Here are some tips for the start of your journey.
1. Try to pick up a silver weapon really early. It makes things easier when facing undead.
2. ALCHEMY, ALCHEMY, ALCHEMY, take every herb/ingredient you find and make something with it.
3. Go to Jauffre He has armor and a horse for you.
4. STAY AWAY FROM FATBACK CAVE and DZO NOT GO TO DZONOT CAVE.
5. The Killing Field is easily doable at level one and has a fairly good reward.
6. Travel to wilderness near the roads and kill random things. But don't get in to far over your head. Stay close to the road so you can have a quick escape. If you see anything more than three or so small animals run.
7. Sideways cave is doable at level one UNTIL you get to the Mystical Imp, I think that's what gave it its name. That Imp will screw you sideways.
8. Fighter guild gives you Semi-good potions and gold. The starting quests are doable at level one.
9. Jump and run everywhere. The sooner you get those skills up the easier it is to run away.
10. From what I've seen steel is not a big enough upgrade from Iron to warrant it's cost. This may change as I level.
11. An Unexpected Voyage is somewhat hard but doable at level 2 if you have a good weapon