I love travelling. Be it in India or abroad. Unfortunately neither I’m Paris Hilton with millions of dollars in my trust fund nor am I a travel show host who goes around fantastic, eye-popping places at the expense of the producer! On the hindsight, I do think I chose the wrong career; I should’ve have gone for media journalism and should have tried my hand either with food shows or travel shows. Coming back to present, being a lowly-paid corporate slave, going to new places for vacations is my dream; and I try to fulfill my dream by taking one annual vacation. The destination of my vacation, however, depends on the number of leaves I have and amount of spare money on hand (which usually doesn’t amount to much!).
Usually I take my vacations in August as during this month there’s no tourist rush due to ongoing schools and rains. I know it’s inconvenient to travel in rain but I love it for 2 reasons: the adventurous part of me starts jumping up and down just with the idea of potential challenges that could come my way, and low accommodation charges due to off season. Awesome reasons, aren’t they?
If everything falls in place, I’d love to visit Leh-Ladakh this year. As I live in Gujarat, going to Leh-Ladakh via train is impossible when the total duration of my vacation is hardly a week. So flight it is. However, to cut down my flight fare, I usually book the tickets few months in advance. Last year when I went to Goa for vacation in August, I had booked the flight tickets in March and had managed to save around 10K INR in the process.
The next saving avenue for me is hotels. Being a single female, I can’t stay in dirt cheap places but at the same time, I don’t need luxurious hotels. Usually I choose 3 star hotels that are safe for single females, offers basic amenities such as restaurants, TV, hot and cold water, laundry and things like that. Also, while booking the hotel, getting complimentary breakfast included in the tariff is quite important. This way anyone can manage to save around couple of hundreds per day.
When it comes to sightseeing, I prefer public transport to taxis. It’s not that I hate taxis but when you go for sightseeing in taxi, you miss out on experiencing local culture. Secondly, taxis are way, way costlier than public transports. So by choosing the latter, I’m targeting 2 birds with one stone. I know, I know, I am a born genius!
As I said before, I love food and one of my dreams is to taste all the cuisines available in the world. Hence, when I’m travelling, I usually prefer to eat local food at the regular local eatery as it gives me idea on the kind of spices and cooking techniques used. If possible, I even try to chat up local cooks to know their cooking secrets! Sometimes I do think when I visit the same restaurant again, the cooks avoid me for the fear of my upcoming barrage of questions! Cruel, cruel world!
Another way of saving money is to take homemade snacks with me. The other benefit of this habit is, even if I don’t like local food, I never go hungry. I always have something to munch on!
However, there’s always one huge expense: shopping. I know, I know…you all must be groaning and moaning about it but before you leave, read me completely. I shop but I shop for souvenirs. Buying designer dresses from the touristy place is stupidity and I believe I am not that stupid (if you think otherwise, please don’t enlighten me. I’m happy in my fake world!). So I end up hunting for good bargain shops where I can get authentic souvenirs that aren’t expensive!
So this is how I travel smart and wise! Do you have any other tips for my smart travel? If so, tell me right now!!! I desperately need to save some money!
This post was written for #TravelSmartWithSkyscanner held by Skyscanner in association with Indiblogger.in