Travel offers you not only the experience of seeing new places, it’s also fun and educational. You’ll meet new friends and make lifetime memories. Of course, you want your adventures to go smoothly to make the most of your trips. Here are some ideas to help keep everything enjoyable and stress-free.

If you plan to be travelling for more than a week, make accommodations for your pets. Your neighbor or sister-in-law may assure you that stopping by is not a hassle, but you should not place that obligation on them for any longer than a week. There are many kennels and vet offices that will be glad to feed, play with and even, bathe your pets.

To avoid any awkward confrontations, do some research if you are traveling to a foreign nation. This includes looking up standard phrases such as “thank you,” “how much” and “how are you.” You should also look around for standard customs of the country, such as gestures, so that you can avoid offending anyone with gestures or body language that seem normal to you.

This travel tip goes out to all those who are proud to be Americans. You know who you are and you’re terrific. The only thing is, if you travel globally, you embarrass our country if you engage in loud, flag-waving, obnoxious behavior. You will make a far better ambassador for the U.S., if you make an effort to observe the cultural and behavioral norms around you and adjust your volume and actions, accordingly.

To decide if you should buy travel insurance you should take a look at what might already be covered. Many homeowner policies can already have riders that would cover theft of property even while you are traveling so buying additional would be a waste of money for that coverage.

Traveling to a foreign country can be fun, but not knowing what the locals are saying is not. Carry a small book of common phrases and translations to help you on your trip. This can really help when you need to ask for directions or book a hotel room for the night.

If you’re going on a long road trip with kids, try swapping seats with them every once in a while. This makes them feel good since they’re sitting in the seat only mommy or daddy normally sit in. It will also keep them busy for a while, since they’ll get to see things they normally wouldn’t see.

When staying in a hotel room, make sure to lock any valuables such as jewelry or electronics in the in-room safe. If there is no safe in your room, ask at the front desk and the hotel can usually put them in a safe there. If you don’t secure your valuables, the hotel is not liable if they are stolen from your room.

Buy American souvenirs to barter overseas. Stop at a local dollar store and pick up small souvenirs like postcards, t-shirts, and tiny replicas of famous landmarks. Foreigners love these trinkets, and they will go out of their way to get them. Bring them along and use them to get a souvenir that you have always wanted.

Jet lag is a common side effect of traveling across time zones. There is no way to completely avoid it. But, if you keep yourself hydrated, it may help, since some of jet lag’s side effects are related to being dehydrated. If you will avoid alcohol, tea, coffee and caffeinated beverages and drink a lot of water during your flight, that should help.

Consider picking up take-out menus and using them as your travel souvenirs. If you eat at a particularly great place, ask for a copy of the menu and write down what you ate on it. These menus can help you remember what you enjoyed and even allow you to seek out similar meals in your area.

If you are traveling by airplane, call the airline company or airport before you go to the airport. Although many airlines do not make this a requirement anymore, it is a good idea to do so, just in case your flight has been canceled or delayed. You can also check your flight status, online.

If you will be traveling to a different country, make up some cards in the local language that state any foods you may be allergic to. Use this to let servers know your specific dietary needs. When you have cards, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy yourself while dining out.

Brush your teeth with bottled water when traveling in areas with questionable water. Drinking the water is not the only risk when traveling in certain developing nations. Many people assume that as long as they do not swallow the water, they are safe. In reality bacteria in water can enter your body even if you only use it to rinse your mouth when brushing.

A great travel tip if you’re looking to go on a cruise is to make sure you book the right room for you. Rooms in the middle of the ship tend to be the quietest. If you don’t want to climb a lot of stairs you should get your room near the main deck.

Make sure to bring everything you need when traveling. If you wear glasses, bring an extra pair in case the first gets broken. If you take medications, bring them in their original labeled containers with the prescription. If in doubt, also bring a letter from your doctor confirming your need to take the drug.

Make sure that when you are traveling on long flights, to stretch your legs as often as possible. The majority of trips are going to be cramped, as you will want to make sure that you do not get sore during the flight. If possible, take a walk to and from the bathroom to get exercise.

With ideas like these, you should be more eager than ever to get out and explore the globe. You’ll broaden your mind and increase understanding of the great big world around us. Make some plans using these tips to make your next trip better than ever. Have fun and take great pictures!

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