Advice from a DLSR newbie that just got back from vacation. So take it for the half a penny or less it's worth.
Vacation pics can be tough. We all want every pic to be a perfect pic. And it would be nice to only shoot every pic within the golden hour but your vacation isn't going to wait. Plan landscape shots for sunrise/sunset. Seek out shade during the day. Hoods come in handy and I wish I had a polarized filter with me. Get to know Aperture Priority before you leave, having a few starting stops for different DOF situations in your head will come in handy. Posed pics weren't working out and I kept finding myself switching to Shutter Priority for "snapshots" involving people. It's vacation, not every pic is going to be perfect. Sometimes capturing the moment in some well timed snapshots is worth as much as the perfect pics in the end. Nightscenes are always tough anyway. Without flash look for interesting lighting where you can speed up the shutter speed a bit, Or plan mothion blur as part of the composition. Wish I had a monopod as well as my tripod.