Put intention on your photos. You can travel with full awareness of where you are going, or you can travel and do photography in a naif way, without doing any research about the places you will visit, ignoring traditions and history of the country, and without a clue on what the local horse and dog breeds should look like…
As easy as that. Awareness. Easy to find online LOTS of information about just anything, in English, so if you can read English, there is no excuse for traveling unprepared.
Trips should be prepared and the itinerary should NEVER be a surprise when you get there, as that would put you in a “disavantaged” situation, because you won’t understand what you are looking at, and I don’t mean monuments, I mean the local CULTURE. That is the main reason why I keep a Facebook group for the people traveling with me. The more you know about the places, the people and the animals at a new place, the easier for you to get positively inspired.
You can very easily find in the movies, books, music and local art the input to get better results while shooting, and a stimulus for even more creativity when post processing your images.
I always encourage people who travel with me to read a few books or watch some videos before the photo-trip, and I do that many months before the actual event, as it is something very important to do with plenty of time and a relaxed mind. Most of the times the movies suggest you the “mood”, and books give you the knowledge.
Show people around you that you care, when you travel. You will get more willing “models” and a happier human environment, if you do. Show people that you cared so much that you took the time to learn a couple of important words, just two, like “thanks” and “please.
Don’t you feel like a colonizer, but vice versa, let your open mind be colonized by the traditions, the music and the local gastronomy, at least while you are there. You will then get amazing photos, photos that have a meaning, not just touristic snaps to show that you were there. Put intention on your photos.