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Best Holiday Travel Tips For Charlotte

November 24, 2012 6:00 AM

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(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

airporttravel Best Holiday Travel Tips For Charlotte

(credit: Thinkstock)

The time of year is coming when everyone knows what to expect, and it isn’t all presents and stuffing. Turkey dinners, pumpkin pie, a decorated tree in the house and prettily wrapped presents under the tree are what everyone looks forward to as they prep for the least fun part of the holidays: travel. With all of the other stressors that are out there waiting to ruin some Christmas cheer if permitted, travel does not have to be one of them. Put the joy back in the season by following a few simple travel tips perfect for navigating the Charlotte area.
Brookstone
SouthPark Mall

4400 Sharon Road
Charlotte, NC 28211
(704) 365-4093
www.brookstone.com

Before leaving on a trip, take a little extra time to make sure you have all of the travel necessities and accessories necessary to make the trip enjoyable. From luggage to power adapters, Brookstone has you covered. It also employs a knowledgeable staff to help customers choose the right products. For instance, if you are traveling to another country, you may not be able to just plug your electronic appliances into the wall: You will need a power adapter and voltage converter. Snag travel pillows and blankets that will make napping easier even on a plane, and seat cushions with support to make a long drive in the car less painful. Don’t forget vacuum packs, which will allow you to fit more into your luggage, or inflatable packs for packing fragile gifts safely. There is also a smaller Brookstone store at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport in case you forget something essential.

Related: Getaway Guide to Wilmington

Charlotte Douglas International Airport
5501 Josh Birmingham Parkway
Charlotte, NC 28208
(704) 359-4000
charlottedouglasintlairport.com

Charlotte has an airport that always gets high satisfaction ratings. In a national survey among frequent flyers in 2011, it was rated the second favorite in the United States. It also sees a high amount of traffic, so it is not a problem to get a flight wherever you need to go. There is an atrium/lounge in the middle of the main terminal with a long line of relaxing rocking chairs, and electrical outlets by each chair for charging up phones and laptops or notebooks. This also serves as a food court with multiple choices, and WiFi access. When flying out around the holidays, be sure to get there early (90 minutes before your flight is recommended) in case of long lines at security checkpoints.

Amtrak
1914 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC 28206
(800) 872-7245
www.amtrak.com/

Sometimes you just don’t want to go by plane. When you don’t, train travel is a great option. It is faster and more comfortable than a bus, and can be a great adventure especially for kids. Most trains have a cafe car food throughout the trip as well. The Charlotte train station is a nice building, comfortable and easy to find. It is not difficult to figure out where you need to go and what to do once you are there. The station itself does not have WiFi, but most of the trains traveling through it now do. While the train station in Charlotte itself is safe, it is not in the best area, so walking around any distance outside the station is not recommended.

The UPS Store
401 Hawthorne Lane
Charlotte, NC 28204
(704) 370-6030
www2.theupsstorelocal.com/

With today’s baggage fees, and the fact that holiday luggage can be a good deal more bulky when presents are added to the equation, sometimes the better choice is to mail packages to your location ahead of time. If you are staying at a hotel, most hotels will gladly receive packages for you and hold them for your arrival. Keep in mind that a lot of other people are mailing packages as well, and be sure to use the option well enough ahead of time that your packages will arrive in time. The UPS Store has everything needed — boxes, packing materials, labels — and offers printing services and mail holding or forwarding. This is also a great place to grab a passport if you’ll need it for your holiday travels.

Related: One-Tank Trip to Blowing Rock

Mann Travels
4400 Park Road
Charlotte, NC 28209
(800) 835-9828
www.manntravels.com/

Using a travel agent is sometimes the best way to go to be sure that everything will be verified and exactly as you want it to be. Travel agents often have inside information and expertise to help travelers get the best deals for travel tickets and know the best places to stay and to visit at your destination. They’ll make all of the reservations for you and set you up with travelers checks and insurance. They can even get you local information, such as the bus schedule at your destination. Mann Travels is a respected agency, and is the largest privately owned agency in North Carolina.

Vincent Eagan, III is a minister who has preached and taught Jesus in 30 states and Peru over the last 15 years. He currently lives in Monroe, NC, and is working on his MTh in Theology. He has been a life-long student of the Bible and other religious texts, and loves to discuss history. His work can be found at Examiner.com.

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