Are you a tourist or a traveler?? If you consider yourself in the later category and crave for new and unexplored destinations, then there are certain things you must consider before actually going!!
1. THE ROUTE
If you’re going to hit the road, its best to look not only for the main highways but also the alternative route (for emergencies). In case you’re opting trains I would advice its best to look for fastest and also a comfortable one to avoid being tired in the long journey. Even if you’re travelling either domestic/international via flight, don’t consider price as the primary criteria because the cheapest one are usually the non-refundable ones and have longer layovers. Plan a minimum of 35-45 days for an international flight and 20-30 days for a domestic one.
2. HOTEL VS HOME-STAYS VS HOSTEL
If you are travelling solo and on a budget the hostels or even home-stays will be good for you. If you love to explore the hotels(like me) then always consider your budget as they are definitely costlier than the rest two. Also, it advisable to opt for 3/4 star hotels if you’re travelling with your family as if you’re going below a 3* hotel, then seriously consider staying in an Airbnb. Lastly whatever it is that you’re choosing whether Airbnb or any hotel,its best to check the reviews and also go through the traveller photos & my confidante for reviews is Tripadvisor.
3. THE LOCAL TRANSPORT
Unless you’re travelling in your car/cab, it’s best to get to know a little bit about the transport system of the city. Try to look up the spots you might be visiting and its distance from your hotel/home-stays . Travel like a local – use bus, metro, tram or simply walk – I can assure you, you will get a lifetime of memories and the place will stay as fresh as a morning walk in your mind.
4. SHORTLIST RESTAURANTS
How do you like to eat-out when you’re in different city – do you prefer food from your own place or would you like to try out the authentic delicacies from the city you’re heading to? If you always crave for your home like food, its best to do a good search for the restaurants serving those. Even for authentic dishes, it is nice to know a few restaurants beforehand which serve the authentic food. If you’re vegetarian and not travelling to/in India, you will have difficulties finding vegan food so I would suggest that you line-up some food-joints for your preferred food choice.
5. SHOPPING MALL VS FLEE MARKETS
Do you like to get souvenirs for your loved ones back home or just for yourself? If yes, then its best to look up what the city has to offer and search what would be the best & cheap places to shop. You might save a few bucks as every place has same thing to offer at cheaper rate. In case you like to pamper yourself and buy exquisite things, then every city has some designer showrooms, it would be amazing to get to know more about them before even landing there!!
6. ONE DAY TOURS
One-day tours usually take you out of the city to a place where you might not even have spend a night and yet cover all the attractions there. Tripadvisor always lists some of the best one-day tours but I would suggest not to book it online and rather treat it as another and follow steps 1 to 5 mentioned above. It will save you a whole lot of money if you plan it yourself. Though if you don’t like to plan things on your own and just want to enjoy the trip, then booking them online yet in advance is the best way to do!!
Have you been to an unfamiliar place? Do share your experience with us.
– The Wanderer