It's that time of year again...you know, where you get to stand in lines for the best deals on Black Friday. 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.
- 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 (or download an app for your smartphone). Stores may not have lighting where the line is.
- Charge your mobile devices. You can also buy external battery packs.
- Grab some games. This means it's OK to waste a few hours in a row playing Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, Fruit Ninja, or Doodle Jump.
- Load up on media. Whether it's movies or music, add something to your device to help distract you from the waiting game.
- Snag a deck of cards. With tons of games to choose from, it's sure to help you and your company in the line stay occupied.
- Bring an e-reader or book. Just remember that if you're going to read outside, it's probably a good idea to have a book light.
- Bring some friends. Three or more people is a great idea, but two will do. 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. Many sales on big-ticket items might mean customers in line are carrying more cash. People of ill intention may view this as the perfect opportunity to commit their crimes.
- Play nice with others. Strangers in the line may be tired and hungry, making the trip from calm to feisty a quick one--so beware.
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 Marketplace; it may help you skip a line or two.