Category: Trip Hacks

March 16, 2017 Alok No comments exist

To travel is to find freedom! The freedom of unbidden roads that will take you somewhere new, the unfamiliar faces that may become dear, the lap of nature you will always feel at home in, travel is all this and more. But travelling solo, how does that feel? "Travelling solo is what has given me confidence, made me stronger and brave, as well as opened the doors to friends all across the world" says Avni a Media professional, who travels solo across the world.

It is indeed true, travelling solo can prove to be the most liberating act, it is important to have this experience at least once in your life. Why you ask? Simply because you are completely in charge of your own life, and that makes you more intuitive, confident, flexible, courageous and happy! Do what you want, how and when you want to, you need not compromise because of someone else. But travelling solo does have its own drawbacks or so some women feel. So, how can a woman prepare for solo travel?

Take a look at the ten tips for budding solo women travellers.

1. If you have never travelled solo, start slow. You can club some solo travel with a business trip, where most of the trip will be planned by your company and you could just add the weekend activities to the schedule by yourself. This way you only have to worry about planning and preparing yourself for two days.

Join a travel group, though this does not qualify as solo travel, it is a great step to prepare yourself. In the company of absolute strangers who are fellow travellers you can ease into being a solo traveller gradually.

2. Do your homework. Travel safety truly depends on the place you are travelling to. Which part of the world or the same country are you headed for. Read up as much as you can about the place, its political state, its people and culture. If you are well-informed, you will know what to avoid and can plan your travel accordingly. This also includes checking on the safest travel options in the particular destination and booking accommodation in recommended hotels or hostels.

3. Keep your documents close to your heart. There are few things extremely important while travelling; your phone, money and any documents you are required to carry and identify yourself with. Keep these close to yourself. Keep some money and photo-copies of documents in multiple places. You can even note down a list of phone numbers to be called in case of emergencies. This is especially useful if you lose your phone.

4. Keep friends and family informed. People can only help you, if they are informed. Regularly update friends and family on where you are headed, where you will be staying, the flight on which you will be travelling etc and some local number they can reach you on. This helps provide your near and dear peace of mind as well as additional security for you.

5. Make friends. You might be wary of chatting up the wrong people, but spend some time observing; if they are a gang of both men and women or a family, you can definitely make friends. This especially helps if they are travelling to the same destination, as you can always keep in touch and have someone to contact in case of any emergency or trouble.

6. Dress practically. It is not as much about moral policing as much as it is about common sense. Are you travelling to a remote corner of the earth, where people are amazed at your very existence! Why complicate it further by dressing inappropriately? Also, it makes more sense in terms of comfort to dress like the locals. Sometimes local dress habits are decided by more than culture, it is based on the climate, terrain and functionality. Do some research and pack accordingly.

7. Personal safety. Do not go about revealing all personal details to people you just met, would you do this even at your home? No! So don't do this on your travels. Talk about generic topics, avoid information regarding your address, where you are staying or mention misleading details if you feel giving an answer is a must. Better safe than sorry!

8. Trust your intuition. Women are renowned for their intuition! Travelling solo is the best time to put it to use. If you can't see something obviously wrong, but have an uncomfortable feeling, get yourself out of the situation immediately. Don't worry about being paranoid, feeling something isn't right is better paid heed to.

9. Health is wealth. Your health is among the most important things to take care of during a solo trip. Eat healthy, make sure you carry all your medicines and you can even take the time out to read up about the nearest hospital and drug store for emergencies.

10. Stay alert and assertive. You must always be alert and aware of your personal space, if you feel someone is intruding the personal space and trying to cause any kind of harm, be assertive and forget politeness. Firmly say 'No' or 'Go Away' ideally in the local tongue, if that does not help, go ahead and create a scene. Sometimes the best way to drive away potential harm is by drawing attention of the public to yourself.

Explore more travel tips for journeys filled with joy.

December 4, 2016 Alok 2 comments

2017 WEEKEND PLANNER FOR INDIA

Good news for travel-bugs who love to escape in weekends. The next year – 2017 is packed with 14 long weekends, including two nine-day bonanzas—one in August and the other in October. Get prepping and packing folks! 2017 weekend planner is here.

Below is the snapshot if possible combinations of long weekends you can take during 2017

weekend planner, tripflavour.com

JANUARY

January is blessed with awesome weather and the freshness of being the first month of the year. A January well spent sets the tone for the rest of the year.

1. Thu, 26 Jan: Republic Day
2. Fri, 27 Jan: Take leave
3. Sat, 28 Jan: Weekend
4. Sun, 29 Jan: Weekend

Travel Tip: Consider Gulmarg in Kashmir or Auli in Uttarakhand for skiing. If Skiing is not your thing then Jawai in Pali-Rajasthan is great to spot leopards.

2017 weekend planner

FEBRUARY

February is another month with great weather for outdoor travel. Mahashivratri falls on Friday next year to make it a good combo with weekend.

