When you take time to create a good travel plan, it really does pay off. You have saved a lot of...

Pack your own pillow. If you have trouble sleeping away from home, try bringing your own pillow along. Some people find it difficult to sleep in a bed that isn’t their own. Having a familiar pillow under your head can make a surprisingly huge difference. It could mean the difference between sleepless nights and being well rested for another day full of activities.

Make arrangements for your pets while you will be away. Have a neighbor or friend come over to feed, walk and check in on them, at least once per day. They will feel more secure knowing that they will have fresh food and water and will be less stir crazy than if they were left alone for a long period of time.

IF you are in a foreign city, make sure that you are not dealing with people posing as police or other officials. You must not give anyone your original passport; it may be gone for good if you do. If they insist on transporting you to an office, walk with them. Perhaps the most important thing is to never allow yourself to enter a strange person’s vehicle.

When traveling to tropical areas, always keep your dirty laundry in a closed bag. Hotels and homes in tropical parts of the world aren’t as bug-proof as most American homes. Dirty laundry will attract insects, especially ants, meaning that clothing that was simply dirty, is now completely unwearable for the rest of the trip.

When planning a major trip, you should always purchase travel insurance. This protects you against loss on big ticket items like international flights, as well as helping you recover the costs of lost baggage or other emergency expenses. Travel insurance covers you if you have to cancel your trip or if your trip has to be ended early.

Sometimes by choosing multiple means of travel one can get the best of everything. For example by taking a plane somewhere and renting a car when you arrive, one can get the benefits of a quick flight as well as the benefits of having a car to go wherever wanted while traveling.

During your trip if you’re staying at many different hotels, you can rest assured there is an easy and cost effective gift you can give your friends as a souvenir. Collect all of the little samples such as shampoos, body washes, body lotions and coffee packets that hotels give out, put them in a basket and give them away as gifts to your friends. It makes a nice gift because it gives a taste of culture from different hotels and is cost effective to you for making a friendly gesture.

Traveling to foreign lands can be fun, but make sure you don’t go at it alone. A good piece of advice is not to travel alone. Many people tend to get caught up in the wonders of being a tourist, but forget that the locals may not be as kind as they think they are. The world is vast and not everyone is nice. Traveling with someone else or going as a group, prevents you from being the target of the next crime.

Always remember to tip any hotel staff. For bell hops, tip a dollar for every bag they carry. With housekeepers, leave between two and five dollars for every day they care for your room. You will find that this simple act will make your stay overall that much better, and the people who work there will go out of their way to please you.

You have the research, the plan, and are now ready to apply them all to a great and well-thought out trip. Fabulous! The above tips were constructed to add to your personal travel plan, as you are never done improving it. MaletaReady.com may have even found something new to experience on your next trip.