Travel agents can be very helpful if planning a trip to a destination you know little about. They may be able to recommend reputable travel operators. However, they do normally charge a fee for their services. If you choose to book a trip on you own you can research the travel operator's reputation
If using a travel agent, the agent will likely take care of all the arrangements for your trip. If you are booking your own trip, you may want to do some comparision shopping and look for package deals on transporation and hotel. There are many sights dedicated to finding travel deals and packages for flight, cars, hotels, etc. Below are a few of these sites
If traveling outside of the United States, it would be wise to become familar with the currency exchange rate.
Also, consider obtaining traveler's checks or some local currency to spend if you intend to visit local businesses.
When packing you need to make sure take into consideration...
Any luggage restrictios that may be applicable.
Seasonal weather conditions
Packing versitle garments that can be mix and matched
Traveling by Plane?
Become familiar with the with the Transporation Security Adminstration carry on restrictions and prohibited items lists. Also, make sure you arrive early for your flight to allow enough time to make it through security check points before you flight boards.