All posts tagged: Travel Tips

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 introduction to Varanasi about where to stay and how to best experience the town. I also told you what to expect from 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, the 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 …

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 Visa on Arrival for its long 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, …

Tips On How To Save Money On Travel Accommodation

Often when people ask me how I manage to travel so cheap, they point out the cost of accommodation and say it’s simply not possible. “You did a road trip to Spiti Valley, for 9 days, in under 5000 rupees? Where the hell did you sleep man? Under the stars?” – Yes that’s where I slept. Inside my tent. And under the stars. I save most of my money on travelling because of two reasons: I eat anything, and I sleep anywhere. Though, don’t take it literally, but what I am trying to convey here is that I always look for the best, and a budget deal, and that’s how I survive my long-term travel goals. I avoid hotels, and say no to luxury resorts (though not always, but most of the times). Moreover when you barely stay in a hotel for most of the day – there is no point in paying a 1000 Rupee bill, and bleed unnecessary money. So I stick to the other side of the spectrum: I stay in hostels, …

How Much It Costs To Travel In Cambodia?

A lot many people, before I tested the country myself, proposed that Cambodia is going to be a cheap deal. They would ostentatiously boast how easy it was for them to survive a day in under US $20. “But $20 a day is not cheap,” I’d say to myself. Sure it’s not too bad, but when back home you’re dealing with a currency which is 70 against a dollar (1 USD ≈ 70 Indian Rupees), it’s inevitable for you to moan a little on a daily 20 dollar bill. 10 dollars a day would have sounded better. I mean, Cambodia is not a kind of place you expected or wanted to be on a luxury holiday. You must be able to travel here on almost no money at all, after all that’s why you decided to come here at first place. But managing your accounts can be tricky in Cambodia – for the country has everything seemingly available for a minimum bill of “JUST ONE DOLLAAAAAR” – as Cambodians often quote. A shared ride in Tuktuk …

Top Money Saving Tips To Travel In Cambodia

Cambodia can be a cheap country to travel, if only you know how to keep a right approach and deal with locals the right way. During my travel, I met a few backpackers who were spending over 50 dollars a day, despite living much lavishly. They had no idea where they’re bleeding money. The problem was, they were Europeans, travelling in one of the poorest economies in Asia, with every local eye being set on their bank account. Travelling does not have to be expensive, particularly not if you’re travelling in a country like Cambodia. I travelled for 20 days here and spent no more than an average of $10 per day (read more about it here). What I did differently? I followed these 7 money saving tips: Negotiate the right price Just like any other Southeast Asian countries, negotiation is a daily affair in Cambodia. Expect literally no one telling you the fair price of a product here – particularly those products that are priced for 1 dollar. For a rule of thumb, remember that …