Always carry a pack of cards: bonus points for cool shuffling and a repertoire of games.
Know you will probably end up buying bottle after bottle of water, but don’t let this stop you from asking your hostel if they can refill your bottle – some will, just check if it’s drinking water.
Always carry few spare passport photos. You never know when they might come in handy, particularly at border crossings for visas.
Lonely Planet and Wikipedia make the best tour guides.
Most hostels have lockers but bring your own padlock.
Carry a photocopy of your passport and key travel insurance information. Obvious I know but easy to forget.
Another obvious one: keep your key valuables in a few locations. This bag, that bag and the rest locked away at the hostel.
When I’m on the move I like to use a hidden travel bum bag. I shove everything in a zip-lock bag so it doesn’t stew in sweat and wear it below the waistline of my trousers or shorts. Since I normally tuck my blouses in over the bag and wear a belt, I figure this is about as safe as I can keep anything.
Say hello to people, especially if you’re staying in a hostel – it’s a brilliant way to make friends, find people to reduce tour costs with and you never know who you will meet.
If in doubt – do it! Travelling is a wonderful experience so embrace every moment and opportunity. Besides, if it doesn’t work out, it will make for a good story. My only exception to this is if one’s health and safety or the health and safety of others is put at risk.