Thanksgiving is a special time full of hustle, bustle and unbridled travel-related chaos. So we teamed up with Powermat to bring you the Gizmodo Road Warrior Holiday Travel Guide that is filled with tips for keeping those cords wrapped, gear packed and Twitter followers entertained without going insane.
Whether you're locomoting via train, plane, or with your Aunt Lucille in her 1987 hatchback, it's important to stay calm, considerate, and well-prepared. First, you must abide by the Golden Rule of taking your tech devices on a trip: Fully charge everything before you leave home, and remember to pack all power cables, chargers, and/or Powermats you will need. Make a checklist if you have to, just don't be left powerless when stranded at Grandma's. Here's are some more handy tips for travelers with a penchant for all things tech—no matter what your mode of transport.
First Rule: Many airlines now offer remote, mobile check-in, so why not go self-service all the way? You're not going to miss the livestock-to-slaughter-emulating wait in those long, winding roped-off check-in counter lines.
Second Rule: Speaking of livestock, don't hog the power source at the airport. One plug per person, people. Everyone's cell/ laptop/ iPad is about to die, but it doesn't mean you get to charge all your devices at once.
Third Rule: When the very nice flight attendant asks everyone to turn off their electronic devices, she means you too. Unless you're flying on a private plane (in which case, we'd appreciate an invitation), you don't get to keep your phone on. It's debatable whether or not cell phones actually interfere with aircraft instruments, but do you really want to be the guy who tests that theory?
Fourth Rule: Wait until you are actually off the plane before calling your ride. A discreet text message is acceptable as you're taxiing to the gate, but nothing is more annoying then a plane full of people all simultaneously yelling, "Meet me at ground transportation! WHAT? GROUND TRANSPORTATION!"
First Rule: Most trains and buses now come fully stocked with power outlets and wireless Internet, which would imply that you're welcome to use your laptop as you do at home. This is not the case. Sure, the train and bus companies tend to place firewalls on their networks so you can't view content they deem to be inappropriate, but it's still important to consider those around you. We recommend staying on nice, safe, family-friendly sites like, well, Gizmodo!
Second Rule: Again, the train is not your personal office. Do not use the dining car tables as a desk. Those seats are reserved for people who are making the poor decision to eat hot soup in a moving vehicle.
Third Rule: Yes, the main advantage of traveling on land instead of air is that you are allowed to use your cell phone. However, that doesn't mean you should. No one wants to hear your one-sided conversation detailing your vacation plans. Use that handy, dandy plug to keep your phone charged in case of an emergency, but seriously, limit all yapping to under a minute.
Once You Arrive at Your Final Destination
First Rule: Once you arrive at your parents', resist the urge to immediately check-in on Foursquare. No one really cares that you're the mayor of 612 Liberty Street, and if you're from a small town it might confuse the actual mayor.
Second Rule: Bring actual printed photos to share with your family. Sure, your grandpa probably has a Facebook account, but he can't rest a laptop on the mantle. If your totally adverse to hard copies, consider bringing an electronic picture frames with you so everyone can ooh and aah over your trip to India. The holidays are all about compromise between generations.
Third Rule: It's okay to tweet from the dinner table, just, please, do it discreetly. The best course of action is to help Mom set the table. Choose some nice cloth napkins that you can then place politely over your lap. Make sure they are thick enough so that tell-tale blue screen doesn't shine through. Also, while your Uncle George might be providing great material for your feed, it's important to check who is following you before updating. It will be a total giveaway if your cousin's Blackberry bleeps every time George refills his wine glass.
So there you go, a few simple rules to keep you relaxed, happy and fully charged with the spirit of the holidays. For an extra boost of seasonal juice, head here to see the Powermat in all its super convenient, hassle-free charging glory. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!