When we went to Europe, my friend Mickey and I even took it a step further, watching any sort of movies vaguely related to the UK or France before we left, from The Other Boleyn Girl to What A Girl Wants to Ratatouille, and even made a "Europe playlist" to listen to in our hotel rooms at night while we were there. Now when I hear any of those songs, it immediately sweeps me back to our favorite bed and breakfast (on Gower Street in London) the Ridgemount Hotel.
Personally, I love to bring paperback books along when I travel. I've just never been a fan of nooks or kindles, and in some destinations in the developing world, I feel better about bringing paperback books and maybe leaving them behind at a bed and breakfast, hostel, or thrift store rather than using the (often unreliable and expensive) electricity to charge a book-reading device. It's also really fun to get new books on trips, whether from trading at a hostel, picking one up at a flea market or used bookstore, or buying one as a souvenir of a place. Here's a great blog article from Independent Travel Cats about traveling with books.
I really feel like your understanding of a culture or destination can be enhanced by reading books that relate to it, either before or during your trip. It's also a good way to get excited and stay motivated to save for your vacation as well!
What about you? Have you made any awesome book/destination pairings in the past? Any suggestions of books to read when I go to Cuba (in English or Spanish)? Do you prefer e-readers or paper books when traveling? Vote in the poll and leave a comment below!