Travel can mean the exhilaration of seeing new places or the nightmare of not having the comforts and security of home. Like anything, travel goes much more smoothly with a little bit of knowledge and preparation. Keep reading for some sound advice from seasoned travelers on making your journeys pleasant memories.

Study up on the area you are going to and take precautions to protect yourself from crime. Some tourist areas have especially high theft rates. It is very important to know about these things before you go. There are often simple precautions you can take to make yourself less of a target.

As an important safety measure before leaving on a trip one should always tell a close friend or family member when they plan on returning and any other key information about the trip. By doing this one is guaranteeing that someone will know something is wrong when nobody shows up on the expected date.

For a stress-free vacation, make sure people can get in touch with you. Take your cell phone with you and keep it charged. Bring your laptop with you if you know you will have an internet connection where you are staying. In case of emergency, people can let you know what is going on and you won’t have any bad surprises when you come back.

Register your travel plans and contact details with the government travel agencies. While it may seem intimidating to have the government know your plans, it is a smart idea. Not only does this enable your family to contact you in the case of an emergency, but it can aid in your rescue if you become lost or have an accident while traveling.

Anyone who’s ever been on a cruise knows how much all the hallways and doors look the same. To make finding your door easier, bring a photo of your family pet or something (nothing personal!) and attach it to your door with a Christmas bow. This will help you easily identify which room is yours.

For added security, bring a doorstop with you to your hotel room. Some hotel locks are flimsy and not exactly secure, but if you jam a doorstop under the door before you go to bed, you will feel safer. This also works for shower rooms and bathroom doors, where the locks may not be secure enough.

If you are planning a long cruise, consider selecting a cruise line that offers self-service laundry. This will reduce the amount of laundry you need to bring along when you pack and is also significantly cheaper than asking the ship’s crew to do your laundry for you. Longer cruises require more clothing, so laundry is very useful.

If you are leaving children with friends or relatives while you are away on a trip, make sure to leave important papers like health insurance cards and a notarized letter, stating that their caregiver has your authority to make medical decisions. They made need this information if there is a medical emergency.

Make your vacation more green by discovering new places on foot. You will find a lot of the most enticing sights are set off from the main thoroughfares, hidden away and only accessible by foot. Hiking offers many unforgettable views and up-close experiences, as does biking and canoeing.

A simple way to save a bit of money on lodging at the beach is to take a room that is not a beach view room. If you are after the romance or have a strong desire to watch the ocean from your room or balcony, then opt for the beach view. However, if you are not as particular, you can put a few dollars in your pocket by taking a room not so in demand.

When you return home from your travels, make a photo album of your adventures. Particularly if you were on a road trip, you probably encountered a lot of interesting sights on your journey. A photo album allows your family and friends to see everything that you did and helps to preserve your memories.

If you travel with multiple people, distribute everyone’s items across multiple suitcases. Usually, every person has their own suitcase, but by packing each one with a little of everyone’s items, you can be sure that nobody will be left without all of their belongings if one of the bags is lost.

No matter where you’re going, buying insurance when you fly is a good idea. Insurance will let you cancel your travel plans last minute with a full (or partial, depending on the insurance) refund. Last-minute emergencies happen and you don’t want to be out several hundred dollars for missing your flight.

To pack light while traveling, make time to plan ahead. Lay articles of clothing out before you pack, and make sure that each top can go with more than one bottom. Bring clothes that are comfortable and easy to wash, in case you need to do laundry on the road. Think carefully about the shoes you bring. It is best to wear your bulkiest items on the flight, to make more room in your luggage.

Bring your own travel necessities and comfort aids. Do not count on the airline that you are traveling with to provide you with things like pillows, blankets, and headsets. Bring your own so you will know that you can be as comfortable as possible during your flight and you will not be sorry.

When traveling by air, always plan to arrive at the airport at least one hour before your flights (two international flights). Parking, checking in, and getting through security, can take time. Busy lines can make the wait longer and arrive late might mean that you will miss your flight.

Talk to any road warrior and they can tell you both stories of great trips and disaster journeys. Some of the things they have learned have been shared in this article. Keep these tips in mind in preparing for your future travels, and you are sure to come home with great memories rather than headaches.