1) Map it out
I also like to make notes for each pin in advance such as hours of operation, a recommended meal or metro stop. Doing this bit of research and organizing in advance can end up saving you a lot of time and confusion on your trip.
2) Set an alarm
The first few minutes may be rough but once you're up and look out the window, you will be glad you have those extra few hours to enjoy a local breakfast, skip the lines at the famous museum or fit in that one activity you didn't think you had time for.
3) Stretch the dollar (or Euro... or Pound...) when abroad
While everyone needs some cash in their pocket, I am actually a big supporter of using credit cards whenever possible. Using a card gives you valuable points which lead to rewards like flights, hotel rooms, gift cards and more - all freebies to enhance your travels. And while you are away, having a card without foreign transaction fees can end up saving you a lot on all the little purchases that add up.
Finding the right credit card is very important for travelers, so some things to look for include: no foreign transaction fees, a large sign-on bonus and rewards that are in line with your travel style (e.g. affiliations with certain airlines / hotels, etc.). A great resource for finding the right card is Credit Card Insider - they have an entire section dedicated to helping travelers find the card that best suits their needs!
4) Take a free walking tour
The guides are working purely for tips so they are usually animated entertainers who make the tour a lot of fun for everyone. At the end, you may give any monetary amount that you are comfortable with and think the tour was worth. These guides are also great sounding boards for your plans while in town, and they are more than happy to offer suggestions or advice.
This flows nicely into #5 "Talk to strangers" because I have actually made a lot of friends on free walking tours - both travelers and guides. After walking around for a few hours, you are probably hungry so why not invite some of your new friends to that cute local cafe the guide pointed out along the tour?
5) Talk to strangers
Talk to strangers, yes. But not in a creepy way! One of the best ways of getting to know a new part of the world is to interact with locals who live and breathe it. Striking up conversation with bartenders, baristas or patrons at a pub could lead you to some hidden gems in the neighborhood.
It is easy to stay within a popular tourist area when you are traveling - especially when there are certain sites you undoubtedly want to see. But getting a recommendation of where to eat, drink or play from someone who lives there is something you could never get in a guidebook.
Some of my best days of travel have included talking to strangers and being directed to some of the best restaurants and attractions I've come across!
6) Rent a bike
The bikes are easily adjustable for your height and they generally have decent gears to help you up and down any hills you may come across.
If you want to pedal for exercise, check out bike paths in the local tourist office or on apps / sites like MapMyRide where users document their routes along with notes and levels of difficulty.
7) Try something new
Make your trip memorable by stepping outside your comfort zone and trying something new that is a part of the local culture. You won't be disappointed and you will have stories for the rest of your life.