While traveling provides many adventures and good times as well as fun and enjoyment, the process of preparing is often quite stressful. The more stress that a person is under, the less enjoyable the entire trip will be. Not to mention that stress wears down the body and raises the possibility of illness and injury. There is a lot of things that have to be taken care of before any trip. The longer that the trip lasts and the farther away you are traveling, the more there is to take off.  Hotel rooms or other accommodations have to be booked, flights or other travel methods must be arranged, bags have to pack. All in all, there is a massive amount of work to be done in preparation for any trip. There are many reasons to travel and while each one may require a few different preparations, most planning will remain the same regardless of the reason. Thankfully, there are ways to make the entire process easier and less stressful. To travel smarter, there are a series of steps to take and tips to follow. This is the information that you will find here, a list of steps and tips to make you a smart traveler.


The first thing you need to do is plan ahead. This may not sound like much of a tip, but in reality, it is one of the best tips in this entire list.  To plan ahead, begin by deciding where you want to go and when. This will be partially determined by the reason that you are traveling. If you are traveling for work or school, the when and where will inevitably be predetermined. However, if you are traveling for fun or to visit with family, there is much more flexibility. If you do not have a specific place that you have to go, the first step should always be to determine the “where” part of the travel equation. After you know where you are going, it will be easier to make a determination as to the when. Different areas have different peak seasons and different offseasons. Many people prefer to go during off-peak months because rates tend to be cheaper. This includes hotels as well as attractions. This is why it is best to know where before deciding on the when. Once you know where and when you are traveling, you can work on determining the finer details such as what area of the place you are traveling to that you want to stay. For example, if you are traveling to a beach location, you can now decide how close to the actual beach you want to stay. If you are going to a theme park, you can decide if you want to stay in the park or outside of the park.


After you finish your plans, it is time to begin making arrangements. As a general rule, people always want to find the best possible deal so as to make their budget stretch farther. There are several ways to go about finding great deals. Before beginning to search, you must first decide on a few things. The first decision that you must make is what mode of transportation you are planning on utilizing. If you are planning on flying, there are several tips that will be discussed shortly to help you get the best rate. If you are going by train, there is generally not much difference in price. For travel via car, the best thing to do is use a credit card or a rewards card that gives fuel points or discounts. After determining the method of travel, make a decision about the type of accommodations you want. There are always several options available depending upon the type of location. There are always hotels and motels available, but there are also condos, beach houses, cabins, and several others. Depending on where you are traveling, you may need travel insurance. This is the point where you will want to get that in place. Be sure to look at the AXA Smart Traveller policy.


Once you know how you are traveling and the type of place you want to stay, you can begin your search for deals and discounts. Both airlines. and hotels offer discounts at specific times of the year. Also, there are several companies that provide rebates and discounts. The best way to find what discounts are available is to search online. All major companies post their sales, discounts on their respective websites as well as associated sites. You will also want to look at things like Groupon and Ibotta. Once you have found a deal, you will need to utilize it by making reservations and purchasing tickets.

The next step to take after all of your arrangements have been made it is to start packing. This is often another source of stress wondering what all to pack. Here are a few rules to follow for an easier packing experience. First, you will inevitably be taking shampoo, soap, and other similar items. There is often a debate as to whether it is better to use travel size bottles or full sized ones. The fact of the matter is this decision comes down to preference. If the trip is intended to be a long one or has the potential to be, bigger bottles are better, but there is no right or wrong. Regardless of which size you choose, the problem of leaking remains. There is a very simple solution to this, place each bottle in a separate plastic sandwich bag. Make sure to get all of the air out and seal the bag completely. Toothpaste tubes should also be placed in bags. The same goes for any liquid medications.


Finally, there are a few things that should always be packed. Make sure to pack for possible weather changes. For example, if you going somewhere that is supposed to be warm, pack a jacket and a pair of pants for cool evenings and weather changes. Also, make sure you have enough of any prescription medications to span a few days past when the trip is supposed to be over. Speaking of medications, there are a few over the counter medicines that should always be taken on trips. This includes cold medicines, something for motion sickness, cough syrup, anti-diarrhea pills, a laxative, antacids, a pain reliever.