Traveling is an art and the more you travel, the better you get at it. Experience teaches you, with time, the skills to become the ultimate traveler.
So we decided to compile a list of travel tips from our most seasoned travelers and the tricks or ‘jugaads’ they employ to make a memorable (for all the right reasons) trip.
- First and the most important – pack light. The less you have to carry, the happier you will be while travelling. You do not need to take 2 bags for a week of travel. A pair of trousers can be worn for two days or more!
- Keep your travel documents, maps and itineraries organized in folders so that you don’t have to mess about digging through pockets in your bag.
- Carry two three copies of your documents, you never know when they may be required.
- Carry face wipes/ tissues. You may have to go without showers, yes NO showers, and they can be used to feel clean.
- Roll up your clothes instead of folding, prevents creasing and uses space more efficiently.
- Keep an emergency stash of money. If you lose your wallet you will still have to get back home. Multiple places are preferable but do remember them.
- Always carry a hard copy of the map for your trip. Save your phone battery for when you really need it.
- Always keep a bunch of spare plastic bags for dirty clothes and shoes. You don’t want your entire luggage smelling of dirty socks.
- Carry a small first aid kit – when we say small we really mean small, if you don’t know what it is, don’t carry it along. You basically need an antiseptic, bandage, band-aids, tablets like Pudin Hara, something for a headache, Avomine (motion sickness) and Iodex for your feet after a nice long trek.
- Trekking in forests, an insect repellent is a must have.
- Do carry a sunscreen. No one wants a sunburn or cancer.
- Carry tissues/toilet paper.
- According to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a towel is one of the most important things you can pack; even a space faring intergalactic traveler needs one!
- Carry a hand sanitizer, you don’t know where you may not find any water.
- Use small bottles for storing toiletries as they take up less space. When using plain bottles make sure you label them properly. Shampoo really doesn’t work any wonders for your face.
- Carry eye masks for when you need to catch a shuteye. Or an ostrich pillow!
- Have spare batteries and extra memory cards for cameras as you may not get an opportunity to charge them.
- Carry a torch unless you fancy relieving yourself in dark at a campsite.
- The most important thing – duct tape. It can actually hold the universe together, and in an emergency, will certainly do so for your shoes or rucksack.
- Download necessary apps on your phone before leaving.
- Use public transport wherever possible. In addition to being cheaper and fast, it will give you a better travel experience.
- Learn basic first aid. This is just a great life skill, if nothing else.
- Have a pair of good walking shoes. Blisters are not fun and sandals & heels don’t work on Himalayan trek routes. Waterproof shoes are even better as you don’t know when you will encounter a stream/ lake/ pond or snow.
- Ask the locals for advice and tips. The best campsite probably isn’t the most popular one. The locals can help you find those secret offbeat spots.
- Try the eateries which the locals prefer. Ask the locals where they eat, go there.
- Learn a few phrases of the local language and communicate with the locals. Experience their culture. Don’t just be a tourist.
- Learn the art of haggling. Haggling is your birthright in India, be bold. The extra 20 Rs you save will buy you a cup of tea.
- Learn the basic geography of the place you are visiting. There’s nothing worse than a traveler who has no idea where they are traveling.
- Get travel insurance, probably one of the most important items on this list. Accidents can happen, particularly if you plan to go skiing in Gulmarg.
- Always carry warm clothing; you don’t know when it will get chilly.
- Carry a pair of warm socks. Cold feet won’t let you sleep.
- Check if the drinking water is safe. That includes the water for brushing.
- Be aware of altitude sickness. Give yourself time to adjust between altitudes, drink a lot more when you are high up.
Got a few of your own? Do share below!