There is something that you never plan into your budget, but you are always willing to shell out money for in the moment. It’s something I rarely think of beforehand, but when you’re walking around in the summer heat and sweating through your clothes, you will pay anything for water. It doesn’t even have to be cold. I just spent the day in Dresden and I think I purchased a bottle of water every hour. So think ahead. Buy water from a grocery store and not from a restaurant in the tourist part of town (because often their idea of a bottle is only .10 of a liter). Don’t let them rip you off, but also hydrate. The last thing you want while you travel is a terrible headache because you’re dehydrated.
My other piece of advice is to follow the crowd. I walked out of the train station today in Dresden and couldn’t figure out from the map, which way I should go to get to the old town. So I watched the crowds. Everyone was going towards this shopping area. After a few minutes of walking, I checked the map and was able to see landmarks that showed I was going the right way, but I wouldn’t have found them otherwise.
This piece of advice is especially true when it comes to waiting for a train or plane. Often announcements will be in a foreign language, and unless you speak the language very well, you’re not going to understand it. So follow the crowd. If everyone on your platform gets up and starts moving, you follow them. There was probably some information you missed. My mom and I missed our connection in San Francisco a couple months ago after waiting for 3 hours at the listed gate. Apparently we had missed the announcement and the exodus of people moving over to the new one.
Travel as light as possible. I’m only traveling with a backpack and one medium sized suitcase for my 2-month trip. It’s been a lifesaver as I drag it around. One suitcase is manageable, two can make your day a lot less pleasant, and three is just a logistical nightmare.