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 10 things to know before going to Japan
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 keep your backpack light
It’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 plan a foreign trip
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.
I’m going to Japan in two months and this country has got me pretty excited.
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.
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 8 things to know about trains in Europe
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
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.
I do not like to think about my budget too much when I’m trying exotic dishes in a new country.
That 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!).
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.
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.
Flying is costly and airfares usually form a major part of people’s travel budgets. However, if you are determined to travel more and travel cheap, there are ways in which you can spend less on flying. Here’s how to find cheap flights.
Be flexible with dates: This is the factor that usually makes the biggest difference.
I went to Canada in 2013 and had planned to arrive in Vancouver in July. But that was around the time the Calgary Stampede took place and airfares were ridiculously high. I checked June prices and they were nearly INR30,000 less. I bought the June tickets.
Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.
A lot of people cannot imagine how I manage to afford all the travelling that I do.
Half of them think I earn pots of money and the other half, who have an idea of how much journalists (I am a journalist by profession) earn, cannot fathom how I manage to save all that money!