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Christmas flights: Hand luggage restrictions on popular festive items REVEALED | Travel News | Travel

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Christmas is a time of year when plane passengers may find themselves travelling with presents, food and other festive items. But it’s important to remember there are restrictions on hand luggage items that might take you by surprise. Rules apply to certain festive foods and presents – so be sure to pack these in you hold luggage or maybe re-think was you’re taking away with you. These are the things you can’t pack in your hand luggage bags this Christmas.

Cranberry Sauce

This popular turkey condiment unfortunately counts as a liquid to unless your jar of the stuff is under 100ml you won’t be able to take it in your cabin baggage.

Brandy Butter

Brandy butter may start off solid but at the end of a flight it can turn into a liquid which means airlines count it as such, so again, it will have to be under 100ml to be able to fly with you.

Camembert

Just like brandy butter, this cheese can end up melting and turning into a liquid by the end of a flight. Best put this one in your hold luggage – it could help with reducing the smell for other fliers, too!

Sports equipment

If you’re heading off on a sporty festive break or taking equipment as a present, you need to be careful.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) lists what you can and cannot take in hand luggage.

The following are permitted: sports parachutes, tennis rackets, snooker/pool/billiard cues and fishing rods.

These are not allowed in hand luggage: heavy bats and sticks, golf clubs, darts, walking/hiking poles, catapults, firearms (including replica firearms), harpoons or spear guns, crossbows or martial arts equipment.

Those travelling with diving equipment should check with their airline before travel.

Corkscrews

They might be a good present for the wine lover in your life – or a useful tool for you on your own break – but corkscrews aren’t allowed in hand luggage.

Airport security will take corkscrews away from you so best pack them in the hold.

Christmas crackers

Under heightened security measures, airlines such as Ryanair, Etihad, Emirates and Norwegian Airlines have all banned Christmas crackers.

Passengers are not permitted to fly with the crackers, either in their hand luggage or in checked baggage.

Crackers fall under the ban because they fall under the explosives and flammable substances and devices for certain airlines.

You can bring up to two sealed boxes (must be original packaging) of Christmas crackers in your cabin bag with easyJet although the airline recommends putting them in the hold to avoid confusion at security.

British Airways let you fly with two sealed boxes of crackers in original packaging in your checked luggage, except on US flights. You cannot take any Christmas crackers on flights departing the US, however.

Meanwhile, Virgin Atlantic let you fly with one sealed box in original packaging, packed in your checked luggage.

Party Poppers

The above guidelines also apply to party poppers, which contain a small explosive charge to push out the confetti and are banned on all flights leaving the UK.

Toys that look like weapons

Plane passengers should be careful with travelling with toys for the youngsters in their lives.

If they resemble weapons in any way they will be taken off you. Ryanair explains: “These include toy guns, water pistols, slingshots, darts and sports bats.”

Snow globes

Snow globes have liquid in them which means they won’t be allowed to pass through security.

Dublin Airport spokesperson, Siobhán O’Donnel told the Irish Independent: “Many people carry a snow globe in their hand luggage and unfortunately because of their liquid content they are not permitted through security screening,” O’Donnell said.

“These security measures are in place to improve passenger safety at the airport and ensure compliance with EU and Irish aviation security regulations.”

Passengers travelling over the winter also need to care to do one thing in particular at airport security, airports have warned. 

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Travel & Escape

Opinion: Are we ready for the tourism rebound?

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Canadians are ready for the borders to be re-opened and will be flocking to sun destinations this winter like never before. The number of people who have said that they are ready to “get out of Dodge” and “fly the coop” is an indication that there is a pent-up demand for travel and excursions that has been bolstered by a two-year sabbatical from vacations of any semblance. 

While Canadians are going to be heading south, we can expect some of our citizens as well as those from other nations to be looking to Canada for their adventure holidays. When the requirements for the two-week quarantines are lifted, we will be seeing a quick rebound of tourism as other countries who have already lifted their restrictions have seen. 

But are we ready?

In 2019, tourism contributed $105 billion to the Canadian economy. Tourists from outside of Canada spent over $16 billion dollars.  Those numbers were down considerably in 2020 and it is only natural that many people in the industry suffered as a result of the effects of the pandemic and lockdown restrictions.

