The Rienzo Coastal Tower is situated on a cliff overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea near Cetraro, Calabria in southern Italy. It was built in the second half of the sixteenth century as part of the defensive system against the Turks.

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Elephants are used as transport vehicles in Jaipur, India

Elephants are used as transport vehicles in Jaipur, India and this pair seemed immune to the motorcycles zooming past them.

Do you have unlimited cash?

Do you have more money than you need?

Do you like wasting time?

Are you going to live forever?

Is seeing the world on your bucket list?

Travelling is expensive in terms of money and time and some pre-trip research will maximize what you get from both! Here’s a little of what I do.

Pre-Trip Research Tips

  1. Consult a guidebook or website on the place you will be visiting a few months before you depart.
  2. Familiarize yourself with its history, geography, significant sites, etc.
  3. Learn about medical and visa requirements, currency, weather, food and drinking water precautions, safety concerns, customs, best souvenirs to buy, consular information,  etc.
  4. Do a Google search for additional material required.
  5. Talk to those who’ve travelled there.
  6. If you are going with a tour company, check their website and read comments posted by other travellers.
  7. Make copies of information pertinent to your itinerary. I include country and city maps plus details on places I will be visiting such as collections, exhibits and floor plans for museums and art galleries.
  8. Prepare two identical sets of materials. I leave a set home for the albums I compile post trip and bring the second with me. I prefer to have information handy instead of relying on others. The hotel concierge will not necessarily have everything you need. If you are on a tour, this may also apply. I review information before I visit a place. When I leave, I give this copy to a fellow traveller. I pick up material related to genealogical research or my writing and this prevents me from accumulating excessive paper.
  9. Keep your information in your carry-on bag. It’s good reading material on the plane or bus. When visiting several countries, I use coloured plastic envelopes for distinguishing purposes.
  10. If you plan on visiting an art gallery or museum, it may be necessary to purchase your ticket beforehand. Consult their website.
  11. If you are with a tour company, identify places of interest not on your itinerary. Tours provide free time. If you are travelling by yourself, do this too. Sites often close unexpectedly and a supplementary list ensures you won’t waste time figuring out what to do.
  12. Make a list of photographs to take or postcards to buy. I snap candid pictures but also compile a list of must-haves related to genealogical research or my writing.

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Do you have any travel tips to share? I welcome your comments.

I hope you enjoy my travel photographs.

The Sydney Opera House in New South Wales, Australia

The Sydney Opera House in New South Wales, Australia is renowned throughout the world. I took this photograph from a high spot to show Bennelong Point, Circular Quay and Sydney Harbour.

Classic cars in Cuba

Cuba is famous for its classic cars and this photograph was on my must-have picture list!

Malanga being sold at a local market

Visiting local markets is always on my to-do list. The fellow wearing the Quebec t-shirt is selling malanga, a common ingredient in Cuban cooking at a local market.