I got an email from an old friend who was traveling to another country and wanted to know about places to visit for good photos. He knew I used to travel extensively for my day job, and I'm always ready for the next trip. You can bet I always carry my camera gear with me when I travel. There are lots of ways to research your trip to a new location. One of the easiest is to go online and look at what others have done. You can go to popular photo sites (like Pbase or Flickr) and search on the city name to see what and where other photographers are shooting. And, of course, there is always Google Images, but it isn't as focused as a photography site (excuse the pun). You will be able to see key locations and get some idea about what the attractions look like before you arrive. You can use this to determine which lenses to bring along and what time of day to visit the location.
There is a another resource you may not have considered for your photography: Linkedin.com. This site is used by professionals in all fields to network, including photographers. The basic membership is free and all you will need. There are many photography and post-processing groups there. These groups don't have a place to post your images, but you can learn more about the pursuit of photography and make new connections with other photographers. It is especially good if you want to learn about the business side of photography. I've been a member for years, so if you join, make sure you connect with me.
The last time I went to England, I searched for photographers in the area and put out a request for help. I asked them for locations that I shouldn't miss; maybe some places that only a local would know about. I was given lots of ideas, including Bolton Abbey, shown in the rotation on our masthead. Since I didn't have much free time on my business trip, this information allowed me to maximize that time and plan out my visits. They let me know that it was normally cloudy and rainy during the time period I was visiting, so I was prepared for the nastiness. I met a new photography friend for one of the visits. Heck, he even bought me a Guiness at the pub.
The next time you get ready to travel, plan ahead. No sense walking around like a stranger in a strange land. Have fun on your trip.