Travel presents so many options, so many opportunities for fun and memorable experiences, and very many possibilities for trouble and disappointment too. Here’s a few facts and astute tips that will help you to make your next trip a wonderful one.

Get local menus online while you are traveling. There are often countless restaurants located around hotels. If you have an internet connection where you are staying, use it to look them up online. Often you can find menus on their websites. You can also find directions and relevant reviews.

If you’re worried about having your pockets picked while you’re on vacation, try sewing a small hidden pocket into the inside of your pants to keep your money and credit cards in. This way you won’t have to worry about them being swiped by an eager pickpocket. You can also do the same thing inside of a bag, if you’ll be carrying one.

Request samples online. Instead of paying for miniature travel-size versions of all your toiletry items, do an online search for free samples. Companies regularly offer samples of new products that will be mailed right to your home. Request everything from toothpaste to shampoo to cosmetics and keep a small stash in your travel bag so you are ready for your next trip.

Try your best to pack all your belongings in as little amount of luggage as possible. You don’t want to bring 5 bags of luggage with you on the plane and overwhelm yourself. Try and fold and tuck stuff into areas where you can make more space without harming any of your belongings.

When you’re taking a trip that requires a passport or any type of paperwork for that matter, make sure that you have a second copy available. Go to your local photocopy shop and make a copy of all of your documents. This is a great way to stay safe, even if you lose your original documents or if they are stolen.

Look up reviews about hotels you plan to visit, but do not necessarily trust everything that is written. Everyone will have a different experience, so be forgiving of some negative reviews and do not be blinded by overly positive reviews. When trying to find a hotel, one suggestion is to call the hotel and ask the clerk a few simple questions. His customer service skills will often indicate the quality of the hotel.

Give a copy of your trip itinerary to a friend or family member. In case of an accident or another situation, this can help your friends and family track down your whereabouts. Make sure you also keep in contact with this individual as you transition from one leg of your trip to the next.

If you make as much preparation as you can for a trip, and you follow sensible advice (and a few notes or a task list can be indispensible) there’s no reason why you can’t avoid most of the stress that many people bring upon themselves when traveling. Be determined to enjoy your next traveling experience, and act on the advice you’ve read here.

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