All posts tagged: Backpacking

Travel With A Backpack Or A Suitcase?

A die-hard budget backpacker rolling a ‘pretty’ suitcase on the wild-west Kuala Lumpur-ian streets, sounds confusing right? That’s exactly how you’d have found me — struggling between the hard choices of lifting and rolling an 18 kg suitcase — had we met a month ago. It all happened when I was invited by Selangor Tourism for a 5-day blogging trip in the Selangor region, in Malaysia, back in July, and an idea struck my mind that ‘I don’t want to look the odd one in the group, carrying a backpack.’ A quick phone call to another blogger, who was accompanying me on the trip, and my fear turned into reality. At least everybody else was attending the trip like a behaving gentleman. Reluctantly, I decided to put my hard-earned respect at stake, ditched my backpack behind, for the first time in my previous 2-year travel stint, and carried along a nice-looking suitcase. An Easy Lesson, Learned The Hard Way As soon as my FAM trip got finished, and I was left on my own, like a helpless solo …

Before 58 Days In Europe : The Planning Phase

Yesterday, on my Facebook page, I posted the route-map that I’ll be following during my upcoming 58 day backpacking trip in Europe. And one of the comments on the post, written by Mohit Agarwal, gave me a bright idea. The comment read “Have a great journey…. waiting to hear about your planning phase and the trip”. I realised that I seldom talk about the planning phase of my journeys. And if I don’t talk about that, how can I consider them as journeys. Planning is, after all, just as important to a journey, as the journey itself — you plan better and you will thank yourself throughout the trip! Planning becomes even more important when you want to travel under a budget, and/or you are travelling outside of your country. And on my upcoming 58 days backpacking trip, I’ll be doing both! Hence, I planned enough! However it’s a different thing that I still do not know if I am going to follow the exact route-map I’ve created at the moment, or I’ll alter it and give …

6 Biggest Travel Mistakes To Avoid

Travel writers always give travel tips that talk about what to do when you travel. They are all must-see and must-do lists out there on internet. Go there, eat this and try that. But what about things to avoid, what about those tiny inevitable mistakes that sometimes create a momentary disappointment, and sometimes, big time blunders. From avoiding money exchange at airports, to avoiding traveller’s cheques, there are so many insignificant decisions that lead to nothing but wasted time and money. But the good thing is, with a little planning ahead, it’s easy enough to avoid these common mistakes, and enjoy your vacation better. I’ve made all these mistakes, but it is by doing them wrong in the past, I’ve learned how to make them right today. Hence, from my experiences, I’m sharing some of the common travel mistakes you should avoid to become a savvier traveller: Never Eat Near A Major Tourist Site The food near any major tourist site (I’m not talking about local night-markets or weekend markets, but other places of interest for a …

Want To Become A Frugal Backpacker? Learn To Sleep And Shit Anywhere!

It’s not the appearance or the idea of lugging a 70L backpack, but your habits that make you a real frugal backpacker! Frugal backpacking is more than just slinging a backpack over your shoulder, wearing the same shirt for a week, and doing laundry in sinks. It’s a way of living, of compromising with the worst imaginable situations, and yet, not complaining about them. I remember during my early days of travelling, how a few habits or the little insecurities of my mind, made this lifestyle so difficult for me. Though I could easily travel in rickety buses and eat at someplace totally disgusting, I was still not a right fit. Every time I left home (or even before leaving) to have that grand adventure, I made sure that I find a roof at night and a shit-hole in the morning. And these habits always only curbed me from living my perpetual backpacking dream. It moreover curbed me from stepping out of the fray and travelling off the beaten path, because if you’re going to …

4 Things I Hate About Travelling In India

I know you must be thinking how I can hate anything about travelling, when I love it to a degree that I quit my job to travel and live out of a backpack. Well, you’re right. I love travelling and I immediately plan my next trip, as soon as I return home. Travel is in my veins. But sometimes I just hate certain things about it, and being on the road for month at a time, simply amplifies the feeling. These are not the periodic disappointments like paying high prices during a peak tourist season, or missing a flight/bus, or lacking the comforts of home. Though they sure make travel life tougher, I never considered them as something that would make me want to hate travelling. The things I hate about travelling, however, or the things that I’m going to talk about below are the ones that really irk me time and again. This is a list of stuff that no matter how often I see it, or no matter how prepared I am, I …

Weak Indian Passport: Making Our Travel Life Tougher Everyday!

