Because of the poor economy, you may want to reduce your expenses and skip vacations. Follow these tips if you are a money conscious traveler.

Be sure to have a good, clear, color photo of your child on hand to be prepared in the unhappy event your child becomes lost. Losing track of a child can be very frightening. Unfortunately, children get distracted and wander off or something else happens. Having a photo you can show people immediately if the child becomes lost could wind up making a substantial difference in getting them back quickly.

When you are in a foreign country, get pocket money at an ATM rather than changing cash for local currency. Banks will get better rates for exchanging currencies than you would be able to get. This can end up saving you a good bit of money in the long run.

Some travel destinations require specific vaccinations before you can travel there. Make sure you’ve researched the destination thoroughly and have updated your needed vaccinations. This is important information needed to enter and leave many countries, but keep in mind that it can also be required to travel to different cities within the country. With no certificate, there is no way to prove to the authorities that you have been vaccinated, and you could be quarantined.

Pack lightly when traveling. The less you bring with you, the less you have to lose or get stolen. Limit the amount of shoes you pack, because they are usually the heaviest and largest items on your trip.

Research ahead of booking. Search websites for user reviews about your destinations. Try asking people you know that have traveled there. When you do this research, you will be better prepared and know what to do and take while visiting.

Don’t rely on the airline you’re flying with to cater to your every need, even if you’re going on a long distance flight. Consider packing your own pillow or blanket, as well as headphones. The airline versions are not very comfortable. You should also pack snacks to ensure that you won’t go hungry if you do not like what the airline offers.

Check your alarm clock in your room after you arrive at your hotel. The worst thing that could happen is to be startled by an alarm clock when you’re fast asleep that a previous guest had set to early. Be sure to set this for whatever time you feel is comfortable to wake up at.

If you cannot fathom leaving your pet back home, research vacations options that are pet-friendly. An increasing number of accommodations are available for those traveling with pets. These range from pet-friendly cruises to cat spas and dog daycare centers. You can take your pets with you; you just need to be certain they are allowed.

Don’t forget to pack clothespins on your next trip! These are not typical travel gear, but they do come in handy.

When taking a road trip or flying with small kids, make sure to bring things to keep them entertained along the way. Their favorite toys are a must when packing. You may also look into purchasing something new for your child to keep them occupied much longer as they get used to their new toy.

Workout at the gym the day before you take your flight. Being on a flight for a long period of time can be tiresome. Remaining in a stationary position can cause stiff muscles and cramps. Getting in a workout, or at least some stretching, before you board the plane can help cut down or eliminate any leg and back muscle issues.

Always pay attention to your surroundings when traveling and keep track of your belongings. Be very aware of keeping a close eye on your purse when you are traveling. Don’t carry a bag with a zip that someone could easily open in a crowded area. Always consider these things before purchasing your travel bags.

Carry a match book or business card from the hotel you’re staying wherever you go. If you are walking around and about on the local streets and get lost, you will have this business card to show people who don’t understand your language. This is one of the most important suggestions that can be given as language barriers exist and you have a better chance of not getting lost.

Educate your family by traveling. As long as you are careful, you should feel confident about visiting developing nations, as they can offer extremely enlightening experiences for your children and you. You can gain understanding and tolerance for different cultures while abroad.

Early in your trip planning process, check whether you’ll need a visa for any of the locations you’ll be visiting. Getting a visa can take a while, so apply for yours well before your trip. If you don’t have the correct visa, you won’t be allowed to enter some countries.

What will you do if you lose your passport? The U.S. You should visit the website of the Department of State, which will show you the locations of US Embassies in foreign countries and provide a number for contact. Bring this information with you on your trip. Generally, a replacement passport can be prepared in a matter of days.

If you are a frequent National Parks visitor, it might be worth purchasing an annual pass. While the initial outlay is $50, they are valid for a one year term and give you open access to all national parks.

Make sure you pre-book parking at the airport ahead of time if you plan on leaving your car in the airport while you travel. In some places parking booked on the day you fly will cost more. If you live close to the airport you may want to take a taxi instead of paying for parking.

If you have a child with you on your road trip, be sure to get out of the car every couple of hours. These stops can be used for leg stretching and bathroom breaks. Getting little kids out of cars here and there can help them avoid motion sickness. It may be a longer trip, but it won’t be as stressful.

Major airlines have e-newsletters you may be able to subscribe to and find deals. These e-newsletters will give you access to last-minute offers, special discounts and other deals that may not be available to anyone else. Even though these e-newsletters can contribute to the congestion in your inbox, the money they can save you is well worth it.

If you are going on a road trip, factor in time for service stops. Road trips usually involve long stretches that might not offer vehicle service if you have issues. It is important that you have a solid route planned where you know there will be service stations along the way that can help should the need arise. Keep the numbers handy in case you need to use them.

A tight budget is no reason to give up the idea of traveling for fun. If you use the advice that was provided to you in this article, you are taking the first steps of planning an affordable vacation.

If you’re going to a foreign country, bring some cards in that country’s language that describes your food allergies. If meat or animal products aren’t a part of your diet, you’ll be able to communicate this to wait staff. This information can help to ensure that all your dining experiences are enjoyable on your trip.