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Traveling for Thanksgiving? Read This First!

While those of us here at SmarterTravel won’t be sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner with you this year, we still wanted to bring something to your holiday table. Since food doesn’t travel well through the Internet, we’re instead offering a cornucopia of Thanksgiving travel tips. Delicious.

Here’s everything you need to know to travel smarter around Thanksgiving, so you can spend more time focusing on the good stuff: the food, the family, and the friends.

Before You Go

Tips to help you prepare before you embark on your holiday journey:

Six Simple Tricks for Winter Packing: Winter packing gets bulky fast. And when it comes to checking luggage, bulky gets expensive fast. Learn six tricks to keep your baggage manageable without sacrificing warmth.

Tips for 3-1-1: The liquid ban for carry-on luggage remains in effect this holiday season. Find ideas for packing all the products you need, plus get a refresher on medical exceptions to the rules.

What is a Liquid, and What Isn’t?: Find out which Thanksgiving food items will get confiscated by airport security if you try to bring them in your carry-on. Think you’ve got it straight already? Then riddle me this: Will mashed potatoes clear airport security?

Ship Items or Pay the Airline Baggage Fee: If you are faced with baggage fees, find out how to decide whether or not you’d be better off just shipping your bags ahead of you and traveling baggage-free.

Best Ways to Avoid Baggage Fees: Ways to save the money you’d spend on baggage fees so you can buy an extra pie, or get a head start on Black Friday sales. Get tips for packing clothes, gifts, and food in a carry-on.

Live Updates from Travelocity: Travelocity will have spotters at a dozen airports, providing up-to-the-minute status reports on everything from long lines to crowded parking garages. Check in before you leave or even while you’re on your way to the airport.

At the Airport

Ideas for a better airport and in-flight experience:

Ten Smart Ways to Simplify Security: The line is long and your patience may be short, but with these tips you’ll be able to speed through the security line. Now if only everyone else in line knew the tips, too, you’d be all set.

Longest Layover Ever? The 10-Minute Cure: Whether you’re planning for a long layover or worried about an unexpected delay, here’s a quick plan to keep you entertained if you find yourself with extra time at the airport.

America’s Worst Airports for Delays: How to Cope: Flying out of or through a notoriously delay-prone airport? Discover great ways to pass the time. For instance, go swimming at Chicago O’Hare, or find the best place to people-watch at New York JFK.

More Free Wi-Fi, This Time at the Airport: Google is providing free wireless access at 47 airports around the country. Find out if yours is one of them.

Holiday Tips for Safe and Fun Family Travel: Read ways to stay sane and healthy while on the road with kids. The story includes ways to manage airport delays and the reason why you should opt for a hotel instead of staying with relatives.

Stay Healthy on Airplanes This Winter: Braving close quarters and recirculated air during any cold and flu season is a challenge, but added H1N1 fears this year have raised the stakes. Here are preventative measures you can take before you travel and in-flight tips for staying healthy.

Happy travels, and Happy Thanksgiving!

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