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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — ‘Tis the season to visit family, and this year Americans are expected to travel in record numbers.

AAA forecasts 107.3 million Americans will travel between December 23rd and January 1st. And a lot of those people will be taking gifts with them! If you’re planning on traveling with presents, today’s “Lauren’s List” has a few tips to make sure you don’t wind up looking like a holiday Grinch.

  1. Protect your presents: I don’t just mean wrapping them in bubble wrap! If you know you’re traveling with breakable items, or even boxes that can get squished, consider investing in hard shell luggage. That way when the bags are tossed around in the cargo hold, you don’t risk arriving to find a broken gift. And of course, if the item is very valuable, carry it on with you.
  1. To Wrap or Not To Wrap: That is the question you should ask yourself before you start packing. The answer will depend on whether you plan to carry on or check your bags. For carry-ons, it’s simple. Don’t wrap the gift! All that fancy paper may go to waste if TSA needs to take a closer look. If you insist on wrapping, it should go in a checked bag, but even then, the wrapping paper may not survive the journey.
  1. Ship gifts to destination: There’s still time to get this do this if you haven’t already. Monday, December 18th is the deadline for UPS 3-day Select. December 19th is the cut-off for FedEx Express Saver and USPS First Class Mail. You have until Wednesday, December 20th to send Priority Mail and still have it arrive by Christmas
  1. Bring an extra bag: If you’re giving gifts, you may also be receiving them. Be sure to have enough room for them. Bring a duffel bag for all the holiday loot that won’t fit in your suitcase once all the gifts you bought are handed out.

Are you traveling with gifts this year? Tell me on Facebook or Twitter.

If you have an idea for a future “Lauren’s List”, send it to


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