One of the marvelous features of the camera is that it's a great conversation piece. People stop to talk about photography, compare notes, point out locations - it's a great ice breaker. It's also a wonderful way to gain local knowledge, and to get to know more about the people that you meet.
I met this gentleman in Cuba who is a photographer and runs a small gallery. He volunteered to have his picture taken, and this was one of my favorites. He's surrounded by photos, and I liked taking his picture in context with what he does. This created an environmental portrait that is more interesting and memorable.
Travel photography tips: Let your photos tell a story, capture a sense of place with your subjects, and always have your camera ready. Last but not least, don't be shy. Get to know a little about the people you meet, and you'll come away with better pictures.
Additional notes: Deborah Sandidge teaches two excellent online photo courses: Photoshop - Enhancing Digital Images and Creating Works of Art and Digital Infrared Photography. Also, BetterPhoto's photography school online offers many great courses on people photography, including environmental portraits.