Traveling is exciting and can be a great time for you or one of the biggest headaches you will ever encounter if not done right. Read on for some great ideas on how to travel smart and take care of all the little things that if you don’t, will leave you wishing you stayed home.

Calling a family or friend when you leave and arrive on a trip isn’t just for kids. It is a good way to put them at ease, and also to make sure that if something goes wrong on your trip, someone will know about it quicker. If you have not called by a certain time, and they cannot reach you, this person will be able to take appropriate actions to find you or find out what happened.

Make sure that your cell phone plan is on a national calling set up before you leave town. If you are normally on a regional or local plan, switching to a national plan, even just for the short time you will be gone, can keep you from getting charged for roaming or long distance.

Don’t forget to look up the time zones for where you will be traveling to and staying. Many people don’t realize that there is a significant time difference that will not only play a role in your sleep schedule, but also in your communication efforts to those still at home.

Take clothespins when you travel. While you may not usually think of packing clothespins, they can be very useful.

If you will be traveling to a foreign country where English is not the primary language, please make the effort to learn at least a few basic phrases, and make sure your pronunciation is as close as possible to the real thing. If you start out in THEIR language, most non-English speakers will quickly realize that you don’t actually speak their tongue, and will meet you more than halfway in a helpful attempt to communicate. Starting out in English, on the other hand, sends the message that they need to communicate on your terms, which is impolite.

Before you arrive at your travel destination, search the internet to find a blogger who posts about what’s happening in this city. Take the time to email the blogger and ask for his or her recommendations about where you should go. This is a great way to get the inside scoop on your vacation spot.

Taking a long road trip can be fun, but getting lost is not. Before starting your trip, stop by your local market and buy yourself an affordable road map. While a GPS device is great, a map will always be accurate and is much safer on the road. This will ensure that you arrive at your destination in a perfect frame of mind.

If you do not take care of your body your skin will never look its best. A balanced diet with plenty of nutritious foods will allow you to feel great and look fantastic. You should eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. Eat good so you can feel great.

Any time you are in a foreign country, drink bottled water. Countries around the world treat their water differently than others. While the water may very well be safe to drink, it may also have additives that your body is not used to, which could cause painful issues down the road. Play it safe.

While Spanish is the lingua franca in most countries in the Western hemisphere, remember that Brazil is not one of them. Brazilians speak Portuguese. If you intend to visit Brazil, learning a little Portuguese can turn out to be a lot of help; learning Spanish will be considerably less valuable to you.

When you get to your location, check with the locals for things to do. Locals will know all the best places to go for recreation or for food. This can help you avoid going to less than thrilling places or places that are going to be extremely crowded.

Make your baggage easy to spot. Place large bright stickers and pictures all over your luggage, so that when you spot it coming through, you know for a fact it is yours. This helps to not only find your bag, but also to get rid of the embarrassment that comes when you accidentally grab one that isn’t yours.

Consider buying a portable shower before you travel on a road trip. You will invariably stop the car to check out a local site, and sometimes you may engage in a physically strenuous activity. Getting back in the car when you feel unclean makes it hard to relax and enjoy your trip. A portable shower allows you to feel refreshed for the next leg of your journey.

Hopefully this article has given you some tips and tricks on how to be a wise traveler. In this day and age you really have to keep your eyes open and your wits about you to keep traveling safe and smooth. Check your list before taking off and keep these smart tips in mind.