Traveling somewhere new is wonderful, but it may be stressful, too. Fortunately, there are a number of strategies that can help to smooth out the rough edges. These tips can help you enjoy your travels.

Pack your luggage in such a way that it can be easily carried, even for fairly long distances. You’ll be walking with your luggage more often than you might think. A lighter bag will make your trip easier, safer and much more fun for you than if you are lugging a heavy case.

In order to make the most of travel abroad, try to plan at least a couple of activities that aren’t listed in tourist guide books or blogs. You can do this by getting hold of information designed for and produced by locals, be it from newspapers, blogs or people on twitter. Stepping outside the tourist bubble will make your trip that much more exciting and fun.

When staying at a hotel that offers a digital alarm clock, check both the time and the alarm when you first arrive. It is a common prank to pre-set the alarm to extremely early times, or to fiddle with the time displayed on the clock. Late at night when you go to bed, you may not realize your clock is 30 minutes fast or slow.

If you enjoy alcohol, there’s no better way when traveling, to get to know a new city than with a pub crawl. Visiting multiple establishments in the same night, will give an interesting cross-section of the city that you wouldn’t gain any other way. Plus, you’ll make some new friends.

You already know you can’t take drinks with you through security at the airport. But you can definitely take a water bottle as long as it’s empty. Save yourself the two dollars on water you’re going to buy immediately after you get through security – just bring an empty water bottle from home and fill up with icy-fresh fountain water once you’re through.

Long driving trips can be fun and economical, but the cost of stopping for meals every few hours will add up, especially for a family. If you are planning a longish car trip, make sure you have plenty of car food available in advance. You may be able to get away with skipping the hourlong lunch stop, which will not only save you money, but will get you to your destination sooner. If you have a second adult in the car, that person can serve as “lunchmaker,” handing around sandwiches, cutting fruit, and making sure everybody gets their midday meal on the road.

If you plan on traveling to a different continent, make sure you get the necessary shots before going. Your body might not be used to these foreign diseases and you would find yourself extremely weakened if you got sick, not to mention that certain diseases are lethal. Ask your doctor about what kind of shots you should get.

For a stress-free vacation, start preparing yourself one week before leaving. Make sure your friends and family know where you are going, and have someone drive by your house to make sure everything is fine. Install an alarm if necessary. Find someone to take care of your pets and plants.

Not all medical insurance plans cover you when you travel abroad. When making a plan to travel to international destinations it’s a good idea to look into purchasing medical coverage for your trip. So, before you go you may want to research what kind of medical coverage is available to you and what the costs might be.

If you’re flying to your destination, be careful when you recline the seat. It’s always advisable to check with the person behind you before you recline you seat. If you don’t, you’re liable to break a laptop screen, spill someones drink, or just bang their legs into your seat. Better safe than sorry!

If you’re traveling on a tight schedule, give yourself the advantage of learning the layout of an unfamiliar airport by using your smartphone to download a free application designed to assist travelers. FLYsmart gives you all the information you need on a specific airport, from locating the restroom to checking arrival and departure times.

Make the traveling process a little easier by ensuring that you always reserve your seat when you book your flight. If you aren’t allowed to, keep going back to the airline or booking engine until you can. You may not like your choices but still select a seat and keep going back to see if you can change it. Also, keep in mind that you are more likely to get an exit-row seat if you check-in early at the airport, because they are not available online. Following these steps will help you get the seat that you desire for your flight.

As you make your travel arrangements, consider staying at places other than hotels and resorts. Alternative choices like a house swap or a farm stay may be a better deal, and they can offer you a unique experience. There are several websites that can help you locate “unusual” lodging options.

If you are flexible with your travel schedule, consider booking your trip the day before or the day after your ideal departure date. Just one day can mean the difference of one hundred dollars or more in savings. Many of the big travel websites give you the option to see the prices of the days surrounding your ideal date.

You never know what may arise when traveling to another country so take the time to find out the location of your country’s embassy or foreign office. If passport issues arise or any other situation that may affect you as a foreign visitor to the country, your embassy can be the best place to resolve them.

Avoid negative aspects of a trip ruin your fun. You will enjoy your trip if you use this advice. Instead of thinking about what could happen or go wrong, just focus on what great memories you will get from it.

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