Holiday travelers boarding trainsWhenever I think about holiday travel, I conjure the image of the McCallister family, from "Home Alone," running through the airport to catch their flight only minutes before its takeoff. With suitcases full of gifts and busy travelers trying to make it home in time for the holidays, it can be an unpleasant experience.

Embassy Suites Hotels elicited the support of their Facebook community to come up with helpful advice for holiday travel to make the process as pleasant as possible and made a list of the top 10 tips for travel this holiday season.1. Do the homework. Before departing, check out travel sites, blogs and the destination's Facebook page to find tips and recommendations on shopping, events and restaurants.

2. Maximize packing space. One fan wrote, "Since my husband's shoes are much bigger, I put my shoes, my daughter's shoes, and anything that fits, directly inside of them. No longer do his shoes take up the entire suitcase."

3. Start packing early. Put important travel items in a basket a couple days before packing to ensure that you have everything you need.

4. Always have a small tote of toiletries ready-to-go, so you can pack a suitcase at a moment's notice.

5. Pack a bathing suit just in case there is a heated pool or Jacuzzi.

6. Don't pack all of your clothes in one suitcase. If traveling with others, split up clothes just in case one piece of luggage gets lost.

7. Cut a tennis ball in half. Stuff one half with powdered laundry soap and flip the other half inside out to use as a sink stopper and, voila, - laundry on the go.

8. If you tend to snooze on plane rides, use a sticky note or the back of a business card to write a message to the flight attendant, such as, "Sorry I missed you, but would love a water when I wake up. Thank you!"

9. Create a scavenger hunt for your family during holiday business trips by hiding a few small packages or notes around the house. Texting clues from the road is a fun way to keep in touch with your family.

10. Pack a few sets of blank note cards for your trip. It is a nice way to thank people for exceptional service during a holiday trip.

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