1. Fri, 24 Feb: Mahashivratri
2. Sat, 25 Feb: Weekend
3. Sun, 26 Feb: Weekend

Travel Tip: On a driving distance from Delhi is Taj Mahotsav (18–27 Feb) at Agra. Andaman Islands for diving and Goa for Carnival (25–28 Feb) can be great alternatives too.

2017 Weekend Planner
2017 Weekend Planner
2017 Weekend Planner

MARCH

March has 2 kinds of people in India-One who are really busy with the fiscal year closing and other who are not. Many government employees look forward to use their LTA (Leave Travel Allowance) before it expires. March has a good weather for outdoors and it is the last month before summers set in India.

1. Sat, 11 Mar: Weekend
2. Sun, 12 Mar: Weekend
3. Mon, 13 Mar: Holi

Travel Tip: Mathura for Holi; Coorg to catch the white coffee flowers in bloom; Jaipur before it gets too hot.

1. Sat, 25 Mar: Weekend
2. Sun, 26 Mar: Weekend
3. Mon, 27 Mar: Take leave
4. Tue, 28 Mar: Gudi Padva

Travel Tip: Rishikesh for white-water rafting since it is the best time of year for this adventure.

2017 weekend planner

APRIL

April sets the tone of new Fiscal year and a lot of folks look out for a break after the hectic annual closing. Coming April in 2017 gives a lot of opportunity for this.

1. Sat, 1 Apr: Weekend

2. Sun, 2 Apr: Weekend

3. Mon, 3 Apr: Take leave

4. Tue, 4 Apr: Ram Navami

Travel Tip: Srinagar for tulips and Gulmarg for blooming flowers and snow

1. Thu, 13 Apr: Vaisakhi

2. Fri, 14 Apr: Dr Ambedkar Jayanti, Good Friday

3. Sat, 15 Apr: Weekend

4. Sun, 16 Apr: Easter + Weekend

2017 Weekend Planner

Travel Tip: Amritsar for Baisakhi Festival (14 Apr) Mahabaleshwar for the Mapro Strawberry Festival (Easter weekend)

1. Sat, 29 Apr: Weekend

2. Sun, 30 Apr: Weekend

3. Mon, 1 May: May Day

Travel Tip: Shillong, Mashobra or Landour to beat the heat; Tadoba or Ranthambore to spot the big cat; Tawang for Adventure

2017 weekend planner

MAY: The only opportunity in May is May Day on 1st of May. Which is combined with April here.

Below is Calendar format of the 2017 Weekend Planner for quick snapshot.

2017 weekend planner

JUNE

June being one of the hottest months of the years tempts you to run away to some cooler locations –Especially from North India.

1. Sat, 24 Jun: Weekend

2. Sun, 25 Jun: Weekend

3. Mon, 26 Jun: Ramzan Eid

Travel Tip: Hyderabad or Lucknow for Ramzan Eid; Munnar for the monsoon; Dharamshala for camping or trekking

July – is another month that is robbed-of any long weekend. However since it is a month of Summer-Vacations in Schools. Going back to grandparents place or relative’s place makes a great idea.

AUGUST

August of 2017 brings an opportunity to plan a long leave of 9 days, so make your plans from now

1. Sat, 12 Aug: Weekend

2. Sun, 13 Aug: Weekend

3. Mon, 14 Aug: Janmashtami or take leave

4. Tue, 15 Aug: Independence Day

5. Wed, 16 Aug: Take leave

6. Thu, 17 Aug: Parsi New Year

7. Fri, 18 Aug: Take leave

8. Sat, 19 Aug: Weekend

9. Sun, 20 Aug: Weekend

Travel Tip: Ladakh for adventure; Uttarakhand for trekking and Valley of Flowers

1. Fri, 25 Aug: Ganesh Chaturthi

2. Sat, 26 Aug: Weekend

3. Sun, 27 Aug: Weekend

Travel Tip: Pune for Ganesh Chaturthi; Coonoor for cheese-making at Acres Wild; Agumbe, Karnataka for a monsoon drive; Bali for a beach break

2017 weekend planner

SEPTEMBER

Monsoon is almost over by September, great time to head for a jungle safari and experience the forest in its most natural way.

1. Sat, 30 Sep: Weekend

2. Sun, 1 Oct: Weekend

3. Mon, 2 Oct: Gandhi Jayanti

Travel Tip: Bhutan for the Thimphu Tshechu Festival (30 Sep–2 Oct); Bandhavgarh for wildlife season; Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh for the pleasant weather.

weekend planner

OCTOBER

October is often called the month of festivals and coming October would not disappoint you at all. Pleasant weather and Diwali holidays make it an ideal time to head out

1. Sat, 14 Oct: Weekend

2. Sun, 15 Oct: Weekend

3. Mon, 16 Oct: Dhanteras or Take Leave

4. Tue, 17 Oct: Naraka Chaturdashi or Take Leave

5. Wed, 18 Oct: Diwali

6. Thu, 19 Oct: Balipratipada

7. Fri, 20 Oct: Bhaiduj

8. Sat, 21 Oct: Weekend

9. Sun, 22 Oct: Weekend

Travel Tip: Gangtok for clear views of the Kanchenjunga; Rajasthan for Diwali; Birand Billing for paragliding; Floathouse on river Kwai in Thailand for a mesmerising experience.

