Travelling anywhere over the holidays can be a daunting experience, with long airport lines, crammed highways, and lost luggage haunting our thoughts. So if you’re catching a flight at Vancouver International Airport this week or next week, it’s good to brush up on all the little details that can  make the difference between a seamless holiday travel experience and a miserable time.

Documents & packing

First thing is having all of your required travel documents handy. According to Vancouver International Airport, this includes your passports and IDs, airline reservations, bag specifications, and any Visas or travel paperwork you may need for the destination you’re flying to.

If you’re opting out of checking in a bag, you’ll want to review the restrictions on liquids and gels for carry-on bags before you travel. Keep in mind, this can include anything from personal care products to snowglobes.

According to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, travellers can bring up to 100 ml of liquids, non-solid food and personal items, so long as they’re sealed in a single 1 L bag.

And if you’re packing any of the following gifts or souvenirs, travellers are recommended to store them in checked baggage:

  • Liquor
  • Wine
  • Beer
  • Snowglobes
  • Cans of condensed soup
  • Maple syrup
  • Lotions

Note that packages may need to be inspected during the security screening process, so avoid wrapping your gifts if you’re bringing any!

Oh, and don’t forget to empty your water bottles before going through security.

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Before your flight

Starting 72 hours ahead of your flight time, travellers within Canada and to the U.S. can schedule a spot in the security lineup using YVR EXPRESS to avoid waiting in line at the security checkpoint.

Within 24 hours of your flight’s departure time, passengers can check-in online.

This leaves you plenty of time to check the status of your flight before arriving at the airport. After all, Vancouver might have mild winter weather this year, but you never know what the conditions are at your destination until you check.

Airport arrival & planning

As for the remaining top 10 tips for holiday travel, Vancouver International Airport encourages travellers to first make a parking plan. If you’re driving, it’s recommended to pre-book your parking ahead of time to ensure you have the space and time for a seamless drop-off.

Those commuting can hop on the Canada Line, which takes passengers from downtown Vancouver to the airport in 30 minutes or less.

With 170 different shops, services, and restaurants to explore, there’s plenty of incentive to arrive at the airport early – and not just beat departure wait times. Grab a last-minute gift at Duty-Free, fuel up with a coffee or snack, or say hello to a YVR Ambassador Dog or two.

If you need any assistance or have any questions, there are YVR’s Guest Experience team members or Green Coat volunteers, who are stationed from the curb all the way through the terminal.

So there you have it, Vancouver! Happy holidays and safe travels.