Are you braving the late night/early hours of Black Friday shopping? If you are, preparation is key to successful results. But getting ready means more than just having a list and sales ads. Here are some tips to a smooth shopping experience. Los Angeles Times
Sensible clothing is key: Wear layers and keep warm. If you're mainly looking for shoes, wear a pair that's easy to slip on and off. Shopping for outerwear and don't want to wait in line for fitting rooms? Wear a tight-fitting tank top and try things on in the aisles.
Bring drinks and snacks: Carry a water bottle or an energy drink and snacks such as granola bars or crackers.
Charge up your smartphone or tablet: Download Black Friday apps, check retailers' Twitter accounts for updates and consult price-comparison websites while waiting in line.
Map it out ahead of time: Store layout maps are crucial if you plan on shopping for a specific item with a limited supply.
Schedule your shopping route: A list of store opening times can help you plan the order of stores to hit and not waste time.
No service, no problem: Consider using walkie-talkies to communicate with multiple friends and family in different areas of a store at the same time. They're useful where cellphone service is weak or nonexistent.
Bring an assistant: A patient buddy who isn't shopping can lug your bags around, save a spot for you in line and run to Hot Dog on a Stick to get you a snack.
Be specific: A detailed shopping list, with specific model numbers for electronics and sizes for clothing, will keep you focused. And, if you're being good, set a budget.