Have your office blues gone on for over a month? 

Are you one standoff with the boss away from deciding that being broke and unemployed might just be better? 

Well, then maybe it’s time to be inspired by the million posts on Instagram with the hash tag #wanderlust, and pack your bags for a quick solo trip. 

You have done your homework and have obsessively read the many travel websites and decided where to go. But there is more to solo travelling than just calling sick on a Friday to make it a long weekend. Keep these pointers in mind before you channel your Elizabeth Gilbert from Eat, Pray, Love, (only you can’t go to Italy and Bali for now so you stick to the country you call home).

Or if you can manage and are up for it, stay with some locals who can host you.

When you reach the destination, tell the local autowallas/cabbies your budget and they will take you to a range of good places to stay at. Bargaining FTW. 

People at the restaurant, natives, the auto wallas, the person next to you on the bus, the man doing cartwheels on the street, they are a treasure trove of information and the must-dos.

At every turn, let there be a shot at discovering something new and be surprised. Take the trains, the local buses, the joint autos and the metro rails. India has a great network of transport options available. Try them all out.

If you want to go somewhere, simply go to the local bus or train station, inquire, and you will find the next bus to your destination arriving in the next 15 minutes.

Don’t go someplace and come back not knowing anything insightful about that place. Ask stories, history, and the secrets from the locals.

They limit your experience and everything that you can cover. Research, ask, discover.

Eat what the locals eat on an everyday basis. Try to find out about the joints that do not exist in your own city and are sworn by the the people in the place you are visiting.

Maybe even the language; learn the daily practices of your destination. The locals appreciate when you talk to them in their tongue. It shows that you are considerate.

Wherever you are visiting, respect the local monuments, streets, landscapes and do not litter, or vandalize, or desecrate. It is funny how, as Indians, we treat our heritage lesser than foreigners do.

Get lost in the alleys, and the streets, mess up the route on Google Maps. It is okay to do that. Because you know you won’t REALLY get lost. Sometimes when you get lost is when you find the best things.

You want to go see that place that everyone goes to see? That is totally fine. You are after all travelling to a new place, eh?

…worth of clothes to your vacation. Sometimes when you are hopping from one destination to another, it becomes tedious to carry a lot of luggage, which in all honesty, you don’t need.

…on things which you can do without. Lot of foreigners do not do the “must dos” because they explore the unexplored side of any place.

At all times. You know, enough cash, hand sanitisers, tissues, soaps, cards, battery backup. 

So there we are. Remember, these are not hard and fast rules. You can always keep adding to them with your experiences. 

Travel, like everything else, is all about improvising isn’t it?

Designs by Saurabh Rathore