After many years of packing, planning, flying, sailing and exploring, seasoned travelers tend to adopt certain habits that have a way of making travels go much more smoothly. Here are the top habits.

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Planning & Packing

  • Make a checklist – It may seem basic, but the place to begin is with a checklist. It will help you remember what to bring and also begin thinking about tailoring outfits and items to the type of trip and weather that you are planning for. Start writing items down a few weeks or at least several days before packing.
  • Take a photo of your passport –With today’s technology, it’s a cinch to take a picture of your passport and email it to yourself. Even if you lose your phone, you’ll still be able to access the photo on a public computer.
  • Call your bank – Notify your bank and credit card companies know when and where you’re traveling prior to departure. This will help you avoid having a hold placed on your card in a foreign country.

Flying

  • Mark your bags – Mark your luggage with something easily recognizable or when it’s time to replace them, spring for bright-colored suitcases.
  • Bring ear plugs or invest in noise-cancelling headphones – Silence is golden and a crying baby on board or a large group of people traveling together can be disruptive, especially if you’re on a long-haul flight and trying to read a book or get some shut-eye.
  • Pre-book an airport lounge – When going on a long flight, consider pre-booking an airport lounge. There is an upfront fee, but it can be worth it. You will be in a quiet environment with complimentary drinks, food, magazines, newspapers, Wi-Fi and other amenities.

Exploring

  • Try learning a few words in the local language – Locals are usually appreciative of travelers who make an effort to learn their language. Picking up a few words or phrases can go a long way. The same goes for a smile!
  • Talk to the locals – If you’re exploring a city on your own, it never hurts to ask a local for advice on where to go or where to eat. Sometimes, they can be your best tour guides.
  • Don’t over-plan – It’s one thing to book your hotels in advance and have an idea of the places you’d like to visit, but it’s another to plan every single hour of your itinerary. The best trips allow for some spontaneity and adventure – which always wind up making your travels that much more memorable.

What are your favorite travel tips?

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