Check your calendar before planning your itinerary.
Check for long weekends; or a working day flanked with two public holidays. If there are any public holidays just before or after your preferred dates, club them in to plan a longer trip.
That way, you’ll be able to plan your dates better, and make the most of a holiday/long weekend.
When travelling to a foreign country, language can be a major issue, especially if you need to communicate with locals. This can be particularly scary if you the locals are illiterate or unfamiliar with foreign accents.
Once you reach you hotel, have the hotel staff write down the hotel name and address (along with nearby landmarks) for you, in their local language. Keep this information handy with you always.
This way even if you encounter someone who cannot speak English but can read and understand their local language, you’ll still manage to reach your hotel safely.
Another one of my clicks during my visit to Chandigarh, earlier this month.
Something about this flower attracted and fascinated me – the imperfections, the dual colours, its full bloom while others around it are either only half-way there or still are unopened buds, offering untold promises of beauty contained within.
This sight reminds me of life, laughter, sorrows and our attempts to fulfill our dreams – some of us are already there, others like me have probably figured out what they want and are working towards it, yet others are in learning or budding stage full of potential and promise.
Always carry duplicates of your travel documents.
Apart from atleast 3 paper photocopies, it would also be wise to have a soft copy stored in a portable device (pen drive, hard disk, laptop or even an iPad). This comes in useful when you need to e-mail a soft copy to someone. Remember to protect the scanned images by converting them to a PDF format and password protect them.
Especially, when travelling abroad, make sure to keep multiple paper copies of your passpost and visa, in separate places.
Just like with money, keep one copy in your Cabin baggage, another in your Check-in luggage, and yet another duplicate in your hand bag (or sling bag or waist pouch). These duplicate hard copies would come extremely handy, when you need to show a hard copy somewhere or even if God forbid, were you to misplace or lose documents and need to validate and your identity and stay in a foreign country.
Last week I had traveled to Chandigarh for my college reunion bash.
Having spent 3 years of my life there, this trip was special in ways more than just one. It was the 25th year of my Alma Mater and hence, elaborate preparations had been done for the Silver Jubilee Celebrations. Also, I was visiting the city and my college after almost a decade.
This picture, taken from a mobile phone, is of the beautiful Sukhna Lake, situated at the north end of Chandigarh and quite close to where I was staying.
While travelling, do not keep all your money and valuable in the same place. Instead keep smaller amounts and stash them in multiple locations. Keep some in well hidden in your luggage, some in a secret pocket in your handbag, some in your wallet and some on your person (alongwith your passport and important travel documents).
The logic behind this is that even if you misplace some of your luggage, the loss of money and valuables would be minimized and you would still have the balance money safe.
This particular picture happens to be one of my favourites, for a variety of reasons. One, because I love the effect of capturing an image of a water splash with distinctly visible droplets, hanging in mid-air and second, because it takes many attempts at my end to get results like this.
While staying at hotels, avoid ordering from Room Service or consuming items from the Minibar.
Instead buy your own snacks from the local market (stores like Seven Eleven or Twenty Four Seven are open 24 hours) and stock them up for those late afternoon or mid-night pangs. Not only will you buy items at the actual MRP, but you would also avoid the additional taxes and surcharges that are tagged on with room service orders and minibar items.
While packing, organize your things the same way every time, so that you know exactly where is what. That way even if miss out anything or misplace it during unpacking or repacking, you’ll know it instantly.