It occurred to me after publishing the previous post on overseas travel organization that I didn’t really say much about planning prior to departure. While there are many things that could be said on this, I just wanted to briefly highlight the value of research. One hour of research prior to departure will save you at least ten hours of trouble on arrival, if not more. Likewise, a good $25.00 guidebook is worth several hundred dollars in terms of the money you’ll save thanks to its advice. Before you buy airline tickets, book any rooms or make any museum reservations you’ll need to put in time to learn as much as you can about where you’re going and what you’re doing. However annoying and time consuming this may be now, it will be worth every last second and cent you spend on it. Consider that five minutes reading up on the Academia in Florence could save you over two hours of standing in line by your learning how to make proper reservations. Or, consider that you can save a lot of money by planning out a blitz of major sights covered by a two-day Paris Museum Pass. When you add up all the savings of time and money, it’s clear that you’re only hurting yourself by not doing proper research prior to departure. True, you can’t know everything, but the more you know the better your experience will be.