To avoid being “that person” (the one holding up the boarding process due to bag struggles) this holiday travel season, you need to plan a bit before you leave. We’ve asked Heather Sanchez, a veteran Hawaiian Airlines flight attendant, for her tips on de-stressing the boarding experience.
• Pack light if you are carrying on luggage. Wear your biggest shoes and heaviest jacket or sweater on the plane and leave the shampoo and bath products at home; most hotels offer an unending supply.
• Most airlines allow passengers one carry-on and one personal item (purse, briefcase, laptop bag, small backpack or small musical instrument). Avoid having to check your bag by following these rules: bags must not exceed 25 pounds and must not exceed 22 inches long, 14 inches wide and 9 inches high.
• Use containers or ziplock bags to organize your belongings and keep clothing from getting wrinkled.
• Parents are allowed to bring car seats, infant-carrying seats and strollers as part of their carry-on allowance as long as the items can fit in the overhead compartment.
• Check with your credit card provider; most airlines have credit card programs that offer great perks, including free checked bags.
• For carry-on, keep your bag of toiletries separate and accessible. The Transportation Security Administration allows you to bring one quart-size ziplock bag through the checkpoint holding 3.4 ounces per container of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes.
Mimi Towle has been the editor of Marin Magazine for over a decade. She lived with her family in Sycamore Park and Strawberry and thoroughly enjoyed raising two daughters in the mayhem of Marin’s youth sports; soccer, swim, volleyball, ballet, hip hop, gymnastics and many many hours spent at Miwok Stables. Her community involvements include volunteering at her daughter’s schools, coaching soccer and volleyball (glorified snack mom), being on the board of both Richardson Bay Audubon Center. Currently residing on a floating home in Sausalito, she enjoys all water activity, including learning how to steer a 6-person canoe for the Tamalpais Outrigger Canoe Club. Born and raised in Hawaii, her fondness for the islands has on occasion made its way into the pages of the magazine.