7 On Your Side: To Ship Or Schlep?

Holiday travel can be stressful enough without worrying how your gifts are going to get where they need to go.

"We pack them in a separate suitcase," says one airport traveler.

Another adds, "It's just easier to send them ahead."

Deciding whether to ship or schlep those presents is enough to give you a headache.

Insurance expert Madelyn Flanagan, with Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, says there are some simple guidelines that can help.

Keep the following advice in mind whether you're traveling by train, plane or bus.

"We think it's a lot smarter to go ahead and ship ahead if you're carrying a lot of small electronics, things that are very attractive to people if you leave your bag sitting on the seat," says Flanagan.

If you're flying the friendly skies weight is something to consider.

"If your items make your checked bag over the limit, you're going to pay an additional cost. So look at the price of carrying on the bag on or the price of shipping," Flanagan says.

If you do decide to send your gifts ahead of time it makes sense to buy added insurance through the shipping company.

Whether you decide to ship or schlep, gifts can go missing.  Flanagan says homeowners insurance will kick in but there are exclusions, so talk to your agent ahead of time to find out what they are

Flanagan adds, "Find out what your deductible is, and what you're going to have to do in the event that you experience a loss."

She also suggests keep good records of everything.

"Some sort of incident report as well as a copy of the receipt, and of course, if do you have time to take a picture of the item," Flanagan advises.

As for the travelers we talked to, they've already made up their minds.

"Absolutely, I would never bring it through the luggage or bring it on there with me, I would ship it."

"I'm taking gifts for my mom and my sister."

Flanagan says if you're flying overseas, talk to your insurance agent about territorial limitations.  Depending on where you're traveling, you may need extra coverage.

Christine Nelson, Reporting. cnelson@kltv.com