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Travelogue: Yoron island in Japan

Yurigahama

Yurigahama

“Why Yoron?” Chie wasn’t the first person to ask me this question.

That I was in Japan was itself pretty random! When I decided to travel in July, I had no clue where I wanted to go. So, I began thinking of countries that started with a “J” (because July starts with J!). Three countries came to my mind — Japan, Jordon and Jamaica — in that order. Japan won. Continue Reading →

Full Moon Party: Dos and don’ts

The best party ever!

The best party ever!

There is much more to Koh Phangan (koh means island in Thai) than the Full Moon Party (FMP). But probably more than 70 per cent of the people visiting this island in the Gulf of Thailand do it just for this party.

Just in case you don’t know about it, the Full Moon Party is held once every month on or around the full moon and this is among the world’s largest rave parties.  In fact, this one party drives the economy of the island.

Follow these Full Moon Party dos and don’ts to make the most of your stay on Koh Phangan. Continue Reading →

10 things to know before going to Japan

I’m just back from my three-week trip to Japan and I cannot stop thinking about the many ways in which this country amazed me.

I had a little checklist and I couldn’t see/do everything in that but I’m not complaining! This is because I experienced wonderful things that were not in my list in the first place and got to know some really nice people who I want to keep in touch with.

They do stuff differently in Japan, to very good effect! Here are 10 things to know before going to Japan. Continue Reading →

How to keep your backpack light

My bags at Praggue railway station

My bags at Prague railway station

I have seen plenty of people paying tonnes of money at the airport baggage check-in counter because of overweight luggage. This has always confused me because, for some reason, my bags always weigh way below the permissible limit.

In 2012 ahead of my five-week Europe trip, when I was checking in at the airport, I actually got a little worried to see my big bag weigh less than 11kg when the airline allowed 25kg. Continue Reading →

How to plan a foreign trip

logo-3.3-with-bgIt’s easy to feel lost the first time you start planning a foreign trip. Where do you start? Should you first book the flight or get the visa done? What about hotel bookings? What mode of transport should you use within the country? Phew, lots of questions!

You can now stop getting worked up because, here, I am putting together sequentially the A to Z of how to plan a foreign trip. Continue Reading →

How to have the local experience

Tourists queue up to get into the bell tower (out of frame in the left) at St Mark's Square in Venice

Tourists queue up to get into the bell tower (out of frame in the left) at St Mark’s Square in Venice

I hate to queue up to see a ‘tourist spot’ while visiting a new place. When I am travelling, I try to experience a slice of the life of the local person because, to me, that’s the best way to get a feel of a new place.

If you look at travel from a similar perspective, here are seven ways on how to have the local experience.

Continue Reading →

11 reasons I’m excited about visiting Japan

I’m going to Japan in two months and this country has got me pretty excited.

logo-3.3-with-bgI choose my travel destinations pretty randomly. Sometimes, it’s because I know someone there, in other cases it’s probably because a particular destination in that country excites me.

But Japan was really, really random even by my standards. I was trying to figure out where to go next and since I was planning to go in July, I started thinking of countries that started with a “J” and well, the first name that came to mind was Japan (sorry Jamaica and Jordan!) and I decided to go there. But when I started reading up on this country, I realised this random choosing hadn’t been a bad choice at all.

Continue Reading →

8 things to know about trains in Europe

A high-speed train that runs between Paris and a small station on the border of France and Spain.

A high-speed train at a Paris station

Trains in Europe function in a considerably different way than they do in, say, India. So, it helps if you are somewhat aware of how things work before you get on a train in this continent. Here are 8 things to know about trains in Europe.

Great way to travel: Europe is very well-connected by the railway networks and for someone who does not have a car, trains are certainly a great way to go around and experience Europe. Continue Reading →

Why travelling solo is awesome

The clarity on what is essential for the individual when you take the risk of travelling alone is unbelievable.

Ava Irani, a friend I made while travelling solo in Thailand

logo-3.3-with-bgIf you are an avid traveller but have never travelled alone, you don’t know what you have been missing. Here’s why travelling alone is awesome.

You can travel selfishly: Cycle 100km in a day if you so desire. Don’t leave your hostel bunk for the next two days because you have a sore ass with all that cycling. Don’t worry, no one is calling you silly. Indulge in a relaxing siesta on the soft green grass of a random park. Live on sandwiches for ten days. Head out for Rome and decide midway to go to Vienna. You’ll get to Rome sooner or later because all roads lead there anyway! Do anything. Go anywhere. Or nowhere. You don’t have to worry what your travel companion(s) may or may not approve of when you are alone. You don’t have to compromise and you can travel selfishly and this is amazingly liberating.

Continue Reading →

How to save on food on the road

I do not like to think about my budget too much when I’m trying exotic dishes in a new country.

logo-3.3-with-bgThat was the whole point of saving, right? You saved all this time back home so that you could have an awesome experience. But if I’m staying at one place for more than a few days or I am on the go and looking just to satiate my hunger, I prefer budget options. Here’s how to save on food on the road (after you’ve done your bit of splurging, of course!).

Continue Reading →

How to go around a city cheap

Budget travellers love good public transport in a city because it saves them lots of money. I know I do! Public transport ticket systems work very differently in different cities and when I am in a new city, I initially try to understand how it works before I decide what’s most suited to  my needs. But following these general things save me quite a bit of money every time.

Skip the taxi: From the airport, the easiest and most comfortable way to get to your destination in an unknown city is no doubt the taxi. But, it’s also the costliest and all budget travellers seek other alternatives.

Continue Reading →

How to sleep cheap while travelling

After airfares, the most amount of money you spend during a trip is usually for accommodation. But with the right approach, it is possible to bring down the sleeping costs, at times, to zero.

Here’s how to sleep cheap while travelling.

Hostels: Hostels are not as popular in India as in the West. But for the budget traveller, they are a great way to save money, make friends, and trade useful information.

Continue Reading →