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How-to

5 Ways to Survive Thanksgiving Travel

I can’t wait for Thanksgiving and to be surrounded by family, friends and food. Should we all just take a moment to appreciate eating bottomless amounts of turkey and pumpkin pie without worrying about conserving swipes? As great as this all sounds, the only way we will be able to completely enjoy this magnificent holiday is first by traveling home. Dealing with the masses of people also attempting to get home for the holiday can really test your patience. Whether you’re driving home, taking public transportation or flying like me, here are five tips for surviving the treacherous travel home.
1. Confirm Your Travel Plans
OK, now I know this one sounds obvious, but with how hectic it is to pack for your trip, it can be very easy to let the confirmation of travel plans slip your mind. Set a reminder on your phone to go off (at least) one day before your drive or flight so you remember to call and make sure that ticket is still yours. If you’re flying, checking in early is especially helpful because you can usually reserve a seat closer to the front of the plane. You’ll definitely be one of the cool kids when they call everyone up to board.
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2. Bring Food 
No matter what you eat before leaving for your trip, you will get hungry on your way. Being hungry leads to being irritated, and that’s not the first impression you want to make when you get home to your family. I recommend taking a quick stop at Target here in Westwood and grabbing everything in sight. Consider it practice for your Thanksgiving dinner.
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3. Charge EVERYTHING 
Phone, iPad, laptop, extra battery pack. Sure, you brought books to read and homework to do, but we all know catching up on your Netflix show and scrolling through your Tumblr dash is all that you will get done. Do yourself a favor and charge everything, because there is nothing worse than seeing a dead battery icon.
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4. Look for Travel Deals
If you haven’t set up your travel plans yet, hurry! There are many deals that happen for Thanksgiving travel, but there are also outrageous prices since companies know you have no other choice. Fortunately, UCLA Transportation is even offering a deal from the Hill to LAX for just $5, which also includes a ride from Lot 32 after you take a Flyaway when you get back. It’s a great alternative to Uber and Lyft, and taking the bus with a bunch of other students excited to visit home can’t be too bad either.

5. Pack Lightly
Speaking of deals, we all know what happens the day after Thanksgiving. There is nothing that truly sums up the hysteria of the holiday season than Black Friday. You can turn it into a bonding event as you and your family defend each other against the masses of people also trying to score a deal. If you’re planning to spend all the money you don’t have on clothes, that coincidentally aren’t that cheap even on sale, make sure you at least have room in your suitcase to haul them back to UCLA. It’s okay, we won’t judge. Pre-shopping planning is just a sign of good preparation (or that’s what we shopping addicts like to say).
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Just remember Thanksgiving is all about enjoying your time with your loved ones and being thankful for everything you have. Keep that in mind if travel-induced stress ever gets into your head.
 If you have any other travel suggestions, let us know in the comments.

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Mojo Asks Students

Bruins Around the World: Summer Student Travel Highlight

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While many of us may be complaining about being home for the summer (honestly, who doesn’t relish having their laundry done for them?), many UCLA students are taking off on exciting worldly adventures with destinations including Spain, Australia, New Mexico and Chile. If you’re stuck at home, no worries! Here’s a sampler of what some other students are doing.

Third-year environmental science student Shalini Kannan left just a few weeks ago to study abroad in Santiago, Chile. When she got there, she was surprised by the gloomy weather in the capital, which is why she was so happy to attend her orientation in Algarrobo, a beach town where the sun was shining.

As for classes, Kannan began with three weeks of intensive Spanish, but her small amount of homework allowed her to explore Santiago, starting with the Campus Oriente, which is part of the Catholic University that Kannan will be attending at the start of the semester.

Kannan is also discovering the wonders of Santiago, such as the Andes mountains, which are visible from the center of town, the Catedral Metropolitana and the beautiful sunsets caused by pollution (which is vaguely reminiscent of our beloved Los Angeles).

Want more Chilean adventures? Follow Kannan’s journey here.

In early July, third-year undeclared student Dorian Edwards traveled to New Mexico with her family to visit her grandpa. While there, she and her relatives trekked 750 feet underground to visit the Carlsbad Caverns National Park. “It felt like we were in ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth,’” Edwards said.

She was very active throughout her stay. She and her cousins got up early in the morning to go rock-hopping through a creek in a mountain town, Ruidoso. While there, Edwards saw three bears and fed wild, but friendly, deer.

Edwards’ trip to New Mexico was a much welcomed occasion to bond with her cousins and grandfather, for whose generosity she is “forever grateful.”

Third-year mechanical engineering student Utkarsh Gupta flew all the way to Australia this summer. In Sydney, he was particularly struck by the Harbor Bridge and iconic opera house, which was designed by architect Jørn Utzon.

But of course, no trip to Australia is complete without a glimpse of the breathtaking wildlife. Among others things, Gupta came across these adorable kangaroos. He explains that the white ones are relatively rare and look a lot like mice. He also saw a baby capybara, which is the world’s largest rodent.

During the course of the summer, the lucky student will also be visiting Singapore.

Where are you this summer, and where would you most like to go? Tweet us @dbmojo or comment below.

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