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Holiday travel tips to keep you sane

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Jet-setters and airline workers provide great tips for travel
  • Know the rules of what to pack and where to pack it
  • Give yourself plenty of time to make it through security
  • Don't expect amenities such as blankets, food or Wi-Fi on the plane

(CNN) -- Throughout days of travel, CNN.com's Jessica Ravitz collected holiday travel tips from master jet-setters, airport workers and flight attendants.

Read about the six-airport, 5,900-mile, complimentary drink service-fueled journey.

Here are some of the best to consider before you go and once you've arrived at the airport:

Book your flights wisely
It's easier to travel on weekdays or the actual holiday. Changing tickets is simpler, too, if you booked through the airline. If there are multiple flights to your destination, try to book the earliest one. In case of cancellations or delays, you'll be better positioned to hop on the next.

ID and label everything
Have proper photo ID for you and your family members, and current passports if you're leaving the country. Include contact information, most importantly a phone number, inside and outside your checked luggage, just in case you and your bag go separate directions.

Visit the TSA's website
You may think you know the drill, but take a minute to double-check at http://www.tsa.gov/. Learn the rules for flying, what to expect while going through security and what you can pack, especially when traveling with gifts or food.

Don't check what you can't live without
If you must have certain medicines, certain outfits or a certain floppy-eared pink bunny for a certain someone to go to sleep, plan to carry it on, rather than risking lost bags. You may also be on your own, too, for in-flight blankets and pillows, so plan in advance for your comfort. And don't forget diapers and formula or milk if you have babies.

For the greater good, though, don't carry on everything
Flight attendants say delays are a direct result of the number of bags with which customers fumble. If you're slowing everyone down when you board, consider checking a bag.

Bring money
If your flight is canceled or delayed for reasons that can't be controlled by the airline, you're on your own for a hotel room and food.

Pay attention to where you're walking
Read the signs and remember that if you go through a restricted door unintentionally, you -- yes, you -- will be shutting down the entire terminal.

Check the gate monitors
Your boarding pass might not be accurate, especially if you printed it hours earlier. Also, listen for announcements that might alert you to changes once you're at your gate.

Eat or grab food to go before you board
Full-service meals on domestic flights are a thing of the past. But go ahead, enjoy those pretzels.

Don't assume you'll finish your work on the plane
In-flight wireless connections are free on Delta, AirTran and Virgin America flights this holiday season, but the service is not available on every plane and doesn't always work.

Accept what you cannot change
Customer service agents do not make the security rules, nor can they make a late plane arrive faster. Once airline workers have closed the gate, you're not getting on that flight. Tantrums won't do anything but earn you stares.

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