Sunday, July 13, 2008

How to Travel in India

If you are going to be traveling in India, the following piece of advice should your trip more memorable:
  1. Research your destination: It is stunning how many people embark on journeys without proper knowledge of their destination. Before you even start planning your trip, do your research. Google is your friend. Read up on trip reports from people who have been there and enjoyed their trips. Make a list of places you want to visit that are around your destination. Read up on the best mode of transportation. Make a list of hotels that serve great food. Look up your destination on IndiaMike forums - an amazing source of information and advice. Wikitravel is another place with good info. Make sure you have the contact information of a local tour operator just in case things don't go according to plan on your vacation. It is good to have a backup plan.
  2. Picture your destination: Websites like flickr, picasa and google image search give you a chance to see your destination before you get there. Look up pictures of various places that you want to visit and it should add to your motivation. A fun little activity is to download some images that you like and make sure you take the exact same shot on your vacation.
  3. Decide on Accomodation: Almost every place in India has hotels to suit any budget. With the expansion of the internet, there are more and more websites emerging with reviews of hotels. Use them. is a decent source. Pay special attention to the hotels that mix hospitality with the local traditions and culture. A stay at these places will add to the fun and memories.
  4. Set an itinerary: Make a plan of which places you want to visit on which days. Just performing this activity is more important than the result because it will require you do some research on the relative distances between places and feasibility of your itinerary. It will be of great help if things don't go according to plan on your trip. It will prepare you to take better decisions on your trip.
  5. Find great company: Who you are traveling with can make or break your vacation. Ensure you are traveling with someone whose company you find enjoyable.
  6. Have fun: If you have followed steps 1-5, there is very little chance that things will go wrong. Even if they do, you have put yourself in a position to make the best of it. Now it is time for you to relax and enjoy your trip. Do not worry if you happen to deviate from the itinerary. Trust your instincts and may you have your best vacation ever.