9. Secure your luggage with an "approved" lock. A Travel Sentry certified combination lock (www.travelsentry.org) can be opened only by you or a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screener (with a master key). The companies that sell the lock will replace it for free in the unlikely event that a screener doesn't recognize it as an approved lock and cuts it off; however, they won't do anything to insure against pilfering by TSA personnel.
10. On the road, stay in touch with your family and friends via a personal-trip Web site. Lonely Planet's free 30-day personal Web site lets you plot your trip on a map, store up to 20 photos, record your thoughts, and alert friends and relatives when you've added new material (www.lonelyplanet.com/travel_services; annual subscription from $59). Or create your own home page for free at Virtualtourist.com: pages can include five personal albums, each with eight chapters of photos and text. Technophobic?Make a commitment to actually mail the postcards you write on your next trip.
11. Check your passport for blank pages. If your passport is starting to get crowded with stamps, the State Department will add 24 extra pages at no charge. All you have to do is download the passport amendment and validation form from its Web site (travel.state.gov) and send it in with your passport. (Or call 877/487-2778 for more information.) Allow six weeks, or ensure a two-week return by expediting the service for $60.
12. Build a trip around a personal goal. Have you always wanted to master the art of Provençal cooking, learn to speak Dutch, or lower your handicap?More than 5,300 companies list learning vacations on the ShawGuides Web site (www.shawguides.com), which allows you to search by location, interest, or time of year.