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Snapshot Journeys Travel Planning Tips, Info, Pictures


Enjoy your holiday more when you pack light yet still have everything you need!

On top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge overlooking Opera House. Hi! I'm Karen Zabawa, a travel writer in Port Credit, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. I travel light whether I'm on the road for one week, two weeks or a month or more, with  everything I need in one suitcase and a backpack.

Over the years, I've traveled a lot and  learned the hard way how to pack light and not take along everything I think I might possibly need. You really do not need to pack a lot for a trip.

And now, I'm happy to share with you my travel packing and planning tips, information and pictures to help plan your trip.

Be sure to check out the Snapshot Journeys photos and travel pages, too, for trip-tips of some of the places I've been and how a destination looked like when I visited.

Lots of Travel Packing Tips:

See what to pack, how to pack it and what to pack it in (including your travel money and prescription and other OTC meds). Here's what to carry on the plane, and travel documents you might need, like a visa. See travel tips index here.

Travel Wardrobe By Item or Country:

Travel pants, shirts and tops and travel skirts, sleepwear, and more. Or  pack by country: See Packing for China travelDominican Republic resorts, Canada in winter or Portugal Algarve. If the place you are going to is not listed here, then choose a similar destination: Dominican Republic tips, for example, also apply to any hot climate destination like Mexico, Costa Rica or Queensland.

See Travel Pictures Snapshot Journeys Destinations:

Where to Stay: Find hotels, Accommodation

See pictures of my some of the  hotel rooms in Santiago Chile, Gonder, Aksum EthiopiaKandy Sri Lanka, Sydney and Blue Mountains. Find hotels, too. See Where to Stay.

Planning Your Trip: Online Tools Weather, Maps etc

Here are several online tools I use almost daily to find out what I need to know, whether I am planning a trip or just need fast information.

Google Search is one of the handiest travel planning tools. If you are wondering about things such as if you'll need to pack a warm jacket or not, or how much a local tour costs in American dollars, or how high a mountain is, go to google.com:

    • To check weather forecasts: Type in 'weather city' (without any punctuation marks) and replace 'city' with the destination you want. And almost instantly, the forecast pops up in a handy graphic at the top of the results page.
    • To convert measurements, money, etc: Type what you want to convert: '25 km in miles', or '33 Celsius in fahrenheit', or '300 Hong Kong Dollars in USD' and the calculator converts it right away.

Google Maps: To check things like how close your hotel is to major attractions or the airport, go to maps.google.com. Type in the destination city or a specific address. The map result will show transit stations, major buildings, highways etc. In the Get Directions section left menu, type in Airport and click. Also check satellite view and street view to see the lay of the land.

Google Translate: While not as accurate as a human translator, it's good enough to give you an idea of what's being said. To translate text on a website into your language, highlight and copy a paragraph of the foreign language, then go to translate.google.com.

Paste (enter) the foreign language into the box on the left, and the translation pops up on the right. If you are not sure what language you are translating, google will tell you.

Travel Alone or With a Tour:

In travel business language, I"m a FIT (Foreign Independent Traveler). That means I plan my own trips, book my flights and hotels, and plan my own itinerary. But I've also traveled with friends, and gone on all-inclusive holidays. Whatever the trip, my travel packing tips work for them all!

And I always pay my own way, except for Sri Lanka, when part of my trip was subsidized. And frankly, I likely wouldn't have thought to go until someone called and said "Press Trip!"

Enjoy your Snapshot Journeys. Take lots of pictures and make some memories!