Heading off for a horoscope-matched honeymoon, epic solo trip or a long-awaited vacation? Good for you, girl! Discovering new places around the world is one of life’s greatest joys. Though recent terror attacks have made the thought of leaving home kinda scary, you shouldn’t let them stop you from fully living out the dream adventure you’ve been planning for so long. Scroll on for three key tips and a handful of excellent resources that will help you stay as safe and hassle-free as possible on the road or in the sky.

Woman with e-book in the airplane travelling to Paris

1. Get your documents together. Make sure you have your current passport, a valid (secondary) ID, a photocopy of your birth certificate and any visas you may need for your trip before you head to the airport. Make note of the numbers for the local US embassy in any countries you plan to visit along with those you might need in any kind of emergency, like your credit card company’s toll-free number. Once you have everything together, compile it safely in a few places — email it to yourself, save it on your phone and keep a hard copy too.

2. Pack smart. Read about and follow all baggage regulations when packing up your stuff. This means you should make sure your bags meet size requirements and are 100 percent free of any banned items or goods. As always, keep the most important stuff (like your compiled docs and IDs) with you or in your carry-on — and never let your bag out of your sight. Packing properly and knowing exactly where everything is will help ease any anxiety you feel and speed up your travel time if you hit snags or delays.

3. Do your research. Know where you should and shouldn’t spend time in each major metro you visit before you actually get there. When it comes to recent and specific concerns, you can check out the US State Department’s Alerts and Warnings page from a phone on the go. For ongoing updates at home or for your upcoming trip, sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Plan — it’ll give you peace of mind to know that you’ll be alerted with anything important.

If you can, familiarize yourself with safe ways to get around the place you’re visiting. Take a good look at maps and transportation so you feel vaguely familiar with how you can move throughout the city. Though it can be difficult when joyfully snapping selfies or tasting local treats, try to be more aware of what’s happening around you.

Are you headed on a trip sometime soon? Show us your best shots on Instagram @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)