Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or new to the idea of vacationing in a foreign country, don’t let your excitement blind you from the need to plan. These tips will help get your holiday off on the right foot so that it can be an amazing experience for everyone.

  1. Research your destination

Planning a trip to a new country can be daunting, but by taking the time to research the area, you’ll feel more prepared when you arrive. A great place to start is by reading about your destination on travel forums and blogs, where you’ll get a sense of what others have experienced in that country—the positive and the negative. Locals are usually happy to help when asked, so don’t be afraid to ask around.

  1. Check out any pet-friendly accommodations

Planning a friendly trip to pets is a great way to ensure you and your fur kids will have a comfortable experience. There are plenty of pet-friendly accommodations in most cities, from luxury five-star hotels to small B&Bs in the mountains. By planning, you can ensure that your visitors won’t leave both you and your furry best friend unhappy for the entire trip (and probably for several days after!).

  1. Find reliable public transportation

Public transportation is a great way to save money, plus it can be fun to hop on a bus every once in a while. But you need to understand that if you’re traveling overseas, schedules are different, and there’s not always an English translation. You’ll want to familiarize yourself with the public transportation system in advance and ask around for tips for navigating it once you’re on the ground.

  1. Consider what safety precautions you’ll need to take

Every culture has its safety precautions, so be sure to check them out beforehand. Just because the United States is a pro doesn’t mean everyone else is.

  1. Find the best online deals and promotions

To get the cheapest possible prices, you’ll want to pay attention to online deals and promotions. Often, these sites offer discounts on accommodations, dining, and activities based on group bookings (for example, if a hotel is booked for a certain event, such as an art fair).

  1. Consider travel insurance

Depending on the country, traveling without insurance could be downright dangerous. Maintaining a good health insurance policy is essential even when you’re in your own country, and it’s an especially important factor when you’re venturing outside of your comfort zone. Travel insurance policies have gotten cheaper and more reliable over the years, so check out what’s available to see if it’s right for your trip.

It’s easier to see the world when you plan, even if it’s just a different country. Think carefully about your trip, and plan accordingly so that everyone involved will be comfortable and safe. Before long, you’ll be on your way to uncovering the true beauty of a foreign land.