Black Friday Prep: The Kit

As you've probably come to recognize over the years, I am a Black Friday junkie. I'm one of those crazy people who goes out before dawn to hit the sales. Last year I hit it pretty good with my Black Friday Guide, but I missed one thing: your kit. Every Black Fridayer worth their salt has a kit. When you go camping, you bring certain things. When you go fishing you bring certain things. When you go Black Fridaying, you bring certain things. This is your guide to those things.

The bag
It all starts with a good bag. (PS- this is one of my life mottos.) A cumbersome bag will ruin your night. An insecure bag will pepper in unnecessary anxiety. A small bag will make your kit impossible. You've gotta have a good bag.
Characteristics of a good bag:
  • Lightweight. I know you're probably super stylish, but it's advisable to leave your leather at home. You do not want to be weighed down when you're 5 stores in and not anywhere near your car.
  • Hands-free. Over the shoulder style bags like cross-body bags and even backpacks are great, leaving your limbs free to carry things and shuffle through racks.
  • Closes. Leave the totes at home-- bring a bag that has a zipper, a clasp, a magnetic something. Black Friday gets crazy and it's easy to lose stuff without even realizing, so be sure to bring a bag that doesn't hang open.
  • Capacious. You want a bag with the capacity to hold all the stuff you need it to hold. Don't go overboard though since you want to be able to maneuver easily and without bothering other shoppers.
  • Pocketed. A bag with pockets can make it easier for you to stay organized and grab with you need without digging around. Time is money, and we're gonna save both!

Your phone
Don't go anywhere without it! Your phone is great for doing a little online research, snagging extra coupons, and keeping in touch with your shopping buddies. You might also be keeping your lists in there on a note-keeping app.

Your lists & a pen
For those who still prefer paper or don't have smart phones, it's important to not forget your lists! If you wrote everything in your notebook, it might be a good idea to rip those pages out or copy your lists down onto another piece of paper.

A snack
As much as you might have eaten on Thanksgiving, you will want a snack with how much you are moving around. I recommend going with granola bars since they're full of actually helpful nutrients and are compact and easy to pack.

Obviously. Be sure to have it stocked with the pertinent rewards cards, gift cards, coupons, student ID, etc. It might be a good idea to carry cash since it's proven to help you curb your spending. You're gonna get tempted by a lot (a LOT) of sales, and everything is going to look so amazingly discounted, it'll be hard to stop yourself from swiping that plastic left and right. Some people even paper- or binder-clip stacks of cash together so they don't dip into their shoe fund to spend extra on jewelry.

Mall guide
If you're at a mall (for me, it's my local Premium Outlets first and foremost) you're going to want to pick up a mall guide, and where possible, their Black Friday guide. The Black Friday guide lists the store hours for the night/morning, and sometimes the sales! Hopefully, they had this online when you were planning your excursion and will just serve as a reference, but if not now's the time to map and timeline your trip.

I am so serious, you guys. You don't want to be miserable.

Tissues in a travel pack
No one likes a runny nose. It's even worse when you get it on the merchandise. It's also great for when you have to wipe a tear from your eye because that purse is marked down 80%.

Hand sanitizer
A lot of people are going to be touching a lot of things. Don't get sick for the sake of sales.

Hair tie
You might get sweaty. I am 100% not joking. Keep your hair out of your face so you can shop without obstructed peripheral vision.

Emergency Advil
Don't let a headache slow you down. Just bring a couple caplets-- no point in bringing a bottle for just the night.

It's also highly advisable that you bring water, but if you're not planning on carrying a backpack, it might not be as easy to carry since they're on the heavier side, so just keep a few water bottles in your car-- you can drink as necessary during your shopping-bag drop-off trips.

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