2017 weekend planner

November – Again comes dry in our list, it has no significant weekend to plan for vacation

DECEMBER

Being the last month of the year with 2 set of long weekends makes December perfect to plan for that much awaited trip.

1. Fri, 1 Dec: Eid-e-Milad

2. Sat, 2 Dec: Weekend

3. Sun, 3 Dec: Weekend

Travel Tip:  Nagaland for Hornbill Festival; Periyar for wildlife; Bharatpur or Odisha for spotting migratory birds

1. Sat, 23 Dec: Weekend

2. Sun, 24 Dec: Weekend

3. Mon, 25 Dec: Christmas

Travel Tip: Manali and Rohtang pass for the snow; Puducherry or Alappuzha for a winter break

We hope this weekend planner will help you to plan a Great year ahead. We are looking forward to know from you about some great locations that can be covered in these long weekends.

November 16, 2016 Alok 2 comments

I personally prefer to switch off my phone while on vacation, however we don’t get such luxury quite often. Smartphones have become such an integral part of our lives that a day without them looks difficult. And why not, look at the amazing Apps and solutions around us. Some are really brilliant and awesome. Lot of times people ask me which Apps I prefer while on trip. So here it is – from the ocean of millions of them, 5 Travel Apps that really worked for me. There is no order or Ranking here, just 5 of my favorites.

1. GOOGLE MAPS

Who can even think of a trip without Google Maps? Its reach and detailing are simply mind blowing. We can arguably call Google Maps the best mobile navigation app around, and one you’ll likely use every day on the road.

While you’ll need an Internet connection to find new locations, you can save unlimited numbers of maps for later offline use. The GPS in your phone can still work without any network signal, and you can even get driving and public transit directions without being connected. I have used Google Maps Walking assist a lot on my trip to Hong Kong and it works like a breeze. I have some colleagues in Delhi who cannot move a meter without Google Maps Traffic Assistance. So Google Maps gets my “Best Buddy Travel App” tag.

google apps, Travel Apps

2. GOOGLE TRANSLATE

google translate, 5 must have appsIf you’re planning a trip to a place that don’t speak your language, you’ll find Google’s Free Translation app very useful. Simply type in the words you need to translate, pick a target language and bingo – you rock!

I found it very helpful during my trip to a small Indonesian Island called Bintan. It was so much fun to say phrases in local Indonesian and Malay Language to local shopkeepers there. Got some good bargain as well. You can even speak a phrase and have the resulting text translated. Most usefully, you can download a language pack ahead of time. This means you don’t even need to be connected to the Internet to translate – an important point for international travellers who may not have mobile data. And trust me that happen a lot of time. A must have Travel App indeed.

3. XE CURRENCY

xe currency, 5 must have appsThere are many currency conversion Apps in App Store but I find XE currency to be the best. The best part is its simplicity to select your native currency like Indian rupee, dollars, baht etc. Then select the one you want to use right now. The moment you enter the amount the result will come in all different currencies you chose. This gives a very good idea of the value for stuff you are looking. No matter where we are, we always understand the value of a product in reference to our native currency only. XE Currency is quick and easy, and could save you a lot of money when dealing with unfamiliar exchange rates. The app doesn’t require an Internet connection to convert between currencies, but does need one to download rates when you first select a currency.

4. TRIPIT

Tripit is one of the most popular travel apps out tripit, 5 must have appsthere, and for good reason. The service makes tracking even complex itineraries a breeze, without having to manually type in the details of every flight, hotel and car rental.
If the booking was made online, just forward the confirmation email and, in most cases, Tripit will automatically recognize it and update your itinerary. Once that’s done, start the app and let it download the latest updates. After that, you can access your itinerary without an Internet connection.

5. TRIPADVISOR

5-app-blogTripadvisor is another personal favorite who gets the status of my “best buddy app”. I simply love the sheer depth of information on tripadvisor. I am using it from last 5-6 years when App was not even around. We used to access the portal from website only.
It provides the best user-reviews for accommodation and attractions, and its forums also provide a wealth of information about destinations all over the world. The Travel App provides almost all the information available on the site, including access to the forums and syncing of bookmarked pages between the web and app versions.

Unfortunately it’s not able to be used offline, although the company does make dozens of free city guides available to download.

Do suggest some awesome apps you know that can help make a great trip.

google maps google translate xe currency tripit tripadvisor