Unplanned Trips: Doesn’t it sound adventurous & ultimate joyous activity?
I bet, it sounds fun & crazy with some hint of independence. But, let me tell you it involves a lot of risk & menace.
I have taken multiple unplanned trips- Solo & Groups, majorly within India, and, had made my own share of mistakes during all this phase. Here, I would be sharing my learning, hope you travelers out there would benefit out of them!
Here the list goes!
- Keep extra- money in your account– Be prepared for this!An unplanned trip could squeeze out more money from your pocket. When you take a trip after making all the reservations (hotel & flight/train/bus), you get online deal as well as you have time to do some research & negotiate on the price point, but when it is spontaneous… You hardly get an opportunity for this. I had faced this issue in one of my recent trips to Shimla, Himachal Pradesh.I ended up by spending more money in buying the flight tickets & in lodging at a stayhome. But, that experience is worth! The best thing about unplanned trip is, you get a wonderful chance to live your dream life. Setting foot to your dream destinations is like living a fairy-tale life.
- Inform your family & friends
You should stay in touch with your family & friends while, you are taking a spontaneous trip. If you are taking a solo unplanned trip in a romantic destination, keeping in touch with friends & family would help you to avoid a feeling of Isolation. Also, they could reach out to you when you need help to avoid an adverse situation.
To avoid the roaming charges & excessive expenditure, you may want to use Whatsapp (Free Call & chat), Imo (free video chat) or other free apps.
- A place to stay!
You can surely stay at a hotel but, that could be an expensive choice. For a budget traveler, here are a few lodging options in India-
1. Stayhome– You can always look out for a stayhome, these are generally better than the hotels. At stayhome, you get a chance to live with a family (localite) & understand the culture & food of that particular place. It’s always better to know localites, you get an opportunity to explore, the unexplored. And, its a great idea if they agree to take you around.In my recent visit to Madikere, I opted for a stayhome & to my good luck, I explored multiple hilltops & areas which aren’t open for tourists 🙂
2. Camping– Camping is restricted to the wildlife reserves, where you get a tent to stay (under the canvas). You would surely love it, if you are a nature loving person 🙂
3. Guest House & Hostels– There are some official/non-official hostels & guest houses run by state government. This option falls under the mid-price level, though not very expensive but offcourse, must explore option.
4. Dorms/ Retiring Rooms– Many railway stations provide Retiring Rooms- A private room with bed & bathroom or, a dorm where you get a single bed which is shared between other tourists. Retiring rooms cannot be booked in advance and are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. This is one of the cheapest ways to stay. If you are on 1 day trip & have to catch the early morning train, go for it.
5. Hotels– You can find a hotel anywhere, anytime. Depending on your budget, you may select a hotel. To make it a cake walk, you may love to browse online portals, to name a few are Tripadvisor/ Cleartrip / & Makemytrip.
6. Dharamashalas– These are the religious institutions which offer accommodation to pilgrims & tourists. Dharamashalas provide a basic facilities, generally a room with bed & attached bathroom or a communal washing place. The charges aren’t fixed, a nominal donation amount is expected from the pilgrim/ tourist.
- Keep informations / important numbers handy with you
It’s always advisable to keep important phone numbers/ bank details/ account details/ card details handy with you. When I was in Chennai trip, I had lost my debit card & other important cards like Pan card/ Voter ID, etc. It was a disaster, cos’ I wasn’t keeping the account details handy with me, so I had to make multiple follow up with my family to get the account details & then, restrict the card usage.
Jot down a few important numbers (such as Bank’s customer care number, Father/Mother/sibling’s number, Stayhome / hotel’s reception number, Flight details & helpline number) in a notepad & keep it with you.
- Communication Barrier- Do you understand the local dialect?
This can be one of the major challenges while traveling. All you need to do is follow a few simple suggestions to avoid this situation-
Download Google Translate App. Things would be so much easier for you, especially, if it is a solo trip. Apart from this, you can also check with a few book stores, & buy a dictionary for use.I generally do some basic research on language while commuting to the destination during the trip. Knowing basic words (used on a regular basis) is always helpful as well as important for safety reasons.
- Carry comfortable clothes & Shoes – This matters a lot! Trust me….
While packing your bag, keep in mind that you are not familiar with the destination. So, it is always advisable to carry clothes & shoes which are comfortable such as a jacket or sweater, canvas shoes, flats, denim, tees, leggings etc.
I went to Malandur, chikkamagalur (Karnataka) which is a hill station with deep forest along with my friends. One of my friends didn’t carry any shoes or flats for the trip. What she had was only ‘High heels’! There was no shop around; city was approximately 45-50 km from the stayhome. Walking in a hilly area with a high heel is absolutely not a good idea, rather risky. So, please keep in mind, you should always carry comfortable clothes & shoes for the trip.
To know more read my post: Quick Tips: While You Pack Your Bags!
- Local Commutation
When you go somewhere, it is always good to know how to go around to the nearby places. Mostly you get cabs & taxis in all the cities. Download apps like Ola App, Meru Cab App, etc., these apps are quite helpful if you are on trip to an urban area. In India, mostly you will get Auto everywhere, if you are not sure about the charges quoted by autowalas, use the app to book a cab at your convenience. However, depending on the place, you may also try public transportation like bus or metro/ local train. If you travel the way localites travel, you may save some money for sure 🙂
I had hired a bicycle in Pondicherry & that was an amazing bicycle-ride experience.
- Essentials to carry
No matter wherever you go for the trip, do carry the essentials. I always carry these items in my bagpack, you can also create your own list of essentials-
1. Raincoat/ umbrella
2. Mobile charger & other chargers
3. First-aid kit
4. Essential medicines like eye drop, pain killer, etc.
6. Original & photocopies of identification proof like Passport, PAN card & etc.
7. Hand Sanitizer
8. Toilet Paper
10. Swiss Knife
11. Bottle of water & snacks
Hope you find this blog helpful! Let me know your experience if you too have gone for unplanned trips & faced similar issues. I would love to hear your ways of unplanned trip!Cheers!