My work travel typically involves conferences in cities and visits to universities, both in the US and abroad. While I typically vacation travel with a partner now, I used to travel around Europe by myself.
- I'll reiterate that one should reconsider traveling with more than one can easily pick up and carry. This is why I avoid roll-aboard suitcases. They're hard for me to carry up stairs. Try to keep one hand free.
- Get plenty of rest, or recognize that you're tired and plan accordingly. Travel is tiring, especially if you're dealing with a foreign language. People are more likely to make unsafe choices if they are tired.
- Don't be too cheap. Especially when you're traveling on a budget, saving a few bucks can be really tempting. Take a certified cab if it might not be safe to walk back to your lodgings. Pay more for a legitimate airport shuttle. Don't take the bargain room if doesn't seem secure. Never take deal that seems too good to be true.
- Don't take anything with you that you couldn't afford to lose (passport and credit cards, excluded). This is more advice for leisure travel and probably best applies to electronics, jewelry, and creative works. This might mean picking up a cheap MP3 player instead of taking your iphone or wearing a simple gold band instead of your wedding ring if you cannot afford (monetarily or spiritually) to replace the items if they are stolen or broken.
- Let friends know where you plan to be and when you get there. (Depending on your travel experience, this might be a weekly check-in or a daily check-in.)
- Worry just the right amount. If you worry too much about your safety, you might not have fun. If you don't worry at all, you might be an idiot.