Alhamdulillah the majority of my family have undertaken the haj so i'll just jot down a few anecdotes that may be of benefit to those that are going this year:
1. do not be put off by all those silly 'scare' stories saying that haj is very hard and there are multitudes of pickpocket thiefs out there and tawaf is like a battle with ppl trying to kiss the black stone.
we should be encouraging ppl to go on haj - not scaring them before theyve even gone!
2. expect alot of waiting around when u get to the haji terminal in jeddah.
valuable sleeping or zikr time depending on how alert u are.
3. if u are going with females, it is wise not to stone the jamarats at the afdhal (most recommended) time, as that time is hard to hold ur own weight let alone someone else's with all the crowd movements etc.
a better time would be after zuhr when there is more peace and hence better concentration in the amal.
[i'll be back later inshallah]
if others have points that may be of benefit, please feel free to add...