There is no way to know everything beforehand so travelling is often a lot about learning new things.
Many years ago I received a present from my Japanese friend - it was a very nice ceramic panel featuring three faces of ‘somebody’ unknown to me. I hung it on the wall as a decoration without knowing its meaning and only when in Japan did I learn that the image was of the deity Jizo, who, among other his other duties, takes care of travellers. Learning this, that present then became very meaningful for me.
I also recall seeing Jizo in Miyazaki Hayao's famous animated film, ‘Tonari no Totoro’ in the scene where the girls were caught in a heavy downpour and Satsuki asks the Jizo statue for shelter. So, when I came across a Jizo statue by the road in Japan, I already knew he was ‘my’ guardian for that trip. Afterwards, I came across Jizo quite often and always greeted them in a special way. Visiting Todaiji in Nara I purchased a small Jizo figurine whom I considered my good-luck charm.
Coming across a Jizo on your travels, offer it a prayer or two and ask for good luck in your trip!