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‘Don’t wrap presents’ and five other things travellers should remember at Christmas

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The Christmas travel season is on the approach… here’s what to remember before you take off

Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport

For many people, Christmas brings extra pressure and tasks, and often robs the traveller of time and forethought. So we thought we should prepare some tips about travel before and during Christmas.

1. Plan your journey!

Before leaving for the airport, check which terminal your airline is flying from, allow for traffic and parking (this should always be booked in advance at Dublin Airport), and allow extra time if checking in a bag.

2. Airport security can take longer, so allow plenty of time

It’s not just busy. Fellow passengers tend to have coats, hats and scarves because it’s winter – and bags filled with fragile gifts because it’s Christmas. The people ahead of you in the queue for security may be only occasional travellers, and not as versed in the ritual as you are. On the same subject…

3. Don’t wrap those presents before airport security

Long-suffering security staff are required to examine anything that looks unusual on their scanners – which could include your imaginatively sourced Christmas gifts. It will not be a great start to your festive journey if you have to stand and watch someone tear apart all your careful wrapping to have a better look. And…

Christmas hotel breaks – what’s it like to spend Christmas in a hotel?

4. Make it a snow globe-free journey

Snow globes frequently cause commotion at security. These flaky festive stocking-fillers are full of liquid – and do not have a quantity marked. Therefore the security staff are likely to want to appraise, and probably confiscate the decorative item.

Traditional 100ml-max liquids rules still apply at most airports. Oh, and leave those crackers out; some airports and airlines let them fly as cabin baggage, and some do not.

“Don’t bring butter, brandy butter, cranberry sauce in your hand luggage,” adds Dublin Airport.

5. Don’t miss the party

Heading abroad for – or on – December 25 is an excellent idea, but in some eastern European countries the main Christmas celebrations happen on December 24.

6. Not everything closes down abroad

Ireland and the UK could be seen as outliers in practically closing down for Christmas Day. In most continental nations, Christmas Day has near-normal rail service, for example, while some top tourist attractions also remain open. The magnificent Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, for example, is open as normal from 9am to 5pm.

Additional reporting by Pól Ó Conghaile

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