Tips for having the best possible travel experience

It’s impossible to list suggestions that guarantee the perfect trip, but some simple tips might make your life way easier while traveling around the world.

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Traveling is tiring. From a two-hour drive to a long flight back home, it can get stressful very quickly. Whether you’re on your way to a great adventure, going back home or just visiting a town nearby, here are some tips to make your trip as smooth as possible:

1) Make sure you’re getting the best tickets for the best price

If you’re taking the bus, the best choice is usually to buy your tickets straight from the company’s website. However, if you’re flying, there are a few more options at hand. With so many different websites for you to buy your tickets, services like Kayak and Skyscanner, available both as websites and as apps, can help you find the best option. If you enter departure and return information, the companies instantly compare flights and airlines from different ticket websites. They also offer a search and comparison tool if you need to hire a car, book a hotel or even find a package combining all of those things.

2) Make a list of everything you need to take with you

Packing might not be your idea of fun, but it’s a really important step of traveling. It’s easy to get lost in the process, so making different types of lists might help. For example, separate lists for clothing, toiletries and documents. If you’re moving to a new place, it can also be a good idea to get different boxes for what you’re keeping, throwing away or donating.

3) Check your luggage limits

This goes from making sure that everything fits in your car to checking how many bags you can take with you on the bus or airplane. Remember that you might get charged per additional bag or for overweight bags, especially at airports. Also, verify the allowed dimensions for carry-on items. The last thing you want is to find out your suitcase doesn’t fit in the overhead bin because of an extra inch.

4) If you’re with a group, make sure everyone is on the same page

Make sure all the people in your group are well aware of the schedule. If someone shows up at the airport fifteen minutes late, those will be some really long and stressful minutes for everyone else waiting there. One person might make the whole group miss a flight or be late for a layover. Lastly, as unnecessary as it sounds, check that everyone booked the correct bus ride or flight.

5) Do your research when it comes to layovers

Airports can be huge, bus stations can be confusing and gas stations may be further away than you thought they were. For this not to be an issue, plan your moves in advance. If possible, go through your tickets and see if you need to go to a different gate or terminal — this one goes for either bus stations or airports — and if you do, check how much time you need to get to this new place. If you’re driving a long distance, try to determine beforehand if and where you’ll be taking breaks.

6) Always be prepared for the worst

It might sound a bit extreme, but some problems occur that are out of your control. For that, there are some simple things you can do that actually go a long way: taking an extra set of clothes and putting all medicine in your carry-on suitcase in case the airline loses your luggage, for example. It’s important to know that late flights, terrible traffic and other particular situations like these are inevitable, and there are not really tips to stop them. However, these are things we can prepare for, so the best suggestion is to plan accordingly for your travel. Create your own tips if necessary, and always double check everything you can.

Edited by Alexandra Sharp | asharp@themaneater.com

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