To get to Machu Picchu, the easiest route is by train from either Cusco or Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu town (Aguas Calientes). Than taking a 20 mint bus from Aguas Calientes town to the entrance of Machu Picchu site. There are different hike to Machu Picchu. Inca trail is the most famous one and you need to book it way in advance like months in advance. However you can do other hikes of Machu Picchu, which will take an alternative route to the traditional Inca route. For example you can do Machu Picchu Jungle Trek, which you can easily book from Cusco with short notice. The main different is that with the inca trail you will follow the traditional rote for pilgrimage to Machu Picchu used by the Inca (or Emperor) in the 15th century, and the other tours use different route.
I only stayed at hostels
I booked my train tickets few weeks in advance online from Perurail
I booked my MP tickets few weeks in advance from machupicchu
Book your tickets in advance