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Make This Your Happiest Holiday Flight Ever

Happy Thanksgiving travel: Is it even possible? With some advance planning and the right attitude, the answer may be "yes."

The key to good holiday travel is to embrace the realities—the big crowds, slow lines, and novice travelers—and then plan around them.

  • Get Organized Before You Leave: Start with organized baggage and a clean carry-on. Group any documents you'll need in an easy-to-access spot. Make sure you've got everything you need, from identification to hand sanitizer and snacks.
  • Give Yourself Plenty of Time: There are few travel moments as frustrating as standing in line—to check in, get through security, or even just grab a coffee—when you're already late. For holiday travel, it's vital to budget extra time.
  • Avoid Lines Whenever Possible: Standing in line adds frustration to travel. So whenever there's an alternative, seize it. Opt to check in online ahead of time. Grab food or coffee before you get to the airport. Instead of hovering around the boarding gate waiting for your row number to be called, kick back and wait until your group is actually boarding before joining the fray.
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  • Bring a Treat: Maybe that treat is a novel you haven't yet had time to dive into, or a magazine that catches your eye. Perhaps it's a sweet something, or a decadent coffee. Whatever it is, treat yourself to a little something special, as a signal to yourself that this is part of the holiday, too.
  • Keep Your Cool: The sad truth of air travel is that people are often not on their best behavior. Whether it's someone cutting in front of you in line, or a seatmate who hogs the armrest, there are sure to be frustrating moments. But try not to sweat the small stuff. Remember that everyone around you is in the same boat, and stay focused on all the good reasons you're traveling.

What other ways do you have for making travel more enjoyable? Share your ideas below!

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