I want to #BreakFree
Being a mom, a wife and a home maker is a never retiring job. Yes, yours truly is a living example of the same. After giving years of dedication to home and family, it is time that this 60+ mom, wife and daughter-in-law wants to take a break and if possible, go for an exotic holiday!
Exotic holidays? well where? From last many years, ever since my mother in law became bed-ridden, I could barely go out of house or attended if family/friend’s marriage outside my town. My vagabond, free spirit life has confined to four walls of the house and an extended fences of my kitchen garden, that I could barely attend these days.
I want to break free and go for holidays. The first dream destination that lights a CFL in my “koop-mendhak” [frog in well] mind, is Italy or Italia.
I want to discover Italy
I have always been a lover of art, history and heritage. Gastronomy is another delight. What could be better than Italy that is known to be a place of great sites, heritage sites, beach, valleys, white peaks, sea, lakes and so much more. Yes, I have a fetish for yum Italian food- Pasta, Ravioli, Pizza and much more. I feel as if the North, South and Center of it, Tuscany, Sicily, Sardinia, Lombardy, Veneto and Aeosta Valley is calling me.
Italy is rich in culture and heritage. It is a nation that hosts unique and fascinating events of International resonance all through the year. Not just that, it has art exhibitions, museums, music and so much to add to its variety. It is a center of history, culture and art and has more UNESCO cultural sites than any other country has.
There is no end to my fondness of the city and the reasons for which I want to go there and things I can do. However, planning is one part of it which unless, otherwise well substituted with execution, makes no sense and have capacity to turn even dreams in to dust. So, I do not want to ruin my idea of holidays and would love to append it with a #Smart #Travel Plan. Up on my sleeves oops #SareeFall, I have few pointers to #TravelSmart to my destination. here they are-
1) Basic research and travel itinerary- It is a pre -requisite and very imperative to know about the country/city/province you want to visit. I would leave no stone left to be turned while doing my research and compiling my list of places that I want to visit, with suitable roadmap and also a wishlist of things I would like to do in Fascinating Italy. They say a job well plan, is half done and so do I believe the same.
2) Flights and accommodation- Once my map and travel plan is ready, it is time to give them proper shape with adequate transportation and bookings. I believe that planning and booking for your trip in advance is a must to do especially when you want to travel hassle free and cost effectively. In this endeavor, I will choose Skyscanner as my preferred travel partner to facilitate the same. I recently stumbled upon their “user friendly, simple yet comprehensive” website via Indiblogger and fell in love with values it offers. Yes, it has many salient features and one of which is that it promises to give you cheapest airfare and two, multiple airports as option where you can check the price, timing etc at one go. Ain’t that lovely?
Skyscanner also offers facility to book hotels. Amigo! A few clicks here and there and I am sorted. I need not have to run behind my travel agent [paying a hefty fee to them as Skyscanner does it all for free] and also get my bookings much in advance as Skyscanner offers bookings for both flight and hotel for one entire year in advance atleast. Wow! Now that is what I think a true travel partner does to a #WomanOnWanderlust!
Needless to say, I will ensure my Visa and Passport are in place before I book the same.
3) Mobile app- The way small screen and mobile phones have penetrated in our lives and commanded their position there, it has become imperative to use them for your travelling needs as well. Let me say- Smartphone for smart travelling needs. With Android based mobile apps, I can discover Italy instantly. The app comes handy with features like GPS navigation, info, weather details, augmented reality features, event and info and much more. I would ensure that I download and study this app much in advance before the commencement of my journey.
4) Local Info, Emergency nos and local regulations- I always make it a point to store all local important and emergency nos of the country like helpline, police, ambulance etc handy with me wherever I go. In this case, it also includes details of the Indian embassy there. Also, understanding and knowing the local rules of the land is also important especially when you travel to foreign shores.
5) Weather check- Whenever we are travelling to a new place, it is very important to check climatic conditions of that city [country] and pack/plan accordingly. The climate conditions varies considerably from North to South Italy and depending the places I visit, I intend to pack accordingly.
6) Car hire- To drive in Italy, one needs the driving licence issued by any EU states. Unfortunately, I may not have that. Hence I have to depend on the local cab and rentals for within city movements. Well Skyscanner says not to worry as they have- free, easy and fast “car hire” service on their website that helps you to search, compare,select and book cars for local commutation anywhere. What better than having it plan in advance and in any case, skyscanner is an International travel search site whose services I can avail while at being in Italy too. what say? Isn’t that a smart move?
7) Tourist Cards- Tourist cards are the easiest way to experience the city to travel and explore the national monumental cultural heritages of Italy with it’s multiple offers, deals on public transport and other discounts. I intend to obtain one.
8) Smart Device- We discussed above the advent of technology and mobile computing in our lives. However, one major mantra that I endorse while travelling an unknown location is to- Travel lite. So that you worry less about carrying your luggage and can explore more about the place, footloose and fancy free. I have seen people carrying multiple huge devices, which I question why? You can always do with carrying one-all in one device that will support all your travel, photography and other computing needs. I prefer to take a tablet or iPad with me or mere a good smartphone with 8mb camera would do. I ensure that I do carry pluggins like battery etc with me so that I need not have to run in foreign country scouting for same.
9) Matrix calling cards- A must have for International roaming. Having a daughter in telecom is really helpful to understand your phone and data consumption and billing patterns. Yes, she suggested the use of Matrix calling cards to save any heartburn from excessive International roaming charges levied.
10) Knowing your rights as Tourist- A lot of foreign countries including Italy for preservation of the interest of their tourists have drawn special rights as tourists in Italy about the destination, services, transportation, documentation, visa, Health care, currency etc. This is to safeguard a tourist’s rights regarding their travel, reception and hospitality.
Some country really believes in “Athithi Devo Bhava” and as a guest, you must be equally aware of your rights and duties while being in other country.
Phew! That was a small preview to travel smart and .
I can go on and on but trust me. Like I said earlier, it is mandatory to plan in advance so that you can make the most of your trip.
Lord Bernard Shaw once asked- How many fish would you need to build a bridge between earth and the moon.
The question sent a huge round of discussion, mathematical calculations, process heat mapping in the entire room. Some said 10,000. Some genius estimated it to be 1,00450 and so on. Amused by their complication of dealing with a simple things, Lord Bernard Shaw laughed and laughed loudly. When he was asked to give the correct answer, do you know what he said?
He said- One fish should be good enough, provided it is as long!
Well, that’s my conclusion on Travel Smart. Instead of running Helter Skelter through multiple vendors etc, one must go with a one in all partner like Skyscanner that fulfills all the needs, genuinely and without taking an extra nickle of money.
This post is written for Indiblogger and Skyscanner contest. Hope you will like my post and give me an opportunity to make my long pending wish of going out of country for an exotic trip, come true. Amen!