If you are travelling to a country for the first time, make sure you do the following stuff a few days before,
1. Go to wiki travel , search and read about the country and the particular city - http://wikitravel.org/en/Main_Page#b
- Make sure you read the stay safe section
It is very important to know the types of crimes and organized rackets they have in each big city.
- Food and Drinks section
Read the section in which you have the water drinking guidelines. Important to know this.
- Read the do's and don'ts section.
2. Google and find our whether they have an air port entry or exit fees and make sure you have that money in whatever currency they expect you to pay in. Eg; Kenya you need to pay 25 USD as visa fee on entry and in Indonesia you need to pay 150,000 rupiah when you exit the country as air port fee. So its better to find out this information before hand to avoid the painful process of finding the needed money in the currency of need at the air port.
3. If you do not have a place to stay use http://www.lonelyplanet.com/ to find a suitable accommodation. I guess editor reviewed ones are reliable. You could expect it to match the review.
4. Find out the weather and the predictions for the week ahead.
Don't rely on the weather report of someone who had been there on a short visit, since countries do have seasons. Weather can at times spring big surprises on your purse.
5. If you are in for a business meeting read about the business etiquette's relevant to the country in question.
Certain gestures are at times considered rude, certain topics should be avoided in certain counties etc. When walking you should know these to avoid embarrassment and humiliation.
6. Also find out well before the vaccinations you need to take, there are African countries for which you need to have taken yellow fever vaccination ten days before you travel in to the country.So get this sorted out well in advance.
7. Go to Google maps and search and see the directions from the air port to the hotel (at least that )
Have a safe journey and stay safe!