From a city zoo in San Jose to the mountainous regions of Pakistan to the savannahs of Africa, it’s easy to see that traveling leads to very different places. Nonetheless, there are some basic tips that will help ensure a good trip no matter where it is that you are going.

Bring clothing that is suitable for travel. This means items that you can wash and dry in the hotel room, and that won’t wrinkle from being air-dried. Also, remember that you can buy clothing as you go, and it will most likely be more suitable to the climate and culture of the area.

When you sign up for your passport, make sure you fill in the emergency information (CHECK OUT THIS APP TO CARRY ALL OF YOUR EMERGENCY CONTACT WHEN TRAVELING). You should always prepare for the worst and the unexpected. Should something happen to you while in a foreign country, it is important to have this sort of information available to contact friends, family, or loved ones.

Only pack the clothes you will need. In some instances, it does not pay to be over-prepared. Many people pack far too many clothes when they travel. This is a problem. It is especially a problem when they inadvertently lose the bags that contained them. Try packing multipurpose clothes that you can re-wear.

When traveling it can make a big difference to travel when it is not a holiday or popular vacation time. If one goes on a time that is unlikely to be a popular vacation time they can avoid many hassles. There will be less crowds and waits for attractions. One can have a much more relaxed time.

If you are arriving in a new city and don’t yet feel comfortable there, consider asking if your hotel provides an airport pickup service. This will allow you to avoid the pitfalls of baggage porters and taxi lines which trap many first time travelers. It also ensures you don’t get lost in the city and go straight to your hotel.

Bars

Dealing with airports is an unfortunate necessity of much modern travel. Pack an empty water bottle to fill after you get through security. This will save you from having to buy a $3.00 bottle of water after you get through the checkpoint. It also never hurts to pack granola bars, banana chips, or anything else to snack on between flights.

If you are traveling in a car, take the time to go slightly out of your way and visit small town bars and restaurants. You will meet some interesting people and have the chance to sample some of the local fare. Residents of these towns will instantly recognize unfamiliar faces and often go out of their way to talk to you.

Carry meal replacement bars with you when you travel. You never know when an unexpected delay will prevent you from eating a meal. Meal replacement bars are compact and easy to carry. An additional benefit of these bars, is that it will allow you to keep your typical meal schedule. This can help reduce jet lag, and keep your spirits up when faced with irritating delays.

Cafes

You’re going to need some place to unwind and ejoy some downtime on your vacation. YES!  Downtime even on vacation is necessary. There’s so much going on with moving from one location to another.  Long days on beaches, snorkeling, playing and being beaten down (nicely) by the sun.  You’ll need to, eventually, drop that snorkel gear and grab a cocktail after the day is done.

If the hotel you’re staying in doesn’t offer free wifi, try asking for a room on the first or second floor. Most of the time in cities, there are tons of cafes around that offer free wifi and you can pick those signals up when you’re on the lower floors.

If a hotel charges for internet access, ask for a room on a lower floor. Sometimes you will get lucky and be able to snag wireless capabilities from nearby cafes or lobbies. The bottom floor is the best to be able to do this, but it is not unheard of to be able to reach it from the second floor.

If you need to find a place to eat or want recommendations for a local attraction, stay away from hotel employees. Most of them are given money to advise you to go to certain locations. Visit shops, cafes or restaurants that you like and ask them for advice on where you should go.

No matter where it is that you are going, these common tips should help you in your travels. While each country has its own idiosyncrasies, the advice here should be kept in mind no matter where it is that you go. Now that you’ve got the advice, all that’s left is picking the destination!