The Penguins learning to Fly – Part 1

We have been traveling together for over 2 years. During this brief period we have taken several long and short trip both domestic and international. And we have learned a lot from our travels. We have learned how to plan a trip, how to execute the plans and of course many pitfalls to avoid. Here we talk about the latter, the pitfalls.

This list is what we have learned from making mistakes. Some of these might seem obvious now but we have realized that hard way. We have tried to capture the essence of our learning. Here goes part 1 of the learning to fly (as in The Flying Penguins, get it!!).

  1. Always book return tickets

You may think that the trip is on the fly and you can come book tickets for return as connectivity is good. That sounds fine in theory but reality is stranger than fiction. There are hundred things which can go wrong booking last minute tickets. And it becomes especially crucial when you have work or meetings the next day.

When did we learn? We didn’t book the return ticket for our Vizag trip and were stranded midway.

  1. Do not trust the internet always, contact the authorities directly

The internet is not always correct, well that is obvious. But even on the official websites, the timings of attractions and other details might not be correct or the information might be dated. So when such details are crucial to your plans, don’t trust the websites blindly. It is always better do a cross check by checking the authorities.

When did we learn? Our Mysore trip taught us this lesson. The official Mysore Dasara website and our hotel both had given incorrect timings for palace illumination.

Mysore palace illumination
Almost missed the illuminated Mysuru palace
  1. Make a list of essentials to pack efficiently

Always make lists. And check them (obviously). If you are travelling frequently like us, have a master list which captures all of the essentials you would require. So anytime you are going even for a quick trip, just have to check your master list and you make sure you don’t leave anything.

When did we learn? We packed quickly for our trip to Gokarna and forgot soooo many things including camera and hats.

Gokarna trek
Gokarna: We had to buy even the caps as we didnt pack well
  1. Keep the luggage light and distribute among companion

Always try to travel light especially if you are going to jump from destination to destination. When you are packing, try to distribute your stuff in multiple bags rather than one big bag. This way the weight is balanced and easy to carry. Also, it is best if you keep the number of small and big bags manageable among the travelers, which would be 1 small and 1 medium sized bag per person.

When did we learn? On our Gandikota trek we packed everything in one bag. The bag was not heavy or bulky. But single bag meant more exertion for the person carrying the bag.

  1. Avoid group travel for most tours

People are unpredictable (duh!). You cannot be sure what you would end up with. If you are travelling with a new group your co-travelers might be loud or be perennially late or have some other icky habits which you cannot stand. So, group tours for us are a big NO-NO. Only exceptions are the treks where we don’t know the trails.

When did we learn? During our Vietnam trip we did take a day tour. We were lucky to find some good company. But then some of the other members got us delayed on multiple occasions.

Vietnam Tam coc
One of our better group tours in Vietnam

Do you have a story to tell about your travel experience? Drop in a comment or send us a mail. We will definitely reply. All the interesting tales will be published in a special feature.


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