Guide to waiting in line on Black Friday

Before you leave home to wait in a long line, check out this guide for creating comfort, battling boredom, and staying safe.

If you plan to stand in line for deals this Black Friday, there's a few things you should consider. Instead of heading out the door 8 or more hours ahead of the sale unprepared, take a gander at this guide for tips to make the experience more pleasant.

Creating comfort

  • Bring your own bottle--of water. Good alternatives for cooler climates are hot coffee or even soup in a Thermos.
  • Snick-snacks. Whether they're healthy or not is up to you.
  • Extra jacket and/or blanket. Additional layers for cold weather or something children and adults can use on the ground.
  • Folding chair(s). The kind that fold and fit into a bag with a shoulder strap are ideal for when the line begins to move. Anything larger will need to go back into the car before shopping.
  • Locate the nearest 24-hour restroom. Look for one that is safe and clean, should you need to run off and use the facilities.
  • Bring a small flashlight. Your phone LED will do the trick, but can drain your battery fast. It's best to bring a pocket flashlight in case there's little to no lightning outside the store's doors.

Battling boredom

  • Grab some games. This means it's OK to waste a few hours in a row playing random stuff on your phone or tablet.
  • Load up on media. Whether it's movies or music, add something to your device to help distract you from the waiting game.
  • Bring an e-reader or book. Just remember to bring gloves if you're in a cool climate.

Staying safe

  • Bring some friends. This makes taking breaks much easier when someone can hold your spot in line.
  • Share your location. Tell friends and family which stores you'll be shopping at this Black Friday.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Credit cards are popular, but some people still prefer to pay with cash. With big ticket items for sale, people of ill intention may be lurking near stores.
  • Play nice with others. Strangers in the line may be tired and hungry, so keep that in mind before any argument gets out of hand.

What does your Black Friday routine involve? Have any extra tips that can be added to the guide? Share them in the comments!

And don't forget to take a look at the CNET Holiday Gift Guide; it may help you skip a line or two.

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