1. Travel at your own pace
Everyone has their own way of traveling. For myself, I usually decide in advance upon my main schedule and I only book a hotel for the first night, the rest of the trip I try to live from day to day. However, a little more preparational work would not be a superfluous luxury. As sometimes it can be hard to find WIFI (to enable booking your next hotel). It is also nice if you plan in advance what you would like to do, so that you do not have any time constraints or unpleasant surprises. It doesn't matter how you travel, as long as you feel good about it! Look further than just your travel guide, I always read some nice blogs in advance or ask the locals for tips.
2. Take as little baggage as possible with you
Probably every time again you, just like me, stuff too much clothing in your backpack or suitcase and still end up wearing the same shorts and shirt.
Buy a handy travel bag of limited size, which helps to pack lighter.
Invest in packing cubes and never have a mess ever again in your suitcase! Take a liner with you, this is a kind of sleeping bag sheet that does not take up too much space. I use it to be extra warm in a sleeping bag, or just to be less warm and to be able to sleep without a sleeping bag. But even when I go to places where it is dirty (I remember a terrible 9-hour night train to Sapa in Vietnam) I was so happy with my liner in the dirty, warm train!
3. Take the culture and customs of the country into account
Read extensively about your destination in advance and adapt to the local population. Match your clothing to their culture and show respect. Always take a long dress or long pants with you when you visit temples or other religious places, I always bring a scarf as well to cover my upper body and arms.
4. Be vigilant
Funny how in Sri Lanka I could always leave all my things unguarded, but can’t go into the sea in Barcelona, without someone watching my things. Be careful in certain countries and be aware of your surroundings, do not wander just anywhere around with a wallet full of money or arms full of jewelry. Take an extra credit card with you for unexpected events.
5. Take a good travel insurance
I know, I might sound like your overprotective mother, but travel insurance is just a necessity. Compare insurance policies and make sure that they cover all costs, such as repatriation with a helicopter on a ski slope or the sky-high hospital costs in the US.