Travel is both exciting and exhausting. On the one hand, you want to pack as many sites and activities into every single day of your vacation as humanly possible. On the other hand, you’re exhausted from all the walking, sightseeing, and general exploring that you do on a daily basis. It’s this constant push-pull between wanting to see everything there is to see and needing a break that makes traveling such an interesting experience.

Fortunately, there are ways to make your next trip more enjoyable. You don’t need to sacrifice comfort for exploration or vice versa. With some preparation and planning ahead of your travels, you can optimize your time away from home by incorporating these ten helpful tricks:

Download Apps Before You Go

Whether you’re on vacation or business travel, you’ll likely rely on your smartphone to help you navigate your way around. Whether you need to find a store, stay connected with friends and family, or research your next destination, your phone is there to help you out. Before you leave, be sure to download any apps you know you’ll need.

You’ll want to download your preferred mapping app to navigate around town. If you’re visiting a foreign country, you’ll want to download the translation app (especially if you don’t speak the language). You might also want to download the currency conversion app if you’re traveling abroad.

And, of course, you’ll want to download the weather and note-taking apps to keep track of any extreme weather warnings in the area and all the happenings during your travels. For a note-taking app that can accompany your travels, I want to recommend Evernote.

You should make sure that you have any apps you’ll need for your specific destination. If you’re traveling to a major city, you’ll likely want to download the city guide app. For outdoor adventures, you’ll want to download the weather app and the hiking app. You’ll even want to download navigation apps if you’re traveling by boat or by car. The more apps you download before you go, the less you’ll have to worry about when you arrive.

Always Ask For a Room Upstairs

Try to always ask for a room with a view when you’re booking your next trip. But there’s another thing you might want to ask for: a room upstairs. If you’re staying in an old-fashioned hotel (or even in a hostel), you run the risk of being below a very noisy bar or club.

This can make it near-impossible to get a good night’s sleep. When you make your reservation, always ask if there’s a quieter upstairs room available. If you’re in a group, ask if there are any rooms nearby that are quieter. Also, ask the front desk to know if there’s any outside noise that’s keeping you up at night.

Don’t Forget Your Earplugs

Even if you’re staying in a room above a noisy bar, you can combat the noise with earplugs. This can be a lifesaver during your trip. Not only will earplugs help you get to sleep, but they can also keep you from getting stressed out if you’re the type of person who gets bothered by noise when you’re trying to sleep.

You can buy earplugs at almost any drugstore before you leave for your trip. The foam earplugs are among the most popular and are relatively inexpensive. You can also buy reusable earplugs that are easy to clean. What You Shouldn’t Forget When You Travel

Bring Comfortable Shoes

You never know when there’s going to be a rainstorm or a lot of snow. You might even find yourself walking through a muddy path. That’s why it’s important to bring a pair of comfortable shoes that you can wear any time you have to walk anywhere. You should be mindful of the type of shoes that you want to wear.

It should be something that’s easy to walk in. You don’t want something that’s too heavy or too bulky. You also want it to be easy to clean. Don’t forget that you want to choose a pair of shoes that looks good as well. You don’t want to be the only person wearing athletic shoes.

Carry Snacks

You never know when you’re going to get hungry. You might find yourself walking for hours without being able to find a grocery store or restaurant. That’s why it’s a good idea to always carry snacks when you go on a hike or go sightseeing.

At the same time, don’t make yourself too reliant on being able to find food. If you’re visiting a new part of the world, it’s a good idea to look up some of the most popular foods at that location. You don’t want to be limited to only eating what you brought with you.

Find the Best Food Nearby

There are some foods you might want to try during your trip. But if you make it a point to eat the most popular food near where you’re staying, you’ll be able to experience the culture that much more. You can usually find a list of the most popular foods at each destination on TripAdvisor.

You can also use Google to search for a list of the most popular foods at your destination. Once you have that information, keep an eye out for the restaurants that sell that food. You’ll get a much better feel for the local culture by eating the food that they eat.

Don’t Be Afraid To Negotiate

Whether you’re renting a car, staying at a hotel, or booking a tour, you might not get the best price. If you’re not sure about how much something should cost, don’t be afraid to negotiate. You’re in the driver’s seat. You’re the one who has the option of booking somewhere else.

If you’re not sure how to negotiate, there are a few ways you can go about it. You can offer to pay with cash, as this is often a better deal for the seller. You can also ask for a better price if there’s a mistake in the price listed.

Take Breaks During the Day

Traveling takes a lot out of you, even if you’re only traveling a short distance. This can be especially true if you’re traveling in a group or with kids. It can be tempting to try to cram a lot into a short amount of time. This is especially true if you’re out on a cruise or a tour. It’s important, though, to take a break during the day.

Whenever possible, try to take a break from the constant activity. There are a few ways to do this. You can try taking a nap during the day. You can also try to relax by meditating or doing yoga during the day. You can also try to find ways to be more present during activities. This can help you avoid getting too tired.

Enjoy The Moment

Traveling is often about the journey as much as it is about the destination. While you should absolutely try to see as many things as possible, it’s also a great time to stop and enjoy the moment. Try to take the time to appreciate the things that are happening around you. You might see something beautiful in the sky or on the ground.

You might meet someone new. You might even hear an interesting conversation. When you’re traveling, you’re often in a more relaxed frame of mind. There’s less pressure than there is when you’re at home. You can use this to your advantage by trying to appreciate the moment more.