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Tips for Thanksgiving Travel

No matter what method of transportation you choose, taking a few simple steps before you leave can give you a reserve of sanity for the holiday itself.

  • Pack at least one night in advance — some travelers even "practice pack" several days in advance of a planned trip to get an idea of how much gear will fit.
  • Make sure you bring everything you need, including medications and all those baby items. Don't forget to fully charge your cell phone, and then pack the charger, too.
  • In addition to necessities, make room for one more bag of fun. Include activities to occupy the kids during long periods of waiting. Pack snacks for cranky children and a pillow to encourage naps. Finally, bring a first-aid kit — accidents do happen.
  • How many times have you been 20 minutes into your drive and suddenly wondered, "Did I turn off the coffee pot?" Avoid lost time and needless worry by making a list of the things you need to do to close up the house for the duration.

If driving:

  • Have a mechanic give your car a checkup before you take it on the road.
  • Gas up the night before.

If flying:

  • Tie some funky ribbons around your luggage -- that way you can spot your bags easily on the baggage carousel.

  • Know airport security procedures. Keeping the kids hydrated is a must for plane travel -- just make sure you buy the drinks after you've gone through security. Also, put the kids in easy-off shoes to avoid causing a backup.
  • Call or check online for flight status before you head to the airport. For that matter, go online and print your boarding passes.

Next: En route >>

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