Expert travel agent and airline aficionado Lindsay Juley is here to help you prepare for your next vacation. Follow her top seven tips and tricks to help ensure that your next vacation goes as smoothly as possible.

As summer comes to a close and fall trips are in full swing, there is some serious wanderlust going on at our head office. As the travel coordinator for Trek Travel, I know first-hand that no matter how much planning goes into a vacation, you must expect the unexpected. Flights get cancelled. Rail workers strike. Immune systems rebel. In order to make your hard-earned vacation as smooth and comfortable as possible, here are some tips and tricks to make sure you are escaping stress – rather than creating it – as you head to your fall travel destinations:

1. Give yourself the ‘buffer’ zone.

Anticipate delays and extra travel time, especially when heading to a new city. Booking that extra pre-night before a trip will not only allow you to relax when you arrive to your destination, but will also give you spare time in case there is a storm or other unexpected issues that affect your arrival time. Plus, an extra night to overcome the jet lag never hurts either.

2. Always have a Plan B….and C.

You did your due diligence and pre-booked a train to get to your destination, but the rail workers decide to strike and your train is no longer running. What do you do? Knowing a back-up bus option or a shuttle service will save you time and energy in the case you have any hiccups.

3. Pump up the vitamins.

Stress affects your immune system and getting ready for a trip can certainly be a stressful time as you try to wrap up loose ends at work and stay up late to pack. Make sure to eat healthy, take vitamins, and try and get as much sleep as you can leading up to your trip, as well as on the trip itself, to keep that cold from ruining your trip.

4. Pack light and smart.

When laying out the items you want to take with you, try to take basic colors and layers that you can mix and match. Bring a small amount of laundry detergent to wash cycling clothes in your hotel sink to avoid having to pack an outfit for every day. Figure out what you really need and what you can live without. Having extra outfit choices is not worth the struggle of hauling heavy baggage around cobblestone streets and up steps.

5. Invest in a blow-up neck pillow.

They take up little to no space and will change your life, especially when you are counting on getting sleep on that overnight flight. Seriously. The best $20 you’ll ever spend.

6. Check your coverage.

In the unfortunate event that an emergency requires you to cancel your trip, come home early, or see a doctor abroad, check with your insurance to see if coverage extends to the country you visiting and keep emergency contact numbers on you at all times. Trek Travel also offers travel insurance in case you are not covered by your standard policy or credit card.

7. Roll with the punches.

Even if you follow all of this advice, things can still happen. Just take a deep breath and keep in mind that at the very least, it’ll make a great story to tell your friends and family when you get home.