While some folks, fearful of the spread of variants, believe that the borders should never be re-opened, the reality is that to save our tourism industry and the economy, we need tourist traffic from outside of Canada as well as interprovincial travel. As Canadian and foreign tourists start their migration towards our tourist and nature attractions, there is some hesitancy about the readiness of the industry to manage the coming tsunami of people.

Hit harder than many sectors, the tourism industry has been affected by the pandemic in ways that other industries haven’t. The closure of attractions, fairs, tour bus companies, sporting events, concerts and community events with any semblance of a large group has forced workers in this industry to look for jobs elsewhere to survive. As a result of this migration of talent there will be many tourism related businesses that will have difficulty scaling up to meet demand.  According to Statistics Canada, 32 per cent of accommodation and food service companies expect that attracting workers is going to be an obstacle for them this year.

Even if you have some warm bodies to fill your positions, having well-trained staff will remain a problem for many tourism and food service companies. Most business leaders in the industry understand the result of having improperly trained staff working in positions serving the public. The consequences of poor customer service can be long lasting and devastating. Unfortunately, as a result of the constant opening up and shutting down scenarios that have been seen in the economy over the past 18 months, most operators have been reluctant to increase the staffing levels that will be necessary to meet demand. The consequences will be that there will be no other option but to have staff that are not fully trained or optimally equipped to take care of the flood of vacationers.

In order to adjust to the coming demand, tourism-related businesses will need to be prepared to hire and train new employees to promote and deliver their services. This should include systematization of training, hiring and onboarding processes to enable companies to get up to speed quickly when the demand starts.  

While tourism deserves to have their days in the sun and profit from increased business, we need to recognize as Canadians that it takes a country to host visitors and we need to encourage and support those people in the industry who have been hit so hard.

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Travel & Escape

COVID-19: Tourism bookings start increasing as B.C. opens up

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Tourism in B.C. is restarting but don’t expect it to be the same as it was before the COVID-19 pandemic.

While B.C. Ferries is welcoming recreational travellers and relaxing its mask requirement at terminals, face coverings will still be mandatory on board whenever you’re not in your vehicle.

Several Indigenous tourism businesses and locations that were closed to visitors are planning to reopen July 1.

Other tourism businesses are welcoming back visitors but won’t be in a position to handle big volumes because of a lack of staff, said Anthony Everett, president and CEO of Tourism Vancouver Island.

“Everyone needs to travel with a great deal of patience,” Everett said from Nanaimo. “Most businesses are running at a fraction of capacity of what they did prior to COVID.”

Many tourism sector workers have left the industry and found work elsewhere, Everett said. Particularly hard hit are restaurants that can’t find kitchen workers and companies doing tourism-related activities such as kayaking.

He said the benefits of tourism won’t be evenly distributed.

Last year, Victoria struggled all summer long and while bookings for accommodation have increased, some of the city’s restaurants are only open for lunch, others only for dinner.

“This is all going to take time to build up,” Everett said.

“Frankly, I think it will take years. This summer, bookings are going up, that’s what we’re been waiting for. It’s not going to be the exact same experience you were used to prior to the pandemic. I hope people remember and recognize that.”

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Travel & Escape

Mountain biking the Sea to Sky Trail

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With the 700-metre granite dome of the Stawamus Chief as a backdrop, my friend, Ken, and I climbed on our bikes in Squamish and began pedalling north. Our destination was Whistler, an uphill trek of some 80km that we hoped to cover in two days.

It would be easier to ride the opposite way—from Whistler to Squamish—because it’s downhill. But it wouldn’t be the Sea to Sky Trail if we rode that way. Besides, how hard could an elevation gain of more than 600 meters be?

I have driven the Sea to Sky Highway to Whistler many times. It’s arguably one of the best drives in Canada, but when I learned about the Sea to Sky Trail, I knew I needed to experience it on a bike. It’s a slower pace, and largely away from the highway, so it would allow us to appreciate the journey—the valleys, river gorges, lakes, and forests—in a way you can’t in a car.

While the Indigenous peoples of the Coast Salish and Interior Salish have used this corridor as a historic travel and trade route, the idea of a multi-purpose Sea to Sky Trail was first imagined in the early 1990s. But given the geographical and funding challenges, it’s only been in the last decade or so that the vision of the 180km trail from Squamish to D’Arcy, north of Pemberton, has been realized.

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