When it comes to travel, it’s something we should have the privilege to experience in our lives. Traveling the world, or even just getting better acquainted with your own country, can be a deeply satisfying and enriching experience. However, it can be daunting and intimidating to consider traveling for the first time, and understandably so.

The very act of traveling to a new place is stepping outside of your comfort zone, being far from home, friends, and family. It doesn’t have to be scary, though. Here are some tips to make you feel safer when traveling for the first time.

Perhaps the most important thing is to book transportation and accommodations early. As early as possible, really. Booking early can save you money, first of all, but having everything in order in advance will give you an easier and more relaxing trip. Likewise, planning an itinerary to make sure you get to go everywhere and do everything you want during your trip and make sure you make your flight back home.

Next, be prepared. When you’re packing for your trip make sure and double check that you have everything you need. Plenty of clothes and money, as well as your passport and ID, if needed. These are items that are essential to having a good and safe trip, so you can’t afford to be without them. Also, find a forecast for your destination for the duration of your trip to best prepare for the weather. Alter your choice of clothing to compensate if necessary.

Last, but certainly not least, keep in touch with your loved ones. Perhaps the scariest part of traveling is being away from home and the people who care about you. Being homesick can seriously derail your trip and leave you feeling miserable, so stay in contact with your cell phone. If you don’t have one, or don’t have service, fix that problem with a provider like AT&T before you set sail.