Doing all vacation planning yourself is a chore. The tips in this article are aimed at simplifying the travel process for you.

If you are planning a trip abroad, make sure you get your passport well in advance. Many people underestimate how long it takes to get a passport for the first time and are left scrambling and paying extra fees to get it expedited. Plan for your passport to take six to eight weeks to arrive, especially in peak travel season.

Make your luggage bright and noticeable. Try to avoid carrying bags that are one matte color and blend in with all the other pieces of luggage in the airport. Having unusual-looking luggage will make your bag easier to spot and will discourage criminals from stealing it in a busy airport.

Being careful about purchases while traveling will help you through customs. Remember anything you buy on your trip must pass through customs when you return home so exercise caution when you see street vendors abroad or other sellers who may be offering counterfeit or unsafe souvenirs you will have to surrender later.

When traveling to a new city, try your best to look as if you belong there: Never let anyone see that you are lost. Checking your map in the middle of the sidewalk is a sure-fire giveaway, as is asking for directions. Remember, new arrivals are good targets for pickpockets and muggers.

If you have a choice when booking flights for travel, select an airline that uses primarily 767 jets. These larger jets have more legroom, and offer more direct flights because they can stay in the air longer. Also, the 767s have a two-three-two seat configuration, meaning there is only one middle seat per row instead of the usual two.

Check prices directly with your hotel or airline company to save money on your trip. Although it is often small, some search engine sites add a fee to their rates. To avoid the fee, check the airline website directly or give the hotel a call for their rates. You will typically find that the rates are lower when you book directly.

Label your things. You know all of those return address labels you have accumulated over the years? Put them to good use as labels for your items. Stick them on everything from luggage and handbags to cameras and umbrellas. In case you lose an item, it will be much easier to get it returned to you.

One way to collect memories of your trip is to do crayon rubbings of architectural features, historical markers or even, just interesting textures. All you need is a crayon and thin, newsprint like, paper. Tear the paper cover off the outside of the crayon. Next, hold the paper flat on the surface you are recording. To complete the rubbing, use the side of the crayon rubbing it back and forth until the image emerges.

Audio books are great to keep you and the family entertained when traveling! Did you know that most people can check audio books out for free if they have a valid library card? Many times you can even browse the selection of books that are available online and complete the checkout process right from your vehicle or even the airport!

Some hotels have video games in them for you to use. If you’re traveling with kids, ask the front desk to disconnect these. Most of the time as soon as they’re turned on they’ll bill you for playing them. So if you take a shower you may not notice your kids have been playing them until you get your bill at checkout.

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.

Now that you have learned a little bit about how to simplify the process of traveling in this article, it’s time to go ahead and start planning that trip. Whether you’re visiting far-off lands or just flying across the country, you need to be well informed for any trip you take.

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Doing all vacation planning yourself is a chore. The tips in this article are aimed at simplifying the travel process for you. If you are planning a trip abroad, make sure you get your passport well in advance. Many people underestimate how long it takes to get a passport for...