There’s a whole world to travel and explore. And what you may not know is that there are things you can do to make the traveling process run more smoothly. You should always keep in mind that there’s plenty that can go wrong even with planning beforehand, but these tips are proven to work time and time again.

  1. Give Yourself Enough Time to Get a Passport 

Getting a passport isn’t an instant process. It doesn’t just happen in the span of a day or two, so you’ll have to give yourself enough time to get everything done. To begin with, you’ll have to visit the official passport website of your country to view which documents they’ll require you to submit. Essentially these will include passport photo, an original (or official copy) of your birth certificate, a photocopy of that birth certificate, a copy of your driver’s license and a passport application (which is located on the government travel website).

Once you get these forms submitted, you’ll have to go to a passport receiving facility, such as the Post Office (you’ll have to schedule an appointment beforehand). Once you turn in the documents there are several processing time options that you can select:

  • Standard: 4-6 weeks
  • Expedited: 2-3 weeks
  • Expedited at Agency: 8 business days or less

This specific example is if you live in the U.S. Check with your

  1. Create a List Of What You Need to Do Before You Leave

There’s plenty to do before you go on any trip—regardless of where you live, where you are going and for however long. The first thing you’ll need to do is to ensure that you keep your home safe and secure in your absence. Make sure you have a functioning alarm system. You can do other things such as set automatic timers to give the appearance that someone is home.

You might also have to run certain errands in preparation of your trip—get travelers checks, travel documents, etc. And if you easily forget things, you can create a separate list of items you should pack.

3. Pack Essential Personal Items In a Carry On

Say perhaps you live in the UK and are looking to travel to the U.S. or another country; you’ll likely be carrying both a carry on and a checked bag. When packing your things, make sure you bring all essentials in your carry on bag—otherwise you run the risk of potentially losing your luggage due to airline error. It does happen from time to time. Essential items include things such as medications, an emergency change of clothes, glasses/contacts, toothbrush, etc.