1. Read up about your destination. You can do this from a guide book or using the internet. It's worth reading up about the place you are due to stay, even if you're going there on business. You can find out about leisure activities while you're there, a list of 'must do' or 'must see' items. If you are travelling outside America or Europe, it is also worth checking out any local customs so that you make sure you don't accidentally offend anyone in your destination country.
2. If you are travelling abroad, check whether or not the country you are visiting needs you to get a travel visa before you can enter the country.
3. Take two photocopies of the page of your passport that has your photo and other personal details. Leave one copy with a trusted person at home and carry the other one separately from your passport so that if you lose your passport you can quickly get the necessary information.
4. Keep details of all your credit and debit cards together with their contact phone numbers (if you are going abroad, make sure that you can actually dial the number from abroad as some phone numbers only work in your home country).
5. If at all possible, take more than one credit card on your trip. Credit card companies are getting increasingly worried about fraud and if they see an unusual pattern of purchases on your card they may 'stop' it just to be on the safe side. If you expect to be making an unusual pattern of purchases it may be worth calling your credit card company so that they are aware of the situation.
6. Don't leave your luggage unattended. If you are flying, don't make jokes with the check-in staff about drugs, bombs or any other security issue. They have to take all such comments seriously, which could delay your flight or even prevent you from travelling.
7. Some US states and some countries have strict rules about carrying fruit and vegetables in. Make sure that you are aware of these rules - even a seemingly innocent apple or banana in your lunch box could break these rules!
8. Double check your packing! Whilst you'll almost certainly be able to buy replacement items such as toothpaste or a toothbrush, it's not the best thing to be doing when you arrive at your destination. Some people find it handy to type up a list on their computer and use this as an extra memory aid.
9. If you use any prescription medicines that you must take, bring two sets and pack them in different locations in case one bag gets lost. Also bring a copy of your written prescriptions, including those for glasses and contact lenses.
10. Bring a small carry-on bag with an extra set of clothes. If the worst should happen and your bag is lost, you will have a change of clothes until your bag finally arrives. If you must take daily medication, bring a two-day supply with you in the carry-on bag.