Italy. Spain. Greek Isles. Everyone has a dream trip. What’s yours? If it involves a passage to a foreign country, then you can’t just hop on a plane and dive in. You need to do a little prep work. Here are some insightful tips to help you enjoy your trip to a foreign country.

Tip #1: Do Your Homework

Even if you’re traveling to a friendly nation, there are still local customs, idioms and cultural traditions you should be aware of. For instance, if you want to travel to London you would take the tube or a lift (subway or elevator). You should also find out how safe the water is to drink and what the locals eat. You could pick up a few simple travel phrases like “Thank you” and “Where is the nearest Burger King?” (Just in case the food doesn’t agree with you). Time to hit the interwebs.

Tip #2: Separate Your Travel Documents and Credit Cards

You need to be safe in a foreign country. That means being proactive with your security. There is a temptation to carry all your documents in one place for easy access. That could come back to bite you if that “one place” is lost or stolen. It might be helpful to take the cash, credit cards, and IDs out of the wallet and put them in a clip that you can carry in a front pocket. Your passport should be in another pocket. Copies of your passport can be kept in your luggage. If you keep account numbers on your phone, make sure you activate your security lockout and locator, just in case.

Tip #3: Get Ready For a Long Flight

If you’re traveling abroad, then it’s going to be a long flight no matter where you’re going. Depending on the flight, you might be well advised to take a sleeping pill to snooze through the travel. Short of that make sure you’re loaded up with books, movies, and music to entertain yourself with. Don’t count on in-flight entertainment. Make sure to bring some water as well. On really long flights, take the occasional walk around the cabin to get the blood circulating.

Tip #4: Safeguard Your Valuables

Don’t leave your expensive jewelry and watches behind in the hotel room. Even four-star hotels have their fair share of robberies. If there is a hotel safe, then use that. On the other hand, you shouldn’t be traveling with expensive jewels unless you have an audience with the Queen.

Tip #5: Don’t Rely On the Kindness of Strangers

There is an inclination to make friends as you travel. Nothing wrong with that. However, if someone approaches you on the street with the opening line, “You look lost” be wary. They might have just found a perfect mark for a con. If you do get lost, then ask directions of an officer or shopkeeper. No matter how friendly someone is, don’t accept a ride or get into a cab that they arrange for you. You better off letting your hotel concierge handle that. Speaking of the concierge, it’s a good idea to let them know where you’re headed especially if you’re in a group and are splitting up. Someone should always know your itinerary.

Wherever you’re headed, be sure to take plenty of pictures and at the end of every day upload them to the cloud so they’ll be waiting for you upon your return. Ready for your dream trip?