When I first started travelling on my own, I made a lot of rookie mistakes. I would forget to pack a map, or I’d end up in a city without having any clue about the local transportation. After erring, and erring again, I came up with a checklist of things I should know and learn about every city/country I’m going to. It hasn’t just made my life easier, it has saved me from a trip to the jail a number of times too.
1. Carry a hard copy of the map of the city you’re visiting. You never know when your phone is going to run out of coverage, or battery.
2. Keep a scan of your passport, visa and other important documents. You might not have them on your person- but you might need it.
3. Find out where your country’s embassy is.
4. Learn about the local laws before you go (not knowing the laws got me into quite a bit of trouble in Singapore, to be honest).
5. Seek advice from the locals- they will have a better idea about where you should visit, and where you should eat than tour guides.
6. Be aware of tourist scams in the cities/countries you are visiting.
7. Certain countries have high concentrations of certain diseases. Make sure you get all the right vaccinations before you visit these countries.