• Be sure to eat a hearty breakfast before heading out to the airport. Pack a piece or two of whole fruit or a portion of nuts for snacking, and bring an empty water bottle so that you can make it through airport security and fill the bottle when you are at the gate. Being hydrated and having healthy snacks will make your travel experience more pleasant.
• “Print a physical copy of your travel itinerary, including flight numbers. Stow a copy inside a secure spot in your luggage so that if it gets lost, you’ll be easy to find. I like to put mine inside the zippered net bag that’s attached to my suitcase.” — E.L. in Ohio
• Pack a hanging luggage scale. This is especially helpful at the holidays, when you may be both taking gifts to give and returning with gifts given to you.
• When planning a vacation or even a visit home for the holidays, it’s important to manage everyone’s expectations. Imagine Mom expects her grown kids to spend most of their time seeing extended family, while they are making plans to see childhood friends while in town. Have a chat with parents, siblings and extended family so that everyone has a good idea of what the plan is.
• “For large gatherings, borrow what you need from local friends and family. That includes chairs, servingware, place settings, silverware and linens! Most people are happy to help.” — R.R. in Alabama
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