Personal Travel Tips

After having found the passion for exploring new places and capturing their beauty with my camera, I have found a certain pattern in making these travels possible and with the best outcome.

    • For me it all begins with the thought and sudden urge to get out of town. Depending on my work I decide the feasibility of a trip and its duration. I then get into my favourite part, I call it the ongoing research. Basically I do some research everyday for a few days.
    • With the number of days I have in hand, I start looking up places that I can go to. Things I search are direct flights, duration of the flight, time to final destination from the airport, accessibility, modes of transport available, languages spoken, weather, any special events or experiences  etc.
    • Once I have narrowed down the location then I read as much as I can about that place and surrounding areas, making of list of things I want to do and places I would like to visit. This becomes my starting point but the real experiences and exploration happens when I visit places that aren’t really listed everywhere; places beyond the tourist attraction and closer to the local culture.
    • The advantage of traveling solo or as a pair is that you have more flexibility.. You don’t have to satisfy everyone. Flexibility gives you the power to spontaneously change your plan due to so many unforeseen reasons. There is nothing wrong if something doesn’t workout as planned. Be open to change the plan. I look at it as gods plan. You just have to be calm and everything falls into place.
    • Once I arrive at my chosen destination, I make it a point to walk around the property first and then the area. Walking is a great way to explore a city. Just make sure you have internet on your phone for directions or you can pickup a local map from the hotel you are staying.

    • Talking about phones, I find them to be an extremely helpful tool for all the on the go research, online tickets, directions, etc. Just make sure your phone is fully charged or you have an extra battery pack.
    • Food is a universal way of really knowing about the place you are visiting, the local restaurants, farmers market, traditional dishes and drinks tell us so much more about the place we are at. I make it a point to find out about these beforehand so I don’t miss the opportunity of trying these specialities. Sometimes the food makes me travel the extra mile to certain parts and most of the time it has been worth it.
    • Something I have used a lot when traveling solo is to connect with locals for drinks or coffee through websites like couch surfing. I have personally used couch surfing on many occasions and many different countries but there are many such websites that can help you meet up with locals and sometimes even stay with them. I also love the cultural exchange that takes place. You get to see the place through the locals perspective and not like a tourist.
    • Meeting local residents is fun as you always end up learning and experiencing new things about the place that you had no idea about even with all the research you did. They are the best people to ask about the best places to eat.
    • If you like taking pictures and are putting a lot of effort on your trip to get amazing pictures then make sure you take a backup of all your pictures on a hard drive or on the cloud. You don’t want to end up losing those precious memories.

  • It would really be helpful if you are able to learn the language spoken at the place you are visiting or even a few key words or phrases in the local language. It really helps and also makes the locals very happy!
  • Most importantly be safe, have fun and make everlasting memories!

 

Written by Namit Khanna.

Date: 5th September 2020