How to Survive the Morning After

Sometimes, we all go a little wild, especially so on a celebration like New Year's. Not only do we get to kick out the bad parts of last year, we'll look forward to the great things ahead...if we can avoid trouble on the morning after.

Here's our solutions to three potential problems after your New Year's Eve festivities:

Homeless and Hungover:
Your head is killing you and you're not quite sure where you are. Then it comes back to you; too many Manhattans left you drunk as a skunk, unable to drive yourself home. Thank heavens for that friend's couch! But how do you get back home? First, try the simple approach and ask couch-having friend if they can give you a lift back home or to your own vehicle (if you're feeling up to it, of course). If that's not going to work, check out the public transportation nearby. DART and The T have helpful websites with schedules and costs. And hey, there's always a cab service! Find a cab service number online and stick it in your cell -- it'll always be there when  you need to get back home.

Who's Sleeping Beside Me?
Yikes! Beer goggles do exist, or maybe it was just a little alcohol loosening pent up romantic tension with that girl from accounting. In either case, if you don't want someone at your home, you have every right to tell them. The best way to deal with an unwelcome guest isn't to be accommodating -- especially if you don't want to be dating them. But if last night's hook-up is the relationship you've always wanted, make sure that the whiskey wasn't the only reason. Be honest with whomever is waking up next to you, and you'll have a much healthier relationship, even if it was for only one night.

Man Down!
You're all going as a group, you'll watch out for each other...then the inevitable happens: guy meets girl, phones die or are switched off, club is too noisy, and communication is completely throw off. Now, 4 out of the 5 friends are ready to go -- but one buddy can't be found. What do you do? Start by planning ahead. If you're the organizer, set some times to check in throughout the night. It may sound like a parent move, but it's better to know at 8:00 p.m. that Derek is nearly sick drunk rather than find him sprawled near some dumpster at the end of the night. "Checking in" can be as easy as replying to a text message with "K." Also, let folks have an "out" if they find something else they want to do. Again, a text message with "I'm out" can be a blessing to the guy who's always worrying if someone has been mugged (guilty as charged). But what happens when your cell phone is dead, or turned off, or whatever? Think up a analog backup plan with your group (meet up at 10 at the bar, check in with the organizer at coat check at 11, etc.) to make sure even if you digital device dies, your friends will know where you are.

Last Minute Tips:
- Don't trust your "surefire hangover remedy." Drink responsibility and plan to have a designated driver or other way home...then you won't need our first tip.
- Get cash! $50 can go a long way as safety money, but break it into smaller bills at a bank or convenience store way ahead of time. (Our favorite breakout is 3 $10s, 3 $5s, 5 $1s)
- Charge your phone. Simple, but effective.
- Prep your purse. Ladies, you're lucky; you can bring a toothbrush everywhere you go...think about packing some overnight items just in case.

Stay safe and have fun!

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