What’s a jugaad and how it can help you travel

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Image courtesy: Justin Foulkes

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‘Jugaad’ is innovation and ingenuity topped with a generous sprinkle of spontaneity. The cherry on the cake – jugaad is always cheap to run.

Here are a few jugaads that’ll make travelling easy for you. All you need is the attitude to carry it off.

Taking a flight


Excess luggage has tormented us all at some point while travelling

Remember that moment when the airlines official at the luggage check in counter somberly told you that your luggage far exceeds the weight limit. Most of us have been there at some point or the other. Excess luggage has tormented us all. And the following heart breaking ordeal of yanking stuff out of your luggage and dumping them into bins, while passersby gape at you, is stuff of nightmares. Of course, there’s the option of shelling out a few crisp notes. Well, while there is a limit on how much your luggage could weigh, there is no limit on how much you could weigh – at least not yet. An oversized, customised jackets with large pocket chambers or strap- ons, can take you a long way. Stuff all that you can into these. It might mean a few minutes of discomfort and you might attract a few stares, but then you could easily sneak a few kilos minus a depleted savings account.

Storing important documents and money

It's never safe to carry important documents in your luggage

Keeping your money, passports and valuables safe is always a concern while travelling. It is not safe to keep them in your luggage or in your handbags, and hotel safes are not always available. The best thing to do is to stitch on pockets, zipped preferably, on the insides of your clothes to keep money, passports and even jewellery. You could also stitch on pockets even on your innerwear to stash away some cash. However, should you find yourself in dire need of that money suddenly, while you’re on the move, you might just find yourself in a slightly awkward situation.

Look good while travelling

Take advantage of free makeover services and look good without spending a penny

Travelling is hard work. All that walking, the crowds, the long waits on never ending queues – it is difficult to look fresh and pretty all the while. If you’re in the wilderness, there’s not much you can do. But if your destination is a new city, you can look your dapper self without shelling out a penny. Walk into one of those chic cosmetic lounges or shops in shopping malls – if you’re lucky they could be hosting free makeover services, go make use of those.

Free meals

If you are in the vicinity of a gurdwara or a temple, go and eat at the langar
Image courtesy: Wikipedia/Harisingh at the English language Wikipedia

If you are travelling within India and are on a budget, you could easily save on food. Free meals might be an anomaly elsewhere but not in a country where temples and gurdwaras feed thousands every day free of cost. The meals, mostly served for lunch, are usually quite filling, sometimes even elaborate and will keep you full for the day. So if you are in the vicinity of a gurdwara or a temple, go and eat at the langar. Not only will you save money, the experience is unique in itself. If you have the time you could also lend a hand in serving the others and earn good karma.

Pack light

Remember, the idea is to travel light and to pack only the essentials

It’ll do a traveller a lot of good to remember to pack light. Cut down where you can. There’s no need to carry entire bottles of shampoos, conditioners, shaving foams or other cosmetics. Find solutions with a more compact packing; this way you will save space and money. Remember, the idea is to pack only the essentials.

Jugaad is a colloquial Hindi-Urdu word that means a innovative fix or a simple work-around, used for solutions that bend rules; a resource that can be used as such; or a person who can solve a complicated issue.

Lonely Planet India and Opera India present #TravelJugaad, a contest where you’ll get the chance to share your best travel hacks and take home some exciting prizes.

Contest duration: 4 November – 24 November, 2015.

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To enter the contest, click here.

AUTHOR'S BIO: Priyadarshini Chatterjee is a freelance journalist/writer and food blogger based in Kolkata. More on: allthatsdelicious.blogspot.com