All posts tagged: Travel Tips

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’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, …

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 plan a one week trip to Bangkok from New Delhi, and you 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 …

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 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, 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 the …

11 Travel Tips For Varanasi

Varanasi turned out to be such a lovely town that I had to write 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 addresses 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 decided to travel Thailand on Visa on Arrival as it appeared like a good deal – cheaper and quicker. You land in the country whenever you wanted, avoiding the long embassy applications. Just pay 1000 Baht (INR 2000) at the airport (as the Visa fee) and be done with it. You’re free to wander across the country for 15 happy days. Well, it’s not as good and convenient as it seems! And I realised that as soon as I landed at the airport in Bangkok. After having a terrible 3 hours layover in Chennai, in 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 that the application process, at Suvarnabhumi, might take another few good hours, before I can take any rest. Long Queues For Thai Visa On Arrival Before I travelled to Thailand, the internet said that Visa on Arrival (VOA) counters can have long queues, but odd morning/evening can be different. My experience – …

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. But we are free. As long as there’s no physical 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 from …

Cambodia Tourist Visa: Why I Say Visa On Arrival?

If you think there’s a list of countries that fall under the category of Countries-With-Supereasy-Visa-Policies, Cambodia has a place in it. I landed at Siem Reap international airport in Cambodia at 2 in the afternoon 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 queues, had me discouraged, but god bless Cambodia and its people who made it up to me. In 15 minutes, after my AirAsia flight landed, I was on the other side of the airport, with a fresh 30-day visa on arrival in my hand. Getting a visa stamp for Cambodia is super easy, and quick. I remember I did not wait more than 3 minutes at the visa on arrival desk 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, at their part, a little careless, I was still happy …

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 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, not until he has experienced a few journeys. I remember I tried so hard …

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 on a holiday. They found it interesting that I’m a full-time traveller, and that I’d quit my job to travel. During our short conversation, one of the 3 girls in the group asked if I ever found solo travelling risky. A few assuring points, from my side, and the girl whispered, sounding unconvinced, “Yeah, but women travel in a different world than men do”. I think I couldn’t understand her at that time. I think I can’t understand her now. When it comes to solo travelling and women, things become a lot more complicated. Women have to deal with a completely 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. Also Read: Safest Indian Cities For Women Travellers Travelling as a woman can be tough. No one can deny this fact. But I’ve met an uncountable number of …

Tips On How To Save Money On Travel Accommodation

Often when people ask about my few highlighted budget travel trips, 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 achieve my long-term travel goals. I avoid hotels and say no to luxury resorts (unless the trip is sponsored, of course). Moreover, when you barely stay in a hotel for most of the day – there is no point in paying a 10,000 Rupee bill and bleed unnecessary money. So I stick to the other side of the spectrum: I stay in hostels, dormitories, and …