‘Tis the season to travel to see family and friends or to get away from it all. Before you travel, there is plenty on the to-do list from counting down the work and school year, tracking presents purchase online to make sure they arrive in time and getting travel ready. If you are travelling for Christmas, we’ve compiled a collection of travel tips to help you keep your chill and to keep you from making these common mistakes during the silly season.
TIP 1: Be aware of the busiest travel days
Let’s be honest, school holidays and special times of year like Christmas are busy times for travel. We all know this, but sometimes it can fall through the mind cracks and be a surprise. We’re expecting 817,000 passengers though the airport between 22 December and 2 January with the three busiest days being 22 December, 23 December and Christmas Eve.
Keep your chill by allowing extra travel time before your flight and if you are planning to park, book online in advance for the best price. If you are on pick-up duty, use the waiting areas and only go to the pick-up areas when your passengers are there and waiting this will help reduce traffic on the surrounding roads.
TIP 2: Pack 'dangerous' gifts in your checked luggage
If you’re travelling with presents that could be seen as harmful to others or look dangerous through airport screening like cricket bats and NERF play guns, pack them in your checked luggage or they will be surrendered at the screening point. For presents with batteries, double check the type of battery. Lithium batteries are not able to be taken onto the aircraft.
BONUS TIP: If you aren't sure if an item can go in your carry-on, look it up on CASA's 'Can I Pack That' website for the definitive answer.
TIP 3: Don't pre-wrap presents that are in your carry-on
As beautiful as they will look, don’t pre-wrap presents that you need to carry-on the plane. Airport security may have to unwrap the present to check contents of the gifts you’ve spent all that time perfectly wrapping. Save yourself some time and sanity and plan to wrap your pressies at your destination.
TIP 4: Flip, I forgot to buy someone a present!
We got you. Well actually, our amazing BNE ambassadors have got you. Follow their last minute Christmas gift guides for the Domestic and International Terminal to remove overwhelm from this stressful situation.
- Fat Mum Slim: How I smashed out my christmas shopping in two hours
- Paging Fun Mums: How to get your Christmas shopping done at Brisbane Airport
- Little Grey Box: 60 of the best Christmas gift ideas for travellers
If you're flying from the International Terminal, at Australian Produce Store you'll find locally made gifts like Symphony Hill Wines from Ballandean in Southern Queensland Country or crowd favourite chocolate coated macadamia nuts by Nutworks and the Chocolate Factory from Yandina on the Sunshine Coast.
BONUS TIP: Need more gift ideas? We've got our own gift guides for extra inspiration.
TIP 5: Don't bring Christmas crackers
This next tip is a cracker! Christmas crackers are not allowed on all airlines. Double check with your airline prior to flying or just pick them up when you get to your destination.
TIP 6: Oh no, we've lost Ted!
Remember to pack your valuables securely including your passports, phones and favourite toys. If you do misplace something in the terminal don’t fret you can get in touch with our lost property team to try and find your items.
Lost passports and other identification documents like drivers licences must be handed into the Australian Federal Police. Contact them to find a lost passport.
If you think you lost your item near the boarding gate, on the place or if you are missing your luggage, you’ll need to contact your airline’s lost property team.
TIP 7: Summer storms
Storms love the summer months as much as we do and may affect your flight status depending on many factors. The airport doesn’t close during a storm, however if lightning is within 10 nautical miles of the airport, all ground staff must return to the cover of the terminal for safety reasons and delays may be experienced. Read up on and understand airport storm safety here.
TIP 8: Post your last-minute letters at the airport
If you need to post a last minute pressie, letter or Christmas card, there are post boxes at the both Terminals. You’ll find them at the International Terminal on Level 4 outside next to the Departures Road and at the Domestic Terminal on Level 1 forecourt at the Qantas end. Make sure you have your letters and parcels all stamped up and ready to post.
TIP 9: Don't get burnt by sunburn
Prevention is the best medicine so remember to slip, slop, slap this summer. If you do end up with a burn and need to catch a flight, stay hydrated, lightly apply aloe vera gel to cool down the burn and wear loose clothing. Flying with a burn can be uncomfortable, so the best tip is to avoid a burn in the first place.
TIP 10: Find and share your Christmas cheer
Once you’re in the terminal, through check-in and security here is your time to relax pre-flight and find your kind of Christmas cheer. A few ideas we prepared earlier:
- Celebrate the end of the work year and well-earned time off with your favourite Christmas spirit-filled season inspired cocktail.
- If you are seeing off friends and family before Christmas, come inside the terminal and have a proper good-bye meal or early Christmas lunch. Sit down at the Glasshouse Bar or The Lord Lamington at the Domestic Terminal.
- More details of what's on for Christmas at BNE.
And if all else fails, smile. It’s Christmas after all.