columnist

APRIL
2015

Travel Light & Travel Smart

Publisher : Magna Publications - CITADEL Pune

If you are also a travel freak like me, then this article will surely be relevant! Thanks to my dynamic career, life is literally in and out of the suitcase. From heritage destinations in rural India to the Cosmo capitals of the world, every bit of travel is fun for me. It definitely becomes easy to start your journey if you know exactly what to pack pertaining to the trip.

The benefits of travelling light are known to everyone but in actuality we tend to miss out on the finer nuances. You can either make your travel happy or heavy, in every sense of the word. And this thumb rule is not just for expensive travellers but also for the enthusiastic backpackers. So here’s what I feel should be your homework before you head out on any voyage:-

Weather: Begin with finding out the climate of the place that you’ll be visiting. Thanks to technology and certain user friendly websites, you can now know the exact predictions, down to the humidity levels and wind speed. This will help you decide whether to pack an umbrella, a windcheater, a hat, sweaters or sleeveless tops.

Terrain: It is always advisable to know the lay of land in and around your stay at the destination, so that the shoes can be packed accordingly. I personally recommend giving more importance to your footwear than the ensembles during your packing. Especially if you are taking a holiday abroad and have plans to check out the city lanes on foot, then a prior study is a must. If you are the adventurous kinds and are planning to holiday in the desserts or a jungle retreat, you might want to concentrate on wearing sports shoes.

Demography: Almost every city/country in the world has its official website on the web where its history is depicted. Therefore it is a great idea to know more about the culture of your destination and pack accordingly. For example, in a Muslim country you might want to refrain from packing exposing party wear that you’d endow in places like Goa or Brazil. Our aim is not to offend anyone’s culture...a lot of people in the garb of acting cool ignore this fact and get into trouble. But for me it’s on top priority of things to do before you travel!

Luggage: Make sure you adhere to the luggage specifications and accordingly carry your bags and suitcases to avoid last minute discomfort and embarrassment at the airport. Even if you are travelling by road or rail, it’s significant to carry a size which you can lift easily rather than asking favours from fellow travellers.

Scheduling: It is fundamental to draw an outline of your travel schedule so that you can indulge in time management accordingly. Even if it is a work trip, you can always take out some time to get the local flavours provided you’ve done some research in advance. Minor changes will always happen but you’ll be more content to be aware of what to expect next. The backpackers can also take advantage of this quality.

With so much said and emphasized, allow me to now share the 5 things each in the checked in luggage and the hand baggage respectively. From my sensibilities these things are crucial and indispensable:-

CHECK-IN (Once you have shortlisted the clothes and the shoes based on the inputs from the above factors, consider packing all of the below too)

Duffle bag: When a woman travels anywhere in the world, she has to shop! From chocolates to jewellery, anything can take her fancy, so it is wise to carry a foldable duffle bag in your suitcase.

Medicines: Basic medicines should always accompany you on your travel. From curing a stomach infection to fever, you might want to be prepared for all adverse circumstances.

Sewing kit: Whether you are backpacking or hitch hiking, a small sewing kit is needed in case of any wardrobe malfunction. It also helps you to keep your budgets low. For other modes of travel, it is indeed optional.

Toiletries: Essential toiletries in small files should be carried. Although most of the hotels these days provide you with the bathroom kits, but carrying your own basic brands is anyday more hygienic.

HAND BAGGAGE (Apart from a wallet, these are the must-haves in your kitty)

An extra change of clothes: I’ve had some nasty experiences with my air travels on international sectors, where the baggage was lost and delivered to me once I was back to the pavilion. I learnt a lesson and would advise all my fellow air travellers to pack an extra pair of clothing in your handbag itself.

Hair Brush, Moisturizer & Perfume: Owning to global warming, sudden weather changes and the on and off AC effect, one surely should carry all the three items in your personal hand bag. This ensures feeling fresh at all times, which is important from a woman’s point of view.

Tissues & Sanitizer: An eternal companion I would say is a multi-purpose tissue, which takes care of your needs in endless manner and a hand sanitizer. Chiefly because of the scare of different kinds of virus floating around, you should be regular with cleaning your hands and avoid contact with your face.

Reading Pleasure: Don’t forget to carry your ipad, kindle or an interesting book to give you company on long or short travels. That’s the best time to catch up on all that you’ve missed out on your learnings.

Emergency contact details: I always believe in being prepared for the worst and in the fast paced world of today it is imperative to emergency contact information with you at all times.

Travelling light and travelling smart is a matter of attitude and it is completely upon ourselves to evolve as a travel connoisseur. Infact it also says a lot about your personality and the experts decipher it as a desire to lead a clutter free life. Now it is your decision of how you’d want to be perceived as - a pitiful person who is dragging his / her luggage everywhere or a smart traveller who has his / her whereabouts under control. Think about it and share your experiences with me. Till then have a pleasant journey


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