Actually, Worldwidemike & I just did the Inca Trail in September. What tour company are you going with? If you're hiking the Inca Trail you have to go with a tour company and you have to book well in advance. They only allow 500 people (including porters) start the trail each day. We used Llama Path who are amazing. They aren't the cheapest, but they treat their porters amazingly well. Their tour guides are great too.
My best advice is to DEFINITELY get to Cusco at least 2-3 days ahead & get acclimatized to the altitude. Luckily, nobody in our group got sick, but I've heard from other people who did & it can be debilitating. There's lots to do in & around Cusco. Since it's THE starting place for all of the tour companies there are a lot of hostels & cheap hotels in town.
-Be in decent shape. The steep ascents can be brutal if you're not. They are a little tough even if you are.
-Take a camera!
-Drink LOTS of water along the way.
-Drink the coca tea. You get used to the slightly odd taste pretty fast. You can even buy coca leaves to put in your cheek like chaw
. I did that on the day up to Dead Woman's Pass. Don't know if it really helped, but it didn't hurt.
Feel free to ask any detailed questions you may have. You can check out the thread with Mike's & my trip here
or you can check out Mike's webpage at www.worldwidemike.com
with his travelog & pictures of our trip to Peru.