All posts tagged: Travel Tips

What I Pack For My Travels

The ease and convenience of any backpacking trip depends on what you’re carrying in your backpack. It is important to carry everything necessary, yet not going over the limit. I remember the first time I left home for a few months long journey, my backpack looked like a 70L bin-bag. Obviously, overwhelmed with the idea of long term travel, I had no idea what I was doing, and shoved in everything that I thought can be of use. This is one of the common mistakes that newbie backpackers do, and I was no different. Now, after years of travelling, if there’s one thing that I’ve learned it is – Travel Light! And that’s pretty much the mantra I use while packing for a journey. Take as little as possible, perhaps half the clothes and other things you think you will need… and you’ll realise 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 …

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 travel 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 it’s not safer for them as a woman. They fear their parents won’t allow. Fear. It’s what keeps us from living our dreams and doing what we’d always wanted to do. I remember when I’d initially decided to quit my job to travel (& I’m not asking you to do so), I was equally scared, as I was while leaving for my first ever indefinite backpacking trip to Bhutan. And two years later, even today, as I plan a trip, or worse, find myself standing behind the exit door of my home in New Delhi, or inside a railway station in another city, I feel no less scared …

How To Find A Cheap Flight Ticket

This world would be a much better place if we could just travel anywhere we wanted, by road! If there’s one thing that makes travelling abroad difficult – especially for the budget travellers like me – it is the expensive flight tickets. I mean look at it this way: you fly from New Delhi to Bangkok, for a week, and end up spending more money on your flights than on everything else put together. It’s therefore more important to find the hidden cheap airfares than finding the right destination to travel, 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 you. Every day, airlines around the world release thousands of killer deals – from mistakenly published cheap fares to intentionally provided slashed prices. 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 find a cheap flight. These are the …

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 …

11 Travel Tips For Varanasi

Varanasi turned out to be such an amazing city, that I had to have at least 3 posts about it. I recently shared an intro to Varanasi about where to stay and how to best experience the town. I also told you what to expect at the Ghats, which are famous for cremation ceremonies. But then I realised that none of them address the basic etiquette, you must follow, while you’re here. Being the spiritual capital of India, Varanasi can be confusing. Right from “can we click pictures of burning pyres” to “how to deal with touts” – people have their doubts. In an effort to answer those random but important questions, here are the 11 most important tips you need to know: 1) Come to Varanasi, but don’t come here first. Varanasi is wild, particularly for those who are new to Indian culture. Watching dead bodies lit on fire, and naked sadhus whitewashed in ash, can scary you to a degree that you would not want to leave your hotel room. So before coming here, …

Thailand Visa On Arrival: Not A Great Thing Anymore

Earlier this year I travelled Thailand on Visa on Arrival. It appeared like a good deal – cheaper and quicker. You can land in the country whenever you wish to, escaping the long embassy applications. Just pay 1000 Baht (INR 200), at the airport, as the Visa fee and be done with it. You’re free to rule the country for 15 happy days. Well, it’s not as good as it seems! And I realised that as soon as I landed in Bangkok. After having a terrible 3 hours layover in Chennai, India, starting 1 in the night, I reached Suvarnabhumi Airport around 7 in the morning. I was already pretty much cracked up, due to lack of sleep, and I realised the application process, at Suvarnabhumi, might take another few good hours, before I can take any rest. Long Queues Before I travelled Thailand, internet said Visa on Arrival (VOA) counters can have long queues, but odd morning/evening can be different. My experience – odd morning/evening hours are not very different. I waited for almost 90 minutes before I had …

Solo Female Travel Tips – Getting Started

This is a guest post by Neetole Mitra of Living Unplanned, who quit her job 4 months ago and has been travelling ever since, alone. Encouraging more females to follow the league, this is what she has to say… It’s surprising that so many of us love to travel yet so few actually do it. It almost makes one wonder, if travel is ultimately as coveted as everyone would have you believe. I mean, if people really want to travel, why don’t they? Travel has become a benchmark of sorts for ‘freedom’. It’s what we say/think every day. I wish I could be free. Just get the hell out of here. Go where I want to. Etc. But we are free. As long as there’s no literal chain holding us back, we are all free. Yet, most of us create alibis for ourselves. I can’t travel because there’s no money. I can’t travel because I have to take care of the family. Because it’s not safe. All of them completely sound barriers that hold us back …

Cambodia Tourist Visa: Why I Say Visa On Arrival?

If you think there’s a list of countries that fall under the category of Countires-With-Supereasy-Visa-Policies, consider Cambodia having a place in it. I landed in Cambodia at 2 in the afternoon (after realising that I’d have rather taken a bus to the country), and by 2:15 I was through. This was when I’d to apply for Visa on Arrival. Thailand’s long Visa on Arrival (VOA) queue had me discouraged, but God help Cambodia who made it up to me. In 15 minuntes, after my AirAsia flight dropped me, right on top of the runway, in Siem Reap, I was on the other side of the world. The world that lies behind the walls of Airport. The free world. Getting a visa stamp for Cambodia is super easy, and quick. I remember I did not wait more than 3 minutes at VOA department, and I get my beautifully-stamped passport back. I totally loved how the airport officials swiftly dealt with my application, in addition to some 30 other applications that landed together with me. Though that’s a different question that they’re, …

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 couldn’t decide a thing. I thought I was unprepared. I was scared and I feared I won’t be able to survive for long. And such fears are only natural. Travelling alone for the first time can be doubtful. It forces us to overthink. Would it be safe? Would the journey be interesting? What would people think? People have all kind of doubts. Last week, a reader asked me on Facebook if his language can make his solo travelling in North of India, tough. He belonged from the South. In his words “Is language a barrier for travelling? I was planning to travel the north of India next year 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 consideration! A solo traveller is always scared of a new language, not until he has experienced a few solo journeys before. I …

4 Women Who Conquered Common Beliefs To Travel The World

A few months ago, while backpacking through Southern India, I met a group of college students who were out, holidaying. They found it interesting that I’m a full time traveler, and that I’d quit my job to do it. During our short conversation, one among the 3 girls in the group, asked, if I ever found solo travelling risky. A few assuring points, from my side, and she whispered, sounding unconvinced, “Yeah, but women traverse a different world than men do”. I think I couldn’t understand her at that time. I think can’t understand her now. When it comes to solo travelling and women, things becomes a little complicated. Women have to deal with a complete different set of anxieties. Some fear for safety, some for public opinion. “You get a lot of unwanted attention,” someone once wrote me in comments. And I couldn’t agree more. Travelling as a woman can be tough. No one can deny this fact. But I’ve met an uncountable numbers of women, in different parts of the world, and in my country, …