How to avoid headaches during busy holiday travel season

Thursday was the busiest travel day of the holiday season and airports are expected to remain crowded as travelers rush home for Christmas.

More than a million passengers will pass through Honolulu International Airport this month. Many of them are coming in and out this week alone.

So what do you need to know before you head to the airport?

Getting dropped off is best, but if you have to park at the airport, keep in mind it will cost you at least $15 per day.

Officials say parking isn’t hard to find compared to the Thanksgiving weekend, because the time frame of people traveling for Christmas and New Year’s is longer, which means there are more people going in and out.

Security lines can always be hectic, especially if you don’t give yourself enough time before boarding.

Hawaiian Airlines peak travel dates

To the neighbor islands: Dec. 23 and 26
From the neighbor islands: Dec. 30 and Jan. 2
To the mainland: Dec. 23 and 24
From the mainland: Jan. 1 and 2

While it may have taken you hours to get just right, the Transportation Security Administration says you’re better off not wrapping those presents if you’ve got them in your carry-on. Agents could have to open them if they detect something suspicious, which holds up the security line and there’s no guarantee they’ll keep your wrapping intact.

Weapons like knives and guns are an obvious no-no, but so are replica weapons. Souvenir bullets, pendants, and bottle openers were all surrendered at Honolulu International Airport after TSA wouldn’t let them through.

Corkscrews and Swiss Army knives might seem okay, but anything with a blade is not allowed unless it’s in your checked baggage. That includes even a tiny blade, like those on credit-card multi-tools.

Even blender and food processor blades won’t get through.

Speaking of food, pies are okay to bring through security, as well as cakes, bread, and doughnuts.

But jams, jellies, sauces, syrups, soups and spirits, like wine and liquor, aren’t if they’re 3.5 ounces or more.

If you’re unsure what’s will make it through security, there’s an app for that. The TSA app and website has a feature called, “Can I bring my…?”

Packing smart will help you save yourself from a future headache, but don’t forget to follow these tips on the flight home too.

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