Take a friend along.
The advice to take a friend along tops my list of best practices. It may seem self-evident, but it continually surprises me when I see people struggle to accomplish something alone that could be done more pleasurably with another person. I understand the impulse, though, and I don’t believe it’s because we are less social as seniors than we were as our younger selves. The issue is rather that as we age, who we choose to spend time with matters more. Maybe we count the emotional costs of investing in friendships more keenly, so we limit our circle of intimates. But all of us need to keep people in our inner circle who love to do the activities we do.
Line up all your nighttime accommodations in advance.
Especially, know how you’ll get from the airport (or the train station or wherever) to the hotel. Plan to stay a minimum of two nights per hotel. Or, anchor in one location and take day trips out from there.
Take as little luggage as possible.
One medium-sized bag that you check and a small carry-on shoulder pouch/purse to stow under your seat for valuables, your meds, an eReader, water, and snacks etc. should do it. Whoever designed those over-head bins in airplanes had to be under the age of 30. What were they thinking!
Don’t mess around with hydration and nutrition.
Always carry a bottle of drinking water and some non-perishable foods such as nuts, dried fruits, and protein bars.
Be smart about valuables.
Never carry your credit card(s) or passport in the same place, and stash a photocopy of each somewhere else on your person. Keep cash on hand at all times and distribute it in and under the clothes you’re wearing in several places, but not with your credit card(s) or passport. (A wad of 1, 5, and 10 dollar bills can sometimes work magic.)
And yes, you need a nose for danger. What was common sense at home is doubly that on the road.