Planning a trip used to mean deciding to go somewhere, stuffing a gym bag, jumping in the car and hitting the road. While the basics are still much the same, you might want to up your game a bit by taking these five handy travel tips to heart.

A little prep work could save a lot of time and irritation as you wander the world.

1. Call credit card companies before you leave home, especially if visiting other countries. Unusual activity on your card can trigger the credit card company to freeze the account until they speak with you. This is both inconvenient and embarrassing.

2. An international data plan is a must to stay in contact. If not taken care of ahead of time, you’ll come home just in time to open a huge phone bill. Do a little detective work and determine how much data you might need on your trip. Most big carriers have a reasonable bundle or data package for international travel.

3. Toiletries are expensive, especially on the road. You pretty much have three options: bring them from home, buy them there or use the complimentary toiletries (hotel or friend/relative’s home). If you are a slave to specific products, buy the clear 3 ounce containers approved by the TSA. Fill them with your special products and you’re set.

4. Packing light is kind to your back and your wallet. Choosing lightweight clothes and rolling instead of folding will save space. Take what you need instead of multiple choices to lighten the load and avoid any excess charges at the airport. Pack according to the activities you’ll be participating in.Just be sure you have enough clean underwear to get you through.

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5. Keeping your itinerary flexible is the best way to prepare for anything. Leave yourself plenty of time, no matter your destination or travel mode. Planning too tight with no room for error or missed connections will increase your stress level and decrease your trip enjoyment. Print a copy of your itinerary for yourself and leave one behind at home. It’s good if someone responsible knows where you are and when you’re supposed to arrive.

Travel doesn’t have to be just about the planning, but it is usually wise to make that journey as easy and stress-free as possible.