Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Travel Tips

Some tips for travel out of my own experience,

1. Planning : It is very important to know well in advance the place you are visiting -- geography, weather, etiquette of place, correct time/season to visit, must see/do things, etc. But leave some space for ignorance, to make visit more lively. Learn a few words/sentences/greeting styles of places you are visiting. But be careful while using them and donot show any disrespect to those words and not use in a derogatory way.

2. What to carry : I would like to be a back-pack traveler. My suggestion would be to carry as little as possible -- essentials, a few pair of dresses, camera, etc.Donot stuff your bag with multiple pairs of shoes, slippers, etc. Instead of one big suite case, better to split the goods into two medium sized ones. Handling one Jumbo bag becomes troublesome all along during journey.

3. The travel : Plan onward journey well. If onward journey becomes tiring, whole travel is get affected. Keep good amount of money for onward journey, so that you reach destination quickly, without much travel weariness and at right time of the day/night. If you plan to drive(yourself or a hired vehicle), ensure that drive duration is restricted to 6-9 hours. Else it becomes boring and tiring. In such situation it is better to use Bus/train journey. If you are traveling in a bigger sized group, take care that vehicle you are using is not packed with travelers, one or two seats planned to be vacant. For example, 6 people journey, use a 8 seater vehicle.

4. Stay : Most controversial and discussed topic. My take on this is "not to spend too much on this". When you are on travel, most part of day you spend outside, requiring hotel to sleep, get fresh-up in the morning and keep your goods safely.To make an efficient travel, you should be spending too less time in Hotel. So your budget should decide which hotel to stay. Hotel should be in safe area and located closer to center of the city/town. Donot go by star rating of hotel( I mean 3 star, 5 star etc), unless you have lot of money to spend. Read online reviews to get some feeling. You should be a bit less fussy about cleanliness while on travel.

5. Local transport : It is better to use local taxi/hired car service, rather than using your own vehicle, unless you are very familiar with the place. The local driver knows nitty-gritties of the place and may take you to correct place and help in local planning. It is also good to use local public transport once or twice atleast, to know the place more in detail, people and culture better.

6. Food : My motto is "Lunch is something to grab and dinner to relish local food". Donot forget to relish local delicacies, taste and style of preparation. Enjoy oily and sweetish food, for example, in Gujarath, eventhough you donot eat such things at home. Donot waste time in searching for your native food -- looking out for Dosas in Rajasthan or Parathas in Tamil Nadu. Except local delicacies, food should be lower on your priority list. Fruits, juice, lussy, etc be good part of your food.

7. Sight Seeing : I am strict no to local conducted tour. But if have just one or two days, it may be a nice idea to join one such tour. Cover remaining places or place you liked, but tour operator did not allow sufficient time, during subsequent days on your own. Apart from regular places, make a point to visit some small not well known place as well. It may be surprising package. Hotel receiption desk, taxi driver or some tourist you happen to meet, may point such locations. Some time these place turnout to be damp squib.

8. Shopping : Generally we plan for sight seeing, but not for shopping. Shopping is an integral part of travel. Need to allocate some buffer time as well, because it is very time consuming business. Some time you've to shop some goods, eventhough it is available in your place. Just ensure that, the material you are purchasing can be carried easily and you have sufficient luggage space. Shop for local artifacts. Some pre-study is required on where to shop.

This is all out of my own experience, not copied from travel book nor claiming as an universal mantra for tourists.



schandra said...

Hi Shripad

I just started following your blog spot...

The comprehensiveness of the Tips is an indication that "You have traveled a lot :-) " and they are very useful ones.