If your summer plans include visiting a foreign city you’ve never been to; here are a few tips on how to make the most of it.

DO some research beforehand. You need to consider several things before you leave for your trip, most importantly: where you will be staying, how you will get around, and what food options are available if you have any dietary requirements. Look up the best and safest places to stay and book your accommodation accordingly. Also, make yourself familiar with the public transport system, so you know how to buy tickets and where to go when you arrive. If you need allergy-friendly food, make sure it will be available; if not, pack your own. Doing these things while still at home will save you a lot of stress on the trip and make it more enjoyable.

DON’T rely on card payments. You can pay by card almost everywhere, but only almost. Look up what the situation is like at your destination and carry some cash, just in case card payments aren’t available or if you lose your card.

DO walk around. If you are able to do so, walking is the best and most budget-friendly way to discover a new city. Compared to being in a car or on public transport, you’ll see much more when you walk through a city and experience it first-hand. You can either walk around by yourself or book a walking tour if you are interested in hearing about the city’s history in more detail. Just make sure to pack shoes you can comfortably walk in for a long time.

DON’T skip popular (tourist) spots. You might want to avoid looking like a typical tourist, but there is a reason some sights are very popular, and it would be a shame if you missed them. The same counts for buying, maybe slightly tacky, souvenirs and taking photos. Once you get back home, it is always nice to have something to remember the trip by.

DO carry a water bottle and emergency snack. Lots of large cities have drinking fountains where you can refill your bottle throughout the day, which is much cheaper and better for the environment than buying several plastic bottles. You also never know when you’ll get hungry or if you’ll be around shops, so carrying a snack just in case is always a good idea.

DON’T show up without a plan. While being spontaneous can be fun, it is better to have at least a vague outline of what you want to see and do. Check opening times of museums and the like, and ideally buy online tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. Many activities and exhibitions sell out, and there might be no tickets available on the day.

DO try local foods. This applies to all trips but trying the local food is almost always better and more fun than simply sticking to what you eat at home. Look up traditional dishes beforehand and possibly already pick a restaurant where you can try them.

DON’T be overambitious. It is good to plan ahead but don’t overfill your days. If you have to rush through the city to cover everything on your list, then you won’t have time to truly take it in. Visiting a city is also exhausting, and you probably would like to relax on your trip. So, keep your plan reasonable, schedule some time off, and don’t be disappointed if you don’t get to see absolutely everything; after all, that’s a pretty good excuse to go back.

DO carry a power bank. You will probably have to rely on your phone quite a bit and use it to find your way around on maps, take photos, and carry e-tickets you bought in advance. This drains your battery, especially when it’s hot in summer, so carrying a power bank to recharge your phone is essential. You definitely don’t want to end up without a phone in a foreign city.

Enjoy your trip!