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23Nov/100

Tips and Tricks to Save Time During Holiday Travel

Know Your Alternatives:  There's usually a tradeoff when choosing between a major or alternative airport and you should know the difference before booking.  In many cases, you'll gain convenience and accessibility in exchange for a smaller spectrum of flights.  Akron / Canton Regional and Dane County Regional are reliable alternatives for travelers that don't mind an hour drive to Cleveland or Milwaukee.  Additionally, Chicago Midway (Chicago), Oakland International (San Francisco), and John Wayne International (Los Angeles) are very close alternatives to the larger airports in their respective markets.

Patience is a Virtue:  Don't expect all of your Thanksgiving travel plans to happen without a hitch.  You may face a delay or be asked to make alternative plans at some point.  Prepare for the worst, hope for the best and build buffers into your itinerary to mitigate any one-off disruptions without jeopardizing your entire trip (and sanity).

Travel Light:  This is both a money and time saver for any Thanksgiving traveler.  Pack light to save on the fees and additional time required to check bags.  This will also make the next tip more valuable.

Online Check-In:  You should check-in online and print your boarding pass before heading to the airport, particularly if you are traveling light.  Alternatively, some carriers now allow you to check in from your smart phone and use a digital bar code that appears on the device screen to pass through security checkpoints.  Until that technology is more widely accepted, however, we recommend that you print out your boarding pass just in case.

Security Line Scramble:  This is the biggest bottleneck in any airport over Thanksgiving.  A little pre-planning can vastly cut down your individual time (unfortunately, it still won't help speed up the group in front of you).  Keep your ID and boarding passes in the same pouch or pocket, and your liquids, medication and other red flag items in an easily accessible compartment of your carry-on bag.  Always be prepared to take off your shoes, belt and/or large metal jewelry.  Your laptop needs a separate bin, and you best find a new home for the loose change in your pocket.

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