Indian Passport: You Weak, Useless Thing! After living in the United Kingdoms for a few years, travelling a bit of the world, if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it is: being an Indian is a proud thing. People around the world like Indians, respect Indians, and are always eager to know more about Indians. While I was backpacking across Southeast Asia last year, there were so many instances which made it so much easier for me to connect with others – locals and travellers alike – as I told them I’m from India. Bollywood and Yoga made my identity even more interesting. But feeling cooler and wanted is one thing, and feeling empowered is another. Sure my identity, as an Indian makes me feel good, perhaps even respectable, but it does not make me feel empowered – not as long as I hold a Navy Blue coloured passport saying ‘Republic of India’. Indian Passport Makes Me Feel Weak, Forget About Being Empowered There’s no denying the fact that Indian passport is embarrassingly weak – given our …

40 Travel Tips To Become A Savvy Traveller

Some people are born savvy travellers. They are street smart and know how to be prepared for bad travel experiences. However, others learn from their experiences on-the-road. And I was one of them! My travel savviness was a process born out of missed flights and countless tiny errors. From what to carry for my travels, to how to make friends abroad, I slowly learned it all, as I completed my journeys, one after the other. I remember when I initially left my home for the first ever grand backpacking adventure of my life, I’d no idea what to expect. My face clearly spoke of an inexperienced traveller self. But after a few years of nomadism, I can say that I’ve learned a bit of the art. And basis on my experiences, if I were to counsel anyone in reaching them their travel ninja potential, these are the 40 travel tips that I’d share: Book a flight only 2 to 4 months in advance. Because that’s generally the best bargain period. Search incognito. While booking flights and …

Top Signs That You Are A Backpacker At Heart

Backpacking is more than just lugging a 70L rucksack on your back. It is a way of travelling, of feeling comforted even during the most uneasy conditions. And if you ever wondered whether or not you qualify as a savvy backpacker, now is the time to find out. If you do most of the things mentioned below, chances are you’re a true backpacker at heart: You always write down your parents’ address when asked for your permanent address. The occupation column on application forms leaves you confused. You have friends pretty much in every corner of the world. You love the idea of slow travel and getting lost in a new city. You sniff-check your clothes to find out whether they’re wearable or not. You can wear the same shirt for a week, and jeans for two weeks. A pleasant outdoor weather is more important to you than anything else. You do your laundry in the sink. There’s always a pouch of detergent in your bag. And a tissue roll. If surprisingly you find a …

A Backpacker’s Guide To Travel In Kutch

Kutch was never on my agenda, and little did I even know about it — except for the fact that savvy tourists often fly here in winter for spotting the rare migratory birds. But for a backpacker, Kutch had very little to offer. My fear (of Kutch not being a backpacking destination) moreover started haunting as soon as I neared Kutch. Local transport here suddenly became a rarity, and the distance(s) from one tourist attraction to the other — totally unbelievable. I was spending more time standing on roads while trying to hitchhike, than seeing places. To disappoint you, even more, remember that during peak tourist season, finding an accommodation may moreover become a challenge, have you not done an advance booking. But despite all challenges, Kutch is an amazing place to travel. And the deeper you explore the region, the better it turns out to be. Sharing some of my first impressions of backpacking in Kutch, to help you plan your holiday better. Great Roads But Disappointing Transport If there is one thing that impressed me …

How To Choose The Best Travel Backpack

Over the past few years, my mode of transport has fluctuated between flights, buses, overnight trains, hitchhiking, motor-bike trips, 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 sometime because it no longer served my needs well. When it comes to travelling I’m totally okay to adjust with the situation. I can sleep at an airport, travel in a rickety bus, and eat at someplace disgusting. But while buying the travel gear, or more importantly a backpack, I make no compromises. A proper gear makes your travel easier, and helps you feel more confident. Hence, no compromises. But I wasn’t like that always! I remember the first time I bought a backpack (some 5 or 6 years ago), 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 warranty …