As a woman I love being on a holiday...cause that's the time I can experiment with resort wear, don even the itsy-bitsy dresses and have all the time to shop. I also like the entire process of planning my trip-- from hotel bookings to reading as many reviews as I can on TripAdvisor. Over all these years, I have learned few things about how to travel smart...nah and by that I don't mean travel light. Of course I need everything right from comfortable sneakers to sexy heels, make-up essentials and matching jewellery. I confess I carry them all on my vacation and have never regretted it. So here are a few things that I try and follow when I am planning my travel.
* I don't know if it's true for other countries, but in India if you call a travel portal's customer care number and specify what you are looking for the chances are you will get a cheaper deal than the display prices on the website. Now we know why Indians still prefer offline modes to online. Call them and tell them you want free breakfast :)
* Carry a stole in your hand bag. Always! Even if you are travelling to a warmer city/country. On my trip to Malaysia, a few years back, I din't carry one and the flight temperature was unbearable. When I asked for a blanket, the trying-to-be-sweet air hostess tells me, "Sure Madam, but we will charge you for it." Charge few dollars for a blanket on a five hour flight! Yes I was flying a low-cost carrier.
* Carry a small foldable bag. This is just a reminder. We all think we are not going to shop on this holiday but we always end up doing it. A foldable shoulder bag always comes handy.
* Buy Bus passes on Day 1. Most bus passes in European cities are valid for at least two days. When I went to Barcelona I decided to do the Ho-Ho Bus the last day, but the tour pass for two days was cheaper. Alas it was my last day. I could have done two tours for the same pass had I bought the pass a day before. Ditto for most tourist city bus passes.
* But leave shopping and casino for the last day. Go splurge, you don't have any other expenses to take care of. I still wonder that why most travel iteneraries I go through on travel websites give you the option of shopping on day 1.
* Carry the bottle of nail-paint that you are wearing. It takes two-minutes for the touch up and you don't want the chipping nail paint to be an errant in your pictures.
* Don't bother buying a calling card on a short foreign trip of 2-3 days. Most hotels have wi-fi with which you can access BBM, e-mails, and facebook. You are on a holiday, what more connections do you need. Plus it's not a very economical idea.
* ( For Delhi chicks) When in doubt leave it for Delhi duty free. Liquor is apparently the cheapest at Delhi duty free. So if planning to buy a bottle at an international airport while returning but are not sure of the price, leave it for Delhi airport.