When it’s time to get away, whether for business or pleasure, the experience of traveling can be rewarding and fun. Take some tips from those who hit the highways and byways on a regular basis. A little planning and forethought can go a long way on the road to a pleasurable journey.

Before going out to visit attractions for the day, always ask someone at the hotel for directions. You may have gotten map directions there, but those directions may take you to parts of town that are unsafe. A hotel employee will most likely be able to guide you there in a way that avoids an dangerous areas.

A GPS navigation system is absolutely vital for any long-distance car trip. If your car did not come with a factory navigation system, you should seriously consider buying one before hitting the open road. GPS helps you find alternative routes when closures, traffic or accidents close the road ahead. GPS can even keep you out of danger if you encounter emergency conditions.

For any trip, experienced travelers will pack some clothes they can clean themselves with minimum effort. Not only do easily-cleanable clothes reduce the overall amount of clothing a traveler has to take along, they can provide a comfortable safety net in the event of unplanned delays. Clothing that can be rinsed and dried in a hotel sink can be a godsend on an unexpected layover.

Don’t spend your money in local cheap gift shops. Find out what your travel location is famous for, and invest in a quality item or two. While, gift shops may be more affordable, they build on the idea that tourists don’t know what they’re buying and take advantage of it. You are usually sold items that are poorly manufactured and are sure to fall apart once you get home. To avoid being swindled by locals, invest in something of quality.

Every traveler should know by now that joking around isn’t the smartest thing to do while waiting in check in and security lines any more. Airport personnel are simply too concerned about terrorism to take jokes lightly. Progress through these lines politely and in a businesslike manner. You’re more likely to be treated accordingly.

One way to collect memories of your trip is to do crayon rubbings of architectural features, historical markers or even, just interesting textures. All you need is a crayon and thin, newsprint like, paper. Tear the paper cover off the outside of the crayon. Next, hold the paper flat on the surface you are recording. To complete the rubbing, use the side of the crayon rubbing it back and forth until the image emerges.

If you’re going on a cruise, pack a tackle box and keep your valuables in it. Cruises often have a lot of thieves aboard them and you don’t want to risk losing something important to you. Thieves will often ignore something like a tackle box, leaving your valuables safe.

Now that you’ve armed yourself with some insight and information, you’re ready to venture in a relaxed and informed manner. Stay alert, and at the same time remember to relish the experience of meeting new people and embracing new cultures. Try these tips and you can be confident and enjoy the trip.