10 handy tips to make your travel go smoothly

Travelling the world is not only about adventuring and getting to know different nooks and crannies on our planet — it’s about relaxing and shifting down a couple of gears. Just make sure to follow these 10 handy tips lest your holiday turns into a nightmare.
Plan your trip carefully. When you’re about to travel exotic places (or just different continents), make sure to check for national entry requirements beforehand (e.g., is your passport still valid?, do you need to fulfill Visa requirements as a tourist?). Also check for recommended vaccinations (especially important when you’re travelling the southern hemisphere).
Bring along (just) your essential stuff. That extra pair of shoes, your beloved hairdryer, your favorite comfy sweater: As important as it is to pack your bags according to your destination, don’t forget that you’ll be hauling around that load (plus airlines charge extra for heavy extra luggage). Be smart and think economical: Most stuff — from the toothbrush to the rain jacket — can be bought locally.
Scan and copy your most important documents — and keep those copies of your passport, drivers license, personal ID in a different bag whilst on your trip. You could additionally take pictures and keep them on your smartphone. This backup will come in very hand should you — God forbid — lose or be stolen of those papers.
Store your most valuable items in a hotel safe. A lazy day at the beach has no place for precious watches and jewellry, and contemplate even storing your wedding ring in a safe space. Don’t give thieves and pickpockets the impression that there’s something to snatch from you! Evil-doers aside, the fine grainy beach sand can ruin your watch’s clockwork more easily than you’d might think.
Keep your money and other valuables close to you. The fanny pack might not be the most fashionable accessory to bring along, but thanks to its adujstable straps you can keep it close to your body (even underneath your sweater or jacket). The less visible you wear it in crowded spaces, the safer your stuff. Also, beach bags are handy thanks to their storage capacity (think towels and stuff), but don’t keep your oversized bag lying wide open for everyone to see its content.
Book a guide when visiting more far-out attractions. Sadly, not every place on earth is a safe spot. Be it threats from mother nature (think hiking in the mountains) or just a shady parts of town: Never go alone, tell your peers where you’re headed and book a reliable guide that knows the place.
Plus: Avoid those places at night. Brisk and lively parts of town can turn from a save locale during daylight hours into things to avoid during the night. Don’t risk taking shortcuts through unlit alleys and rather take the save route over more populated high streets, even if that means you’d have to walk for a couple minutes longer.
Adjust your outfit to the local customs. Apparel that might be fully accepted somewhere else could be deemed disrespectful by the locals. It’s not just a question of showing skin, either — dress to brash or flashy, and you’ll instantly be recognized as a tourist, with all its clichéd drawbacks. Don’t be that stereotype and blend in with the populace! It’ll make your trip way more authentic.
Keep pictures of your kids handy. Be it on your smartphone or as prints in your purse, have something to show in case you need help. It’s not a nice thought, but keeping your little ones in check in crowdy places (think Piazza San Marco in Venice or Times Square in NYC) can be tough. Should you lose sight of your loved ones, seek help from an officer - and have pictures to show.
Keep a first aid kit handy. No, we’re not talking the big stuff that EMTs haul around in their ambulances; we’re talking small little helpers that contain band-aids, ointments and maybe a bug spray. Small aid bags will fit sensibly into every purse and can — proverbially — save your life when your kids hurt their toes on a seashell playing at the beach.

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