At the age of 32, this is my first blog on Travel. Since my childhood, travel is the thing that excites me most. I have spent maximum chunk my income in travelling from 2007 (I started earning in the year). In this post I will tell you “How to plan your tour”
In the last 10 years I travelled many places, but when today, I thought of writing, I was utterly clueless, which one to start. Then I questioned myself that which part of all the travels I enjoyed most. I got my answer!!!
Yes it is “the planning” for the travel. Every place I visited till now (including my honeymoon), I was the tour planner. For me, tour Plan is the most interesting part of the whole journey. Sometimes, I love to search all the places near me/good to see, even if I don’t have a real plan.
We know “life is a journey” and like other journey, life also has many stages. Currently I am a mother of 2 years girl and this is the stage of life, when many people don’t like to travel much. When you are a bagpacker /solo traveler your touring will be completely different from the travel with kids. However I believe, “life is too short to take a pause”, so my suggestion to my readers is, don’t stop touring, only modify the planning of the tour. I resumed touring when my kid was 4 months and she has completed almost 8-9 tours. I believe, if you can handle the small demon in home, you can manage him/her outside also. Many studies proved, travelling helps a lot to build your kid’s IQ, concentration skill.
So now I will share, how I generally plan any tour. In addition to that I will also tell you how I have modified it to suit my current requirement of touring with kid. Here I will consider for a short trip plan (3/4 days) as this is most common among us to have a short refreshment over weekend.
- WHEN: First you have to see, “when” you want to go for vacation. If you are working or your children are in school or any of your trip partner e.g. husband/father/mother/wife has office, then you have to see in calendar year, whether any National holiday is near Saturday/Sunday/your office weekend day. Thus you can club your 1-2 days leave with the weekend. E.g. this year Aug 2017 12th, 13th are weekend and 14th & 15th is National holiday in my company, so bingo!!! I will get 4 days leave at a stretch.
I generally take one day additional now, e.g. if the itinerary is good enough for 3 days for adults, now I take 4 days plan for the same itinerary, as with kids you have to move slow.
- WHERE: So now, the days are fixed. Unless, you have some specific places of interest in your mind, you have to search which place will be good to visit in those days. Now foreign trips (South East Asia) are also cheaper if you can plan ahead. So you have to decide between Domestic and International. Once you have decided the place, move to my third point. However while deciding, please don’t forget to search the weather condition in that place in the particular month of the year.
While thinking the places, now I have to see that the places, where I can avoid trekking. Some places I have been in the last 1-1.5 years are Coorg, Ooty, Kodaikanal, where trekking can give you a splendid view. However I believe in “If You want to walk fast, walk alone, if you want to walk far, walk together”-Ratan Tata.
- HOW: Now comes, how will you travel to this place. That’s actually depends on your budget and availability. For me if I don’t have any time limitation, I would love to travel by Train. In India, it’s most comfortable, affordable among all. Based on your affordability and available time you have to plan and book train/flight ticket, book Cab etc. For train booking, you will book through http://www.irctc.co.in, you can search the availability of the seats in the www.trainman.co.in. Here you can see the probability of the confirmation of waiting list tickets. It’s one of the best helping hand in my last-minute trip plan. It has the android app which will send you the message in your registered mobile numbers as the WL tickets move towards confirmation.
Other than the main (back and forth) tickets, you have to plan how you will move in the places of the tourist spot. Some bag packers prefers walk/shared cab, others prefers cab booking. You need to plan that and if possible book that ahead.
With kid, you have to visit fewer places if you are moving in shared cab/walk or you have to hire your own cab.
- Planning the itinerary: This is the most important part of the journey. For that I generally depends on web searching/ recommendations from friends. Some website I follow to get the reviews, e.g: tripadvisor.com; www.indiamike.com are few of them. Please remember based on your trip partners, you should plan the numbers of places you want to see in any particular day. First note down the “places to see” based on your interest and see the map for better guidance. After you finalize the itinerary, look for the places to stay. Based on your preference you look the hotels/homestay etc. www.makemytrip.com; www.trivago.in; are some websites from where every time I get a good discounts.
Generally when I travel with family with parents & kid, I prefer fewer places in one day, so that it doesn’t become hectic for them. For staying, I personally prefer homestay, as there is chance of interaction with a new family in the new place. I feel more connection to the place if I stay in homestay.
- Packing: This is the last & most exciting part before the journey starts. Every time the night, prior to the date of the journey, is the packing day. That day my daughter is super excited, I don’t know how she understands, but she looks very happy and her energy level also goes up. She will scrutinize every item from bag (by only taking out it from the bag and obviously not putting it in its place) and see whether we have taken all the things right or not. It will further get worse if she starts helping us in our packing by taking all her cloths/doll/even my kitchen items in the bags. So believe me, with kid, you need at least an hour more time to pack.
Generally one list is saved in my mobile, so that every time I go out, I need not to scratch my head again. I believe you have your own packing list, here I am sharing mine: Tickets/ hotel booking copy (now a days Mobile is sufficient if you book from online), Mobile chargers & headphones (if you are music lovers like me!!), Camera with all accessories, one Umbrella, Mosquito repellant, for my daughter- some quick munching snacks item, small playing things of her favorite, her medicine, diapers, tooth-brush, sunglass and last but not the least the cloths (try not to take too much cloths, as the heavy loads of the bag will be carried by no one but you and your family)!!
English is still a foreign language for me, so if you find any mistake in narration, please give feedback.
Wish you a very happy journey ahead!!!