Travel insurance is highly recommended. Purchase Travel Guard here.
Verify your medical insurance coverage before you leave the states.
Leave copies of your itinerary and copies of your passport with responsible individuals at home.
Access the State Department website for current information concerning your proposed travel locations.
Travel with photocopies of all travel documents and credit cards.
Alert your credit card companies (both credit and debit) of your travel schedule
You may renew your passport online here.