All posts filed under: Travel Tips

Travel Packing Tips: What’s In My Backpack?

The ease and convenience of any backpacking trip depend on what you pack and carry in your backpack. It is important to carry everything necessary, yet not overpacking. I remember the first time during my initial few journeys, my backpack always looked like a 70L trash-bag. Obviously, overwhelmed with the idea of long-term travel, I always shoved in everything that I thought can be useful. This is one of the common mistakes that newbie backpackers do, and I was no different. But now, after years of full-time travelling, if there’s one thing that I’ve learned it is to Travel Light! And that’s pretty much the mantra I use while packing for my travels. Take as little as possible, perhaps half the clothes and other things you think you will need, and you’ll realize that it was the best thing you did. I take only what is necessary, and if I really need something, I buy it on the way. It’s not hard to find medicine, toiletries, clothes or even an umbrella, anywhere in the world – …

Fear of Unknown. How To Deal With It As A Solo Traveller

The most common reply I get every time I talk to someone about my nomadic lifestyle is that they wish they could do it too. People tell me about their solo travelling dreams and share the fantasies of being a solo backpacker somewhere in Amsterdam, then they come up with common excuses as to why they can’t realise them: They fear they will feel bored alone. They fear if solo travelling is safer for them as a woman. They fear their parents won’t allow. Fear! It’s always the fear that keeps us from living our dreams and doing what we always wanted to do. I remember when I’d initially decided to quit my job to travel I was as scared as I was while leaving for my first ever indefinite backpacking trip to Bhutan. And two years later, even today, when I plan a solo trip I feel equally scared. Fear of the unknown has always remained there. It has always accompanied me and proved to be more loyal than any friend, any habit, I’ve …

How To Find A Cheap Flight Ticket

Travelling would be much easier if we could just travel anywhere we wanted by road, and not have to worry about buying cheap flight tickets! If there’s one thing that makes travelling difficult – especially for budget travellers like me – it is the expensive flight tickets. I mean look at it this way: you plan a one week trip to Australia from New Delhi, and you end up spending more money on flights than on everything else put together. It’s, therefore, more important to find the hidden cheap flight tickets than finding the right destination to travel to or the right place to stay. Because if a flight is too expensive for you to afford, you aren’t going anywhere. But thankfully the odds are not all against us. Every day, airlines around the world release thousands of killer deals – from mistakenly published cheap fares to intentionally provided discounts. Yes, cheap fares are out there, if only you know how to find them. And today I am going to help you master how to master …

How To Choose The Best Travel Backpack

Over the past few years, my mode of transport has fluctuated between flights, buses, overnight train, motorbikes, walking, you name it. And this has forced me to change my travel backpack quite a few times – sometimes because I was unsatisfied with the product, and sometimes because it no longer served my needs well. When it comes to travelling I’m totally okay to adjust to the situation. I can sleep at an airport or travel on a rickety bus. But while buying the travel gear, and more importantly, a backpack, I make no compromises. A superior travel gear makes travelling easier and more enjoyable. But I wasn’t always like that! I remember the first time I bought a backpack, I bought it without a single thought. It had no padded straps, no hand rest, no waterproofing, and it was only a top loader. What’s worse is that it came with no warranty (I’ll tell you why the warranty is important for your backpack later in the article). Though I used it for many months, or …

How I Deal With Language Barrier While Travelling

I remember when I was leaving for my first solo trip I was more doubtful than ever. I was scared and I feared that I won’t be able to survive for long. Would it be safe? Would the journey be interesting? How would I make friends on the road? I had a million questions going through my mind. But out of all the doubt, one thing that bothered me the most was dealing with the language barrier!  Last week, a reader asked me on Facebook if the local languages can make his solo travelling in North of India tough. He belonged from the South. In his words “Is language a barrier to travelling? I was planning to travel to the north of India next month but I don’t know Hindi. Can it be a problem? PS: I am travelling solo!” “PS I am travelling solo” — his message ended with the most important part! A solo traveller is always scared of a new language, and that the language barrier can be a problem, not until he has …

