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We all get excited whenever we think of a holiday: seeing relatives for the first time in a while, changing temperatures, and even the excitement of going to a new place. But sometimes traveling can take us by surprise if we don't plan it correctly.

Visa requirements, heavy luggage, unpractical packing, airport terminals, airfare prices, unexpected expenses… you name it. These are just a few of the mishaps one may encounter if not properly prepared. This is when the knowledge of experts comes in handy, to provide enough background for us to have a general idea of how to expect the unexpected.

Booking everything ahead of time is key. Airfare prices tend to be 60% cheaper when you buy the tickets months in advance. This will definitely prevent any uncomfortable moments with airlines,  airplane space or, in more specific situations, receiving a mistaken meal that is not vegetarian.

This also applies to accommodations. Booking in advance helps you get the room or place you want. Platforms like HomeAway give you the added benefit of showing you private properties that are available within your holiday time frame.

There are details you might want to consider, like making your trip start on a weekend and have a return midweek, which will guarantee a smooth airport experience without the hassle of the peak season travelers going about around you endlessly. Early morning and late night flights seem to be the best option for you to have a quiet traveling time as well.

Always check visa requirements for your country. This needs to be priority #1. It's definitely not fun stepping into the airport with great expectations about the upcoming trip, only to discover that you're not going to be able to get abroad because you didn't consider that this country may have certain restrictions for your passport. Classic rookie mistake.

Waking up early has its perks: a fresh breakfast at the hotel's buffet, the first seats on the tour bus, the best views at the monument site. It's all a matter of making an extra effort and being an early bird. It's well worth it to not be stuck in an endless line of people trying to enter the museum you so desperately wanted to go to.

Being savvy with your finances is important, since you will be in a place that probably has a different currency and you won't be able to easily get more cash in case you lose it. Divide it and keep it in different locations, allowing you to have a backup plan in case a mishap occurs.

And finally: always research. Online options make it easy for you to get information on prices, tours, shops, affordable rentals like HomeAway and many other alternatives that will make your trip a fantastic getaway.