According to a recent survey, 45% of Americans will go on a summer vacation this year. A lot of those people will go on more than one trip. All said that is equal to hundreds of millions of summer trips during the 16-week period between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend. That is a lot of traveling.

As summer begins to wind down, perhaps you’ll be taking one last trip before everyone heads back to school. If so, here are 3 tips to help you get on your way, keep your trip organized, and most importantly enjoy your vacation.

1. Make a Plan

Yes…planning again. If you want to have a successful trip and avoid common trip pitfalls, it is extremely important to take a moment to make a plan. Your plan should be written down and include a budget, important dates, and scheduled activities. You don’t have to plan out every detail, but you should at least make a loose schedule for your trip so that you can adapt to circumstances as you go. Make sure to notify friends and family of your travel plans and where you will be staying in case they need to get a hold of you and make arrangements for someone to get your mail or care for your animals while you are gone. As the old saying goes, “…if you don’t make a plan, you are planning to fail”… failure regarding your vacation means that you may miss out on the vacation experience you really deserve.

2. Plan Ahead

A successful trip should be planned well in advance. How far in advance you start planning depends a lot on where you are going and what you will be doing; 1-2 months beforehand is probably adequate for domestic trips, but international trips may require several months of lead time. By planning the details ahead of time, you will get the best possible deals on hotels, flights, and other reservations. In addition, popular vacation spots often fill up quickly, so planning ahead can ensure you get a spot. By planning ahead, you will also have time to adapt if any of your reservations fall through or get changed.

3. Travel Light

It is hard to enjoy yourself when you are overloaded with luggage. You need to bring the essentials, but you don’t want to bring too much. Remember the basics; clothes, toiletries, medications, identification, etc.. When it comes to clothes, however, you don’t need to go overboard. Do a little research to find out what the weather will be like where you are going, look at your schedule to see what kind of activities you will be doing, and pack your clothes accordingly. Pack the bare minimum and plan on wearing clothes more than once or washing them when you need to. Also, remember to pack clothes that can be matched together. Shirts that match multiple pairs of pants, for example.

Traveling can be a great way to get some well-deserved rest and relaxation. If you are going on a trip this summer, take a little bit of time to incorporate these tips, and your trip will be just a little bit more enjoyable, more relaxing, and more organized.