Tips On How To Save Money On Travel Accommodation

Looking for tips on how to save money on accommodation and travel on a budget? This article is for you! Often, when people talk about my highlighted budget-travel trips, they mention about my Spiti Valley Road Trip. “You did a road trip in Spiti Valley, for 9 days, in under 5000 rupees? Where the hell did you sleep, man? Outside? Under the stars?” And I reply… yes, that’s where I slept. Though inside a tent, but still outside and under the stars. I save most of my money on traveling because of two reasons: I eat anything, and I sleep anywhere. Though don’t take it literally, but what I am trying to convey is that when I am on a budget trip, I save most of my money by saving on accommodation. I avoid hotels and say no to luxury resorts (unless the trip is sponsored, of course). Moreover, when I barely use the hotel room during the day as I am often out exploring, there is no point in paying 2000 Rupees for a …

Why I Travel Solo

I travel solo because other people cancel their travel plans, and I don’t! I can’t let others hold me back!! “So when are we leaving? What days have you applied for leave, at your workplace?” I asked my friend Ankit, with whom I was trying to partner up for a few-week-long motorbiking expedition in the Himalayas. A long silence at his end was a clear invitation to the fact that the deal is cancelled. “No man, the thing is I might not be coming along, something really urgent has come up,” he confessed, in his usual tone. This happened yesterday, and since last 24 hours, I’m constantly consoling him to reconsider, like a stubborn, innocent kid, trying to make him realise what he will miss if he doesn’t come along. None of my friends wants to replace him either. Everyone is busy with their work and routine. “The man who goes alone can start today, but he who travels with another must wait until that other is ready” Henry David Thoreau And then I realised it’s …

How To Travel Cheap During A Peak Travel Season

Visiting someplace during a peak travel season? Try not bleeding unnecessary money! Last month when I was returning from my solo bike journey to Spiti Valley, I decided to spend a few nights in the town of Vashisht, near Manali, in Himachal Pradesh. Looking for a guest house, I went to my usual place, where I’d stayed before for at least a dozen times. I liked its peaceful ambience and the location which allowed me to sit almost at the top of the village, overlooking the mountains down below. But as I enquired about the price for a room, out of courtesy, despite being very much familiar to it, I went a little flabbergasted. “No, just one bedroom” I repeated with all innocence, before the caretaker repeated, twice, the exact same figure. “It’s 1,200 Rupees a night, sir”. The same room which I’d earlier – about 3 months ago I think – rented for about 400 Rupees a night, was now available for a whopping 1,200 Rupees. Then I saw a group of teenagers, seemingly from New Delhi, and …

7 Things I’d Tell A New Traveler

Hope. Anxiety. And Excitement. Such emotions are inevitable for any newbie traveller. I remember when I quit my job to travel and booked a one-way ticket to Bhutan, I was scared too. No one I knew had ever done it before. And to compensate my unpreparedness, I followed a few guidebooks and hoped for the best. I was not just new to travelling but I was confused about it too. But now, after years of full-time travelling, I have learned the art behind it. And if only I could sit my younger self, I would give him this advice: Don’t Be Scared Walking off the beaten path and travelling places you’re not familiar with, might sound a little scary, but you aren’t the first person doing so.  There are hundreds of online guidebooks and other resources to walk with you along the way. And if thousands of people can make their way around the world, and to the place you’re going to, why can’t you. So don’t be scared. Look Beyond The Guidebook Experiences Guidebooks are helpful. But don’t …

Why I Quit My Job To Travel

Last week, I took a wee trip to Rishikesh – the land of sadhus and of many people’s spiritual rebirth. I have a personal affection, some attachment to this place. This is where I once spent two months, practising meditation and taking spiritual lessons. But this time, my arrival was accompanied by a sense of unexpected realization. I wondered, as I grabbed myself walking along its frenzied, confused walkways, that how lucky I am to experience places like Rishikesh again and again. And yet, it is never the climax of my journey. It is always the beginning. “We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls” Anais Nin It has been a few years now since I have been travelling full time, or I should perhaps say a few years since I’ve made travelling my life, and my source of income, yet I never shared here why and how it all happened. It would be nice to say that I wanted to understand myself and find my inner consciousness, but frankly speaking, it’s …