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The travel rulebook: Things to consider before your next trip

Planning an ideal trip can be a lot of hard work

With the New Year almost here, how about you let one of your resolutions be to plan better for your future travels? As travellers we know how, where and when to travel, but there’s always scope for planning better. Consider this list a start, the first chapter in your travel rulebook, to help you achieve the ultimate travel experience.

When planning for the trip there are a lot of things to do – co-coordinating dates within your travel group, applying for leave, availing deals, deciding the itinerary… phew! In other words, it can be a lot of hard work. For me, 2014 was a year when either the trip got cut short because of a last minute presentation or a friend dropped out because the tickets were not booked – the list is endless. We’re now determined not to repeat the same mistakes again. And here’s what you should consider, too.


Experimenting with the process of choosing an ideal travel companion can be disastrous at times, but you can’t deny how it can also be very exciting. Imagine travelling and living with a complete stranger – a friend’s friend’s friend – in a place you’ve never seen before for a good seven days! If there’s anything our favourite romantic comedies have taught us it’s that the two people who have never met till now, will never be able to part company. There’s always the option to go separate ways in case things don’t work out. But imagine it they do. Chances are you’ll find seven days of friendship that’s not likely to fade away for the next seventy years. Worth a shot, is it not?


Shadowing a local can teach you things you would've never known
Image courtesy: Nitin Gairola


While the concept of travelling like a local is within reach (with just a few clicks) and much explored, the idea of shadowing a local – eating the way they do, cooking the way they do, celebrating the way they do – isn’t. Ever thought how much fun it can be especially when their culture is totally different from own? It’s inspiring to know that some seasoned ‘explorers’ are already in touch with locals in places like Vietnam, Ladakh and Japan, and they experiment with this kind of living for a certain portion, if not more, of their holiday. Any reason why you can’t either?


As tempting as the idea of a soul stirring trip sounds, what’s important is that you choose you mode of transport well. If the journey is important then what’s equally important is how that journey is undertaken. More often than not, in our travel haze, we sometimes skip planning the most basic things, and they land straight on the bottom of our list of things to do before stepping out the door.

Keep an open mind. Travelling without a map can be fun
Image courtesy: Lonely Planet/Justin Foulkes


Is losing the way frustrating or frightening? If you keep an open mind travelling without a map or an agenda can be quite a trip on its own. With no particular direction it is natural to gravitate towards things you like to do rather than things the travel agent wants you to do. That’s where real travel begins. It’s natural to feel a little lost at first but freedom soon sets in. Think of this as a good recipe for some me-time and some introspection. Besides, there’s no better way to add some thrill to your holiday than to go to a place with an unfamiliar language. Imagine yourself in a situation when a local can’t explain the way, but takes the effort to accompany you for 10 minutes, all the way to the end of the road just so you can find your way. It is for this reason that some who have already travelled to places where they understand the language, seldom do so again. After all what matters is the language of the heart.

Don’t look at travel as time away from your city, rather some much-deserved time with yourself.

AUTHOR'S BIO: Bhavana has done eight years of market research and advertising. She has now taken a break to pursue her childhood dream of becoming a writer. For her, travelling is a passion and the path to self-discovery. Her vision is to become a travel writer with a contemporary voice for India, and from India. More on: