Although traveling is meant to be one of life’s greatest pleasures, logistics, mishaps, and pure dumb luck can make the experience practically intolerable. Luckily, the members of not only have great hotel reviews but great advice about ways to avoid calamity. Giampiero Ambrosi, General Manager of VirtualTourist, has compiled a checklist to help you avoid some very common blunders.

1. Overpacking. If you have to sit on the suitcase to zip it up, you’ve packed too much.

2. Not anticipating passport expiration. Double-check the expiration date to be sure it won’t expire while you’re on vacation!

3. Leaving too little time between flight connections. Best to leave two hours.

4. Forgetting time differences. Some countries count time from one to 12 while others count from one to 24.

5. Not renewing prescription medication. Getting refills in some countries can be a nightmare.

6. Neglecting to confirm hotel reservations. Always to confirm and, if possible, get something in writing.

7. Not bringing an adaptor. Make sure to bring the appropriate adaptor.

8. Not checking to see if your ATM card works in other countries. Check with your bank and keep in mind that different countries often require shorter or longer PIN numbers.

9. Leaving valuables in a hotel safe. When you come back to the hotel each night, make it a habit to leave your key on the safe so when you’re ready for a final departure you’ll be reminded to have one last look.

10. Not learning how to say “help” in another language. Learn words like “help” and “fire,” and make sure you know the local equivalent of 911.

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