Impressionist Photography by Don O. Thorpe
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When is the best time to travel?
Spring is wonderful with flowers blooming and green landscapes. Fall has fewer crowds. I do not recommend January, the rainy season, and the summer months of July and August can be quite warm.

What should I pack?
Always take layers of clothing instead of heavy coats. Don't take too many clothes. Choose items that will match several other items -- like a sweater that has a color or pattern to match most of your other clothing.

Will I have time to shop if I take a tour?
Yes. But it is usually best to come back on your free time at the end of the day or do some shopping time at lunch. You may want to add an extra free day at the end of your tour to shop or rest before you return home. 


Bring hair shampoo to wash your hair and to launder washable clothes.

Many foreign hotels and B&B's don't have washcloths, so toss several into your luggage.

Pack several clothespins to keep curtains closed or hang clothes that are washed.

Make photocopies of all prescription medication information, airline tickets, travelers checks, passport and credit cards. Both you and your traveling companion carry copies! Take a photocopy of your marriage license if you are married -- just in case something happens of your spouse and you need to prove your are the legal spouse.

Learn the most important words in the local language -- please, thank you and good day, and where is the toilet (WC).

Take lots of Kleenex packs in case you run into a bathroom without any T.P.

Carry individual wet wipes for when there is no soap in the bathroom.

Take some snacks to munch on, such as trail mix or dried fruit, in mini zip-lock pouches.

Take an eye mask and ear plugs (I like the silicon kind) so you can sleep on the airplane. Also Tylenol PM can help you to sleep if it's noisy.

Take an plug adapter for appliances like a razor and battery chargers.

Take an empty duffel bag for gifts to bring home.

Take a hat and sunglasses. (A "packing hat" can get rolled up and come back to life!)

Take a first-aid kit with all of the medications you could ever need.

A neck pouch is a must to carry money, passport and credit cards safely. Don't use a money-belt -- you have to almost undress to take it off for airport security.

Some hotels have a safe in the room so you don't have to take all of your money with you every day.

Save things for a scrapbook or book of remembrance.

Pepto Bismal works as a stomach ache preventative (take some tabs ...don't leave home without them!).

Put bottles of wet stuff in zip-lock bags...things sometimes open in the airplane!

Take extra zip-lock bags for this and that (like a sweet roll from breakfast for a snack later on).

Sip water constantly to avoid dehydration (it hits you quickly, and feels like the flu -- as soon as you get re-hydrated again, you feel great. Orange Juice is also great for that).

Tie a bright ribbon on each piece of your luggage (if the airline looses your luggage - it helps them find it. Also, it will help you spot them on the luggage carousels).

Don't drink the water (or ice) or raw fruits and veggies in third world countries. (no lemon in your soda etc.) Ask for bottled water, don't open your mouth in the shower. If you forget, and drink the water, antibiotics will help you get over "Pharaoh's Revenge" faster. Ask your doctor before your trip. (Bringing an antibiotic is like insurance...if you have it, you won't need it!)

Buy postcards of all the areas you visit in case you can't remember how to label your pictures. That will help fill in all of you memory lapses

Some of the smaller (cheaper) vendors will not take credit cards, so carry plenty of cash (local currency).

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