Book a flight, if necessary.
Find the best deals by checking out sites such as airfarewatchdog.com.
Plot your route, if driving.
Visit sites like mapquest.com, randmcnally.com, and aaa.com for directions from Point A to Point B.
Get your car serviced, if driving.
Fill up the tank, inflate your tires, and check the oil.
Check your flight status.
Before you leave for the airport, go to flightstats.com for up-to-date arrival and departure information at most major airports (along with estimated wait times for security lines).
Reserve a hotel room.
Such sites as orbitz.com and hotels.com have many options, but some chains (Hyatt and Starwood, among them) offer the lowest fares by booking through their websites.
Or book a B&B or inn.
Check bedandbreakfast.com or iloveinns.com for information on rooms and rates.
Or find a house rental.
Research international and domestic rental properties on rentalo.com and vrbo.com.
Or locate a home exchange.
Choose a destination, then swap your abode with like-minded folks you’ll find listed on homeexchange.com or intervacusa.com.
Search recommendations of restaurants and services.
Locals write about major cities on yelp.com and gridskipper.com.