Expedia or other sites like that. Or you can also contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be more than happy to help you look for a good deal.
- Really don’t care where you go for the holidays, you just want to get out of town for a while? Scour the internet for some great deals. They’re out there, you just have to find them. Or again, you could contact me. I’m always able to figure out a good travel deal.
We are going to get back to this discussion tomorrow. I would love to know your thoughts.