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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

5 tips for stress-free holiday travel

Are you braving the airports this holiday season to visit family and friends? Then in addition to the busyness of the holiday season you’ll be adding travel plans – all of which can make for a very hectic and stressful time of year. A little planning will go a long way and Brian Altomare is here to offer some assistance.

You may have seen Brian featured on the television show “Shark Tank.” He’s the founder of Lugless, a luggage shipping service that sends your luggage ahead of time to wherever you’re going. This means you won’t have to pay airline baggage fees, you can avoid check-in lines and going through security will be a breeze. Then, when you land, there is no shuffling through other passengers waiting at baggage claim or worrying about lost luggage.

Here are Brian’s tips for stress-free holiday traveling:

Tip #1 – Roll instead of fold

It might seem simple and obvious, but most travelers still do not maximize luggage space when packing for a trip. If you roll all your clothes – from pants to jackets to shirts – you increase the extra space by about one-third. Bonus: Your clothes will be wrinkle free when you un-pack.

Tip #2Buy a $9 luggage scale on Amazon.com

We all love surprises during the holiday, but not at the check-in gate. Avoid extra baggage fees for overweight luggage by weighing it prior to arriving at the airport. This way you’ll avoid extra fees or worse, removing your clothing (and undergarments!) in front of everyone just to meet airline weight requirement.

Tip #3 – Bar belts, shun shoelaces & rock TSA-approved laptop bags

Brian says this is his favorite block of travel ideas for more sanity through security. Always wear slip on shoes, sneakers or sandals and pack your belt in a carry on so you don't have to take it off at the security checkpoint. Also, only use a TSA-approved laptop bag so you never have to worry about taking it out.

Tip #4 – Carry two small bags not one medium bag

If you want to take a bag onto the plane carry two smaller bags, if trying to avoid fees, and not one medium-sized bag that might be checked at the gate. At the last minute, a staggering percentage of bags that make it to the terminal gate are asked to be checked prior to boarding due to space issues. The other reason is because FAA fines airlines for late takeoffs and extra carry-on bags in the overhead compartment, which is a big issue preventing on-time arrivals and departures. Airlines even have staff to roam terminals and try to get travelers to pay or check bags if they think the bags are too large and should not have passed through initially.

Tip #5 – Ship your luggage

lugless screen shotThis post would not be complete without this tip. Brian recommends shipping your bags ahead of time. It is a much more enjoyable experience, he says. “I should know. I am the co-founder of LugLess.com, a door-to-door luggage shipping service for travelers who are tired of airline baggage fees, waiting in crowded check-in lines, tapping their feet at baggage claim, and dealing with the prospect of lost luggage. We provide on-time guaranteed service and rates that are less than FedEx, UPS and DHL for express and international shipping to more than 200 companies.”

He truly believes in Travel without the Baggage, which is the company’s tagline. In fact, Lugless is currently offering lowered holiday pricing so it’s an ideal time to give the service a try. Brian recommends you at least try the service once and experience “baggage-free” travel for a much more relaxing holiday trip.

Brian Altomare, Lugless founder, has also been featured on Bloomberg TV, FOX News Radio, ABC- San Francisco and CW- San Diego.

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