Daniel Post Senning recommends embarking on your trip with a basic awareness of the political situation in the destination. Other factors to know about, according to the Emily Post Institute, are the national religion and minor faiths, and the correct full name of the country.
Regardless of the country, there are likely to be laws and mores a traveler wouldn’t anticipate without research. One example Post Senning provides: If you’re going to Saudi Arabia, it helps to know you may not have alcohol in your possession.
He also recommends learning about the major holidays. Just as it would be handy for a foreign visitor to know about Independence Day in America, not realizing that it’s Bastille Day in France, or a bank holiday in London, can pose problems.
Again, Post Senning says, “You don’t need to be an expert,” just do enough research to ensure more comfort and fewer misunderstandings all around.