June 20, 2016

Random Travel Gyan (Europe)

After two days of sever jet lag I decided to write something from mental notes I'd taken mentally during my trip to Copenhagen and Norway! This is for all those who love to travel but always gets confused while packing/sight seeing/staying etc. So for myself for the next trip and for all those travelers who wish to get little less confused in the next trip...

  • AirBNB is the Best ever thing in the world for people like us who generally love to spend on travelling but not for luxury all the time. It is economical (Almost half sometimes!) specially in Europe. Our experience with AirBNB in Norway was so warm, comfortable and enjoyable that even a five star hotel would not have given us the same kind of an experience. Apart from saving money, AirBNB makes you interact with local buddies and make new friends! Experiencing different cultures can not become more interesting. 
  • If you are not going for a dinner or shopping in the place you are travelling but for sight seeing/leisure walk - Please Please keep a bag pack and not a shoulder bag with you. It is a real trouble when suddenly you plan to hike a mountain near by or even have to walk kilometers due to unavailability of public transportation. You might end up climbing a mountain with a fancy handbag on your shoulder enjoying pendulum motion of the same. You can might as well carry a fold able bag pack I spotted in European markets and keep it in the sling/shoulder bag for such times.
  • A pair of Eye wear is not only for your eyes but also for shiny photos. If you are like me who does not really like to even apply kohl properly on holidays. A lipstick is just fine! 
  • A smart comfy jacket is a must if travelling to Europe. (You do not have to bother much about blouses you wear if you are travelling in the cold weather- a fashion cheat?). If it gets hot, remove- roll the jacket and put it in your bag. Preferably hang with those tied up strings on your bag pack, but going out without a jacket is not a good idea. A pair of good looking scarves would also help you looking chic without really being one! ( Fashion Fiestas- ignore!)
  • A pair of sports shoes is a must apart from an easy comfy pair of slippers and a classy sandal. Most of my trips include long hours of walking so I generally avoid even sandals but if you are planning for a formal dinner or something -a pair of sandals would do better. Otherwise a dashing pair of shoes can go all the way while slippers would help when indoor. I am so so impressed by Danish and Norwegian people when it comes to fashion- they flaunt sport shoes/comfy sneakers with anything like no body's business. 
  • A pull down jacket is a must if visiting cold countries in winter. Light weight, easy to roll and fit into a bag.
  • Please please please divide the load by keeping one trolley bag for each if travelling in a group or with the partner. It breaks a heart and a hand if the common bag becomes too heavy and bulky which needs to be carried by only one person at a time. A bag pack per person would be even better if going for a medium to short vacation.
  • Power banks and a portable extension board would do wonders as most of the European rooms give one or two plug points. If you are one of those, who come to the room just to sleep , it is a struggle to recharge all the gadgets - ipads, mobiles, tablets, powerbanks in six to seven hours every day. I am in search of a portable USB extension board! 
  • Offline Google maps/Paper copies of the maps would help a lot in case like us - without mobile data, hunting for wifi all the time. Also it is wise to download local public transport app beforehand. Generally all tourist cities provide 24 hours passes which turn out to be cheaper or the same but extremely convenient as you do not have to buy tickets every time you travel or do not have to worry about cash in local currency. 
  • Water all over Europe is an expensive commodity. Refilling from the tap would save you bucks, if you like the taste of local tap water. We could not drink Tap water from any other cities apart from Bergen in Norway. (Interesting to note that the water in Bergen comes from Voss; Voss water is famous within Hollywood celebrities!) 
  • Control on chocolate cravings and soda cravings. For some reasons I could not in the last part of the trip but some how I could not eat much due to the change in food/weather/health in the day part and binged after sunsets! 
  • Each country has a unique set of Bactria and so 80% of travelers suffer from mild to medium diarrhea after the commute. Read it some where on the Airport and I guess it is true! It is good to maintain hygiene and avoid street food for first few hours.
  • If you are bookworms like us, each country has a unique book collection- closer to their culture and thought process. It is interesting to visit a book store. 
  • If you love Netflix, the country specific collection becomes enjoyable as well! If you have the luxury of spending time while enjoying the trip.
  • Vegetarians, do not fret. Travelling can not devoid you of yummy food each country has to offer.Almost all European countries have tasty yogurt, fruits,veggies and chocolates to offer. Do keep in some snack boxes in the bag but what fun if you do not eat local. I personally prefer to eat local food- may be cooked indoor if needed after a local super market haul or by talking to the waiters, chefs of cafes. Believe me, if you are good, they will help you. In fact for this experience, Scandinavians were more than helpful to us. Now a days people are going vegan and vegetarian, hence we did not find issues with the food.Options were less but we could feed ouself outside every single time. Be it fast food, authentic Italian or Maxican food or even Indian food! 
Do you have any such travel gyan? Share?

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