Deepavali is round the corner. And the coming weekend will be a long one for most of us. For all those who have planned months ahead for the holidays, it will be a much awaited fun-filled weekend. Some of you might be planning to go to your home town while others might have planned for a hill resort. Wherever you plan to go, travelling should be fun. You need to make the most out of your trip and have as few complications as possible.
Packing lightly for a trip is very important, unless you have hired several football players to carry your bags for you. But that doesn’t mean you must miss out the necessary things. Mispacking is probably the easiest way to ruin a trip. Not having appropriate attire or toiletries, or having important items broken during travel can really spoil a trip.
My friend Usha, who has had an experience as an NGO co-ordinator for over a decade, recently mailed me a few travelling tips. It is a very well compiled set of “Do’s and Don’ts” for all travellers. I am posting her compilation here for the benefit of all those who wish to make their vacation/ trip a nice, safe and memorable one.
I have always wondered when I see people at various tourist spots struggling to be comfortable and are not able to utilize the time well to enjoy. Maybe here are few reasons why:
Preparedness: Physically as well as mentally to be at that location.
Group: The team you go with.
Time: You had chosen to go there (Ex: Beach can be horrible during rain storms).
Transportation Mode: You adopted, land-air-water-rail.
Travel is an event, to complete a successful event, you need to plan, plan well ahead to avoid creating any discomforts to self as well as others who are with you. If you are a last minute decision maker, make it simple then, its much more easier.
Try to know about the place you are aiming to visit few days ahead, its climatic conditions, things available there, kind of places you would be visiting there, equipments you need and so on. I have seen people trying to carry heavy luggage while traveling, making it miserable for themselves as well as co-travelers. Try to carry light luggage and carry only important needs as much as possible. Here’s how:
If you are traveling to cold regions in cold seasons, carry warm clothing and carry cotton inners/ full arm shirts, gloves, a good woolen cap which covers your entire neck and ears, good woolen socks and well worn in shoes (Make sure what kind of terrain you are visiting. Shoe soles to be according to the place/ activities). For example, a strict NO for ladies to wear high heeled stilettos in camping journey. A flat worn in all terrain gear is so comfortable for any journey , try it.
A small plate (or a Tiffin box), a spoon and a tumbler along with a water bottle would be most required items while long period traveling, You may need them while trekking, hiking, even camping, for collecting , storing).
Carry a bed sheet and an air pillow if you plan to include camping, staying outdoor, or if you are not aware of the night stay arrangements during your travel. Some cases even the rug sack or the bag you are taking can be used as headrest too in case you want to reduce luggage weight. I have seen that rug sacks/ back pack are the best luggage bags for travel as it gives you comfort to carry the weight around while walking long distance or waiting for a transport etc.
Carry a charged hand torch or a head torch just in case you need it. See to it that both are in good condition A pen knife is also a very useful item, which may be needed to peel cucumbers, cut fruits, or even might serve some emergencies during your travel. Take some biscuits, cucumbers, fruits and some healthy snacks while traveling to avoid dehydration, long journey tiredness.
It’s a good habit to cover your ears while traveling as wind passing through the ears will make you tired. If you compare your travel in an A/C coach as to the normal vehicles you will realize it.
Importantly try to avoid carrying/wearing jewels or carrying more than needed cash during traveling as it draws attention.
Avoid eating foods kept in the open from roadside vendors or in railway platforms, as we are not aware of the hygiene in those places.
See to it that Cameras and other electronic gadgets you are carrying are charged and are in ready to use condition before traveling. You can carry the entire gadget set in a separate bag/ pack to access them readily. Carry spare film rolls/ cells (whatever would be needed) if you are going to far off places.
A small day pack (small towel) or toiletries would be advisable if kept separately in a hand bag for an easy access.
Always divide cash you are carrying and store in 2-3 places; it will act as good back up during emergency.
Carry some first aid (Burnol, Band-Aids, Dettol or some basic medicines depending on your needs and have them handy) Take some plastic or water proof covers or sheets to keep your used clothes separately from the fresh ones. These also help your luggage to be damp proof (in case it rains while you are traveling/ hiking).
If you are traveling long journeys in a train/ flight/ bus alone, try carrying some long pending readings you have listed, that’s the best time to read them uninterrupted.
Now the most important aspect: The attire. Packing your attire or wearing comfortable attire for the occasion is the important part of the travel. If you are going outdoor camping, you would need to carry light wear for the days and warm clothes for the night. In camping, good worn in terrain gear is advisable. Light clothes are which would weigh the least and these are comfortable either in hot/ rainy weather which would dry fast and pleasant earth colored to feel part of nature.
If you are going to a place with lots of water bodies, see that you carry a hand towel, a dress change, and see that you are in team or somebody next to you who is a confident swimmer (if you are not one). Try not to be curious about water holes and be cautious, Nature is both beautiful and dangerous.
Remember you are going out to enjoy, so make the best of it, you can plan to take portable musical instruments, or music sets, lyrics book, outdoor/ indoor portable games, etc.
Provided the transport is well organized, if camping you can take light add on’s like disc, chess, binox (Bird watching) etc. Don’t forget to carry a small notebook and a pen to note expenses or interesting experiences while traveling.
Picnics or outings are real fun; it can be memorable one or a disastrous one. It purely depends on the way it is organized and how the group involves, some members in the group are initially hesitant to take initiatives or readily participate, others would need to take over and encourage them to participate, Avoid carrying ready music gadgets, books which would make you hooked to a corner in a short picnic, that’s a short time available to make friends, to know yourself and you will be surprised to discover that your friend or colleague is equally talented and friendly like you. Try not to carry alcohol or any unpleasant items in the group since one person’s like may be another’s dislike. Also I have seen most of the time the group gets divided.
In short picnics, carry good quantity of snacks while journeying and packing the food which would stay fresh for lunch is preferred to be taken. Wherever you plan to go, carry enough drinking water.
It’s a must to carry a garbage bag to get all the used plates, containers and plastic glasses back to the city to dump as we do not have any right to spoil the serene atmosphere we are visiting.
Try not to cancel committed participation unless in emergency as it would hamper the travel arrangement efforts.
Have a nice, safe and memorable trip.