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Your next vacation should be relaxing and stress free. You have worked hard and paid a lot of money to spend that time doing what you want to do where you want to do it. Let us help put your mind at ease with these simple steps that you can take to ensure your happiness, while traveling.

Be respectful and patient towards security checkpoints and customs officials. In most cases, these exist for your safety. If not, being upset still won’t help you get through any faster. In fact, making a fuss at the security checkpoint is almost always a ticket to the express lane for the extra search.

Make sure to research what the weather is going to be like in your destination. This will allow you to pack more appropriately. If it will be cold, you will need to take lots of layers. If it will be warm, then you know you can pack a lot of light weight clothing and sandals.

Workout at the gym prior to your flight. A long flight can be extremely boring. When you are forced to sit in the same position for hours on end, your back and legs can cramp up. To eliminate back and leg pain, stretch and do a light workout to prepare for your flight.

Don’t spend your money in local cheap gift shops. Find out what your travel location is famous for, and invest in a quality item or two. While, gift shops may be more affordable, they build on the idea that tourists don’t know what they’re buying and take advantage of it. You are usually sold items that are poorly manufactured and are sure to fall apart once you get home. To avoid being swindled by locals, invest in something of quality.

If vacationing in an area you’ve never visited before, try to find a local to give you some information about the area. Major tourist attractions are always well marked and you’ll have no problem finding them, but learning about some local favorites can make your trip much more memorable and personalized.

American travelers who have not left the country in several years should be aware that they definitely need an up-to-date passport. For a long time it was possible for US citizens to visit Mexico and Canada without such documentation. This is no longer the case, with modern security concerns. American travelers should have their passports in order if they intend to visit any other country.

Make your vacation more green by discovering new places by 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.

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.

Travelers on cruise ships should purchase any tickets, shore excursions or accommodations once they are on board. Many people feel like they should book these things ahead of their vacation, but due to unpredictable circumstances, they may not be able to use them when the time arrives. Waiting until they are on board helps ensure that they can participate and often saves a little money.

Now that you have some information that you will need, in order to have a well-planned and relaxing getaway, all that is left to do is to pack your bags and put the advice here into good practice. Travel should be an enjoyable experience and these tips will make sure that that happens.