The Thanksgiving holiday is the peak travel weekend of the year (in America. The rest of the world could give a rat's ass about Thanksgiving.) So as a public service, here again are some travel tips:
Leave for the airport NOW. Especially if your flight is on Wednesday.
Bring no luggage. Wearing the same clothes for a week is a small price to pay.
Southwest has no reserved seating. Get in one of the latter groups boarding. You don't want to be one of the first to sit then watch as fifty people glance at the empty seat next to you, then to you, and decide to sit somewhere else.
If you have children under the age of five tell your relatives one has an ear ache and make everyone come to YOU.
Those people in the Stand-By line -- those are the same people who think they can get rich selling Amway products, and the Tooth Fairy really exists. Don't fly Stand-By unless you like sleeping in airport terminals for five days.
If you rent from Hertz plan on a two hour wait just to get your car. Unless you're one of their "preferred" customers in which case allow only one hour.
When rental car companies recommend you use premium gasoline put in regular. It's cheaper, it'll run just fine, and it's not your car.
Before you pull off the road to a Chuck E. Cheese for lunch, remember their namesake is a rat.
Three words of advice if you're driving a long distance: XM satellite radio. Especially if you're crossing Texas and want to listen to Air America.
Air travelers: avoid O'Hare. Better to land in Dallas, even if your destination is Chicago.
If you're dropping someone off at the airport don't even think you'll be able to stop. Have your travelers practice the tuck and roll from a moving car. The first couple of times they'll bounce but by the fourth or fifth try they should have it down.
Watch the DVD of HOSTEL on your laptop. The bigger the screen, the better.
There's more legroom in Exit rows. When the flight attendants ask if you are willing to help out in case of emergency just say yes. Like it's going to make a big difference anyway if you crash.
There are NO bargains in the Sky Mall magazine.
When you're stuck in St. Louis and all flights are grounded (and trust me, you WILL be), grab lunch at Mike Shannon's.
If you're flying on an airline that doesn't have reserved seating never sit next to anyone whose already eating or reading Ann Coulter.
Before you fly to New York and have to negotiate JFK just remember - the parade is on TV. And it's the same balloons as last year. The only difference is that the stars of NBC's big new hit from last year, THANK GOD YOU'RE HERE won't be there (thank God).
Never pay to see an in-flight movie starring Debra Messing.
Put a big strip of duct tape on your luggage so you'll recognize it easily. And it makes a nice fashion statement.
If you're flying with small children see if there's such a thing as "Flintstones Valium".
In-flight alcoholic beverages are expensive. Better to drink heavily at the airport before boarding.
And finally, watch PLANES, TRAINS, & AUTOMOBILES again and think of it as a "best" case scenario.
Happy trails to you all.
You can read more from Ken at kenlevine.blogspot.com