So you want to go on a research trip? Whether you plan on going by plane, train, or automobile, a successful research trip requires pre-planning.
If you are going to an archive or library, you will want to check the online catalog before you go and write down the call numbers of the records you plan on accessing. While you are at it, also make a note of the opening hours--you wouldn't want to show up when they are closed.
Make sure you have a plan written out. A research plan makes it much more likely that you will stay on task and find what you are looking for.
If you are planning on visiting churches and cemeteries, check the opening hours and make sure you have mapped out how to get to them. You don't want to spend any time getting lost when you have limited time available to you.
Take a camera with you in case you need to photograph the records you find. A magnifying glass for old records is also often recommended.
Check out about.com's page on Genealogy Trips and Vacations for a great list of to-dos before your trip. They have tips for a variety of types of research vacations.
With the right planning, you can have a successful research trip. It is all about planning. The more you put into your trip beforehand, the more successful you will be.