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Room with Christmas decorations seen from outside the window.Many expats will be heading to their country of origin to spend the holiday season with family this month. While spending time with loved ones is everyone’s festive wish, the journey itself can be a challenge. It’s a busy time for everyone, not least the airlines, and you’re likely to be weighed down with seasonal luggage. We’ve put together a few tips to ensure your trip is a merry one.
  

Plan your time carefully 

 
After months abroad, you must be eager to see old friends and family. However, everyone’s diaries are bound to be packed with festive parties with workmates, family and friends. Make a list of all the people you would like to meet and let them know with as much notice as possible when and how long you’ll be at home for. 
 

Write a hometown wish list

 
What do you really miss about your hometown? It could be walking in a particular park, visiting a certain shop or eating your favorite food. Set aside some time for each activity so you can really make the most of being back, even if it’s just a short stay. 
 

Don’t travel at peak times

 
According to SmarterTravel.com, the worst days to travel over the 2017 holiday season are December 22, 23 and 24. For the New Year, the worst days will be December 29 and January 2. This is due to travelers trying to make the most of the long weekends. If you have a bit of flexibility in your traveling times, try to avoid these dates; crowds, high-prices and the risk of delays and overbookings are likely to dampen your festive spirit. 
 

Think about the gifts you’re bringing home 

 
Santa has the benefit of a magical sack to carry all of his presents, but you’re going to have to fit the gifts you’ve bought in your host location into your luggage. It’s probably worth considering the space you’ve got before you head out shopping. Maybe you could even buy your presents in your hometown to save the hassle of packing the holidays into one small bag. 
 

…and about the presents you’ll receive 

 
If you’re expecting plenty of gifts from family and friends, it might be worth traveling with hand luggage for the outgoing flight and then checking in a bag for the return – you can take a foldable bag in your hand luggage for this. 
 

Grab some bargains at the airport 

 
If you’re pushed for time in the busy run-up to the Christmas season, why not plan to do some of your shopping in the duty-free area of the airport? You’ll make the most of your time, get some great deals and you’ll be able to carry your purchases on to the plane without paying extra baggage fees. 
 
Room with Christmas decorations seen from outside the window.

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