Few things are as stressful as traveling. Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, the idea of packing everything you need into a small suitcase and leaving home for an extended amount of time can be overwhelming. Follow the advice in this article to help you turn your travels into an enjoyable experience.

If you are traveling with children, a backpack or other bag packed with new and interesting toys and activities is a good idea. Make sure that these are things they are not normally allowed to play with, or special things for trips only. It will give them something to look forward to and they will be entertained longer.

If you are worried about traveling with a large carry-on bag, plan ahead. Airlines usually board in groups of five or ten rows, so pick a seat in row 11 or 21, not row 19. Also, as soon as the airline calls the seat block ahead of you, go get in line. This way you’re waiting at the front instead of the back.

If you’re going on a road trip with kids, try bringing some cookie sheets along with you. They’re great to use as lap trays for eating in the car. The having the edges curved up with prevent any spills too and they’re easy to clean off quickly. You can also flip them over and the kids can use them as desks for coloring, writing, or playing a game.

If you want a little extra safety in your hotel room, bring along a door stopper. Sometimes, especially in areas of higher crime such as developing countries, you may want a little extra security for your hotel room. If you cannot access a deadbolt for the door, wedge a doorstop under it instead.

Did you know that you can use snow to do a quick cleanup on your vehicle while you are traveling? A car wash would work better but snow works quite well in a pinch. It will remove the mud that got all over your rental vehicle when you ventured onto that back road. It also works well to get grime buildup off of your windshield in an emergency.

Find out about national holidays. Before you schedule your international travel, check a calendar to see if there are any holidays during your stay abroad and what that means in terms of business and restaurant closings. It may affect what is open or available to do. You may find you have plenty or options or, it could be a day of rest for the locals – meaning a day wasted for you – leaving you with nothing to do.

Participate in loyalty programs if you are a frequent traveler. You may not anticipate being able to cash in, but these programs often accumulate faster than you realize. Companies are fighting against a sea of competition and want to keep your business. If you typically choose the same company, find out what kind of rewards they have in place for your loyalty.

Take work with you. If you spend a small amount of time performing work tasks on your trip, be it for business or pleasure, you can then deduct the expenses of that trip on your income taxes. Check with your tax professional for details about what you can and can’t do, but make sure you save those receipts.

If you’re traveling on a tight schedule, give yourself the advantage of learning the layout of an unfamiliar airport by using your smartphone to download a free application designed to assist travelers. FLYsmart gives you all the information you need on a specific airport, from locating the restroom to checking arrival and departure times.

If you need a rental car while on vacation consider renting an eco-friendly car. Zipcar and Flexcar are both “green” car-sharing programs which offer travelers low fees and convenient drop off and pick up. You will be able to reduce car emissions by renting the smallest car you can or a hybrid car.

When traveling with a baby or toddler, be sure to bring a couple of your loved one’s favorite toys as well as its favorite sleeping toy. This will help your loved one have a few comforts of home in completely unfamiliar territory. It will help a little with the distress that he or she will be feeling.

You can save time in the security line by purchasing a Clear Security Pass. Many large airports, and a few smaller one, are offering this high-tech pass to pre-screened travelers. The initial cost can save a traveler hours spent in security lines and the stress associated with the normal screening process.

Whether you are taking a family vacation or a solo trip, traveling away from home can be a stressful event. There is always so much that needs to be taken care of before you leave, and if you are like most people, there is always something that you need that gets left behind. By applying the advice in this article to your future journeys, you can turn stressful trips into enjoyable memories.