In order to stay safe and out of trouble you need to plan your trip, at least to some extent. You could get a good guidebook or ask some friends for advice who alredy went on similar trips.
Remember that planes, trains and busses may have delays. It helps to have some space between your single steps! To be on the safe side it will be good to book an accomodation in advance for your first night at a new location.
It's a big advantage having access to important travel information throughout your travel. When you send all relevant information to a web based e-mail account you can access it everywhere in the world.
Precautions to stay out of trouble
You'll most likely go out at night. At some point you might get lost for whatever reasons. Therefore you should have your hotels/hostels address with you. Have it written in local language/letters (e.g. chinese) so you can ask people for basic directions or grab a cap! Being in a foreign country you need to make yourself familiar with and respect local laws and officials. Once in prison, it can be quite nerve-wracking to get out again! Just in case, it doesn't hurt to carry along a list of your country's embassies with you for the countries you plan to visit. To avoid major trouble, respect local customs regarding smoking, drinking, social behaviour and dress codes. Thus you won´t offend the locals and also you are less recognizable as a tourist. Likewise you are not as prone to become a victim of pickpocket thievery!
Money and all that comes with it
Change your money in safe situations only! People offering you a good exchange rate mostly are not trustworthy, banks are. It is also recommended to keep a receipt of your money exchanges as you may be required to proof the origin of the money you have with you. Basically the same applies to receipts of anything you have purchased. Upon returning into your country, you may have to pay import tax. You do not want the custom department to estimate you goods higher than what you have paid.
If you should decide to try hitchhiking, only do it in pairs and be aware that drivers may expect a payment. This should be cleared before the ride starts. Also, be extra cautious when travelling at night. Whilst you are on your way you are strongly endorsed to have some first aid equipment with you. Actually even travel defibrillators are quite affordable nowadays. No really, take some band-aid, aspirin, charcoal tablets, and such stuff with you. Shall you be travelling in more remote areas, expand you package with iodine, dressing material and safety pins. That will make the little accidents and incidents a lot easier to deal with!
Be cautious with intoxicants!
Another important aspect is to be aware of the local attitudes towards alcohol. Anyways you should drink sensibly. Remember, your insurance policy is unlikely to cover you for drunken accidents! Also, be smart and don't ever try to drink alcohol or import it into a country where laws don't allow it. You could face severe penalties for that. Besides, don't get involved with illegal drugs abroad. Penalties for that may be even more severe and your insurance will not cover you for illness either.
Beware of theft and deceit.
Never have anybody else pack your luggage and also make sure to keep an eye on it at all times. Furthermore, never carry packages through customs for other people! This applies even if you have befriended them during your trip.
In any case, don't use any stranger´s vehicle to travel across borders and don´t give anybody a ride across a border, either. Also, don´t give your car to anybody to cross the border. Be aware that people sometimes aren´t as trustworthy as they appear to be!
Visas and passports
There are some things to consider concerning your visa. In case you would like to work during your trip verify that you have the right kind of visa for that. What is also of a great importance is that you don't overstay your visa. If you did it could lead to a fine or even prison. Actually, you can extend your visa in most places.
Having considered all these aspects you can have great vacations. Just start collecting more information on your dream holiday region and off you go!
Last modified: 26.03.2018, edited by: Nils