Whether you’re traveling for work or play, a well-planned trip can be the experience of a lifetime. But if you’re not prepared, things can go awry quickly. So, here are some easy travel tips to make your next adventure as smooth as possible.

Take a little time to get familiar with the culture and customs of your destination before you arrive. This will help you blend in better and avoid embarrassing faux pas that could land you in trouble with the locals. Especially important is knowing the dress code and public behavior rules for your location.

Also, learn about the history of your destination. It will help you understand the place you are visiting, and it will also provide you with some great conversation starters with the locals.

Be sure to book activities and excursions in advance online, if you have the option to do so. This will save you money and often times you can purchase tickets with a credit card, which gives you extra security in case of an emergency.

Don’t be afraid to ask locals for advice, but don’t rely solely on them. Many people will try to take advantage of tourists, so always have your wits about you. But don’t let bad experiences taint your view of the good people you’ll meet on your trip.

Don’t forget to pack a small towel, even if you’re staying in hotels or hostels that provide towels. Taking a towel with you will give you the flexibility to dry off at the beach, on a picnic, or after a shower. Plus, it won’t add much weight to your suitcase.