For those of you who have been, where do I start, as far as travel companies and so on? Should I do a tour or just wing it? Obviously, I want to see as much as I can that pertains to Christianity.
BTW, Hadji is Arabic for pilgrim and was used by Christians before the Mohammadans "borrowed" it.
I had the misfortune of going in a group that wanted to do as much as possible. The result for me was that it was unpleasant. We would arrive at a monastery, for example, and soon as we'd venerate the icons we'd be back in the bus for the next item in the itinerary. So my wish would be that in the future, God willing and funds permitting, I'll do it by myself and take my time.
Having said that, with out a travel company you will need to do A LOT of research and it is likely to cost you much more. Travel companies most likely get discounts on hotels etc. Depending where you go there are things you need to be very careful of, such as crossing borders etc.
Bit of advice, don't leave a beard.
When our tour bus was stopped at an Israeli security check point, me and another fellow, were the only ones that were scrutinised and asked for passports because we were the only ones young enough with beards!
Best of luck and either way I hope you have a good time.
PS: Best location for me was Mt Sinai. Climbing to the top before sunrise and waiting for the sunrise. Mt Nebo was great too. Jerusalem was too chaotic for me...