It’s a sad fact that some vacations can be more stressful than just staying at home and eating ice cream on the couch. If you’re determined to see the world, however, here are a few tips for ensuring that your trip abroad is a fun experience and not a frustrating one.

1. Arrange Your Transportation in Advance

How will you get around once you’ve landed? Will you rent a car, take the bus or rely on taxis and trains? There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to your own comfort level with foreign transportation; just make sure you aren’t winging it when you get there. If you’re going to Wellington, for example, put “Wellington car hire” into a search engine before you go. You’ll get better deals that way.

2. Know Your Airport Regulations

This is especially important if you’re flying for the first time and aren’t accustomed to the bizarre and highly detailed rules of most airports. You’d be surprised by how many things are banned from carry-on bags, and the last time you want to learn about these restrictions is when you’re actually in the inspection line. Do your research from home to avoid stress and embarrassment at the actual airport.

3. Check the Weather

If you don’t want to travel to a tropical island during monsoon season, it’s critically important that you check the weather before you book your flight. Not only can you avoid rainy days or scorching summers with a little forethought, but you’ll also be warned if weather conditions have impacted any of your planned activities. For example, if there’s been a lack of snowfall in the Alps, you might want to plan your skiing trip for another destination.

4. Allow for Flexibility

There may be a dozen things you want to see during your travels, but even if you’re an inexhaustible person with an endless supply of energy, there are everyday setbacks that can mess up your carefully-planned itinerary. An attraction might be closed for repairs, for example, or an activity might be rained out. Give yourself options and plenty of wiggle room in your schedule so your day won’t be ruined by unforeseen circumstances.

These are just a few tips for an easy, stress-free trip. If you’re tired of coming back from your vacation and feeling like you need another vacation, use these guidelines for smoother travel.

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