In all the excitement of packing your bags and being whisked away to an exotic location, it might be tough to consider problem scenarios that could make your trip anything less than perfect. However, it’s important to be prepared for anything that may arise. Whether you’re traveling alone or with friends, following these handy tips will help keep you and your belongings safe and sound:

1. Get Your Nose out of That Map

If you’re a map lover, consider charting your travels before heading out. As helpful as it might seem to have your trusty map out while visiting a new city, it broadcasts your unfamiliarity with the area and might distract your from your surroundings. If the idea of not having your map with you sends you into an anxiety attack, keep it nestled in your pocket and only use it when necessary.

2. Everything in Moderation

Sure, maybe you’re dying to wear the beautiful pair of diamond earrings your husband bought you. Still … consider dressing more modestly when visiting a new place. It might be OK to wear them while getting an evening drink at the hotel lounge, but if you’re taking a stroll out and about, those sparkling beauties could attract some unwanted attention.

3. Keep a Close Watch

It’s an obvious tip, but one to follow nonetheless: Always keep bags, purses and wallets within eyesight. Better yet, if you can, keep those important things on your person so you know where they are at all times.

4. Eliminate Distractions

It’s nice to escape by plugging in your headphones and bopping to some music (don’t worry, we won’t judge your taste), but consider putting those headphones away. Whether you’re in an airport or sitting in a hotel lounge, music can be a distraction from your surroundings. Keep your headphones stowed away – you’ll be more alert, and you’ll get to take in everything around you, too!

5. Get the Facts

Check your traveling guide, ask the locals – but whatever you do, bone up on the city or cities you’re traveling to. That means getting to know things such as public transportation routes and even crime rates. If traveling solo, consider joining an online group of fellow travelers who can give you tips and advice about what places are best saved for daytime touring.

6. Carrying Cash

When traveling to a foreign country, it’s standard to bring cash, as not everyone is as plastic-friendly as the United States. Still, only carry what you think you’ll need for the day. Same goes for credit cards – bring only one credit card out while you explore so if your wallet is stolen, you’ll still be able to pay for things while waiting for a replacement card. And for the biggest of emergencies, hide a small amount of cash – enough for a couple calls and taxi fare – in a sock or somewhere else a ne’er-do-well wouldn’t consider pickpocketing.

Next time you board the plane to your latest exciting destination, keep these helpful tips in mind, and you’ll be sure to have a memorable and stress-free adventure.

And don’t let parking stress you out, either – check out to book affordable parking in area hotels before your next trip!