Bring up pending travel plans in conversation. You may be surprised at how frequently you'll run into someone wo's been where you are contemplating a trip to, or someone who may have actually lived there at one time. Even small scraps of information can change and enrich your trip.
It might be a special restaurant that is far off the beaten path, a bargain that was found, or an expereince that you, too, would like to enjoy. Naturally, evaluate the information in terms of how current it is and the personality of the person that gave it to you.
And don't be afraid to ask for names of people to contact, especially if you're traveling abroad, no matter how tenuous the relationship. You may make some great aqauintances by calling friends of friends. These 'human contact' points can actually make a trip a thrill instead of a mere excursion.