A lot of planning goes into preparing for a VFR Cross Country flight.  FA§91.103 Preflight action says the following: 

Each pilot in command shall, before beginning a flight, become familiar with all available information concerning that flight. This information must include—

(a) For a flight under IFR or a flight not in the vicinity of an airport, weather reports and forecasts, fuel requirements, alternatives available if the planned flight cannot be completed, and any known traffic delays of which the pilot in command has been advised by ATC;

(b) For any flight, runway lengths at airports of intended use, and the following takeoff and landing distance information:

(1) For civil aircraft for which an approved Airplane or Rotorcraft Flight Manual containing takeoff and landing distance data is required, the takeoff and landing distance data contained therein; and

(2) For civil aircraft other than those specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, other reliable information appropriate to the aircraft, relating to aircraft performance under expected values of airport elevation and runway slope, aircraft gross weight, and wind and temperature. 

Steps to planning a VFR Cross Country Flight
1. Flight Planning Tools
    a. Sectional Aeronautical Chart
    b. Plotter
    c. Flight Computer
    d. VFR Navigation Log

2. Airport Facility Directory

3. Pilot Operating Handbook (POH) for the specific aircraft you'll be flying.
    a. Takeoff Distance Chart
    b. Landing Distance Chart
    c. Endurance Chart
    d. Cruise Performance Chart
    e. Weight & Balance

4. Weather charts for the area you'll be flying.
    a. METAR at each airport your'll be visiting
    b. TAF for each airport or nearest airport
    c. Prog Charts
    d. Radar & Satellite images of the area