Wondering where to go for your next vacation? How to pack efficiently? We answer this and more in our 05 random travel tips this week


1. Travel to 50+ countries without a visa !!!

Did you know that as an Indian, you could travel to over 50 countries, without a visa (or with visa on arrival)? Add the handy Schengen or US Visas and that list expands massively. But which countries you say? Well, in 2012, Mahesh Murthy put together this handy, printable spreadsheet documenting visa requirements for Indians for 120+ countries. It’s a pretty handy ready reckoner, albeit a bit dated, but gives you a fair idea of where you can go, the next time the travel bug bites. And if you are not from India, fret not, the Passport Index has you covered. The site lists how many countries you can travel to without a visa, depending on the passport you hold.

2. Travel light, travel fast

Most of us travel with way too much stuff and too many bags. For a refreshing change in pace, try travelling carry-on only. With just a carry-on bag, you can get on and off the plane much faster and be on that train/bus/cab to the hotel while the rest of the folks wait for their bags. And also save a bit on check-in fees when travelling on low-cost airlines !!!

3. Travel Crease Free

Don’t you hate those pesky creases that come when you fold clothes and pack them for travel? Well try rolling instead of folding next time. Rolling clothes, eliminates most of those pesky creases and is space efficient to boot. Saving space is especially important when travelling carry-on only, so do try the roll approach the next time round and here’s how do this perfectly.

4. Download Offline Maps, Save on data charges

Don’t be lost when you are on vacation, just because you do not have data access on your phone or tablet. You can download an offline version of a region on Google Maps when you are on wi-fi. To do this, go to Maps when you are online (hotel wi-fi works best). Then, navigate to the area you want offline on Maps. In the upper right, touch the menu with the “three dots” and choose “Save Offline Map”. The area visible on-screen will now get downloaded offline. Then when you are out and about, use GPS to find yourself on the offline map. This mostly works like a charm, but there are a few drawbacks. For one you can’t search in offline mode yet and you are restricted to an area that is 50 Km X 50 Km for the offline mode, but you will definitely be able to navigate and get around while saving a ton on roaming data charges.

5. Sight-see for Cheap

Many cities have very handy all day passes for Tourists that can certainly save you a bit. For example, the I Amsterdam City Card (48 h card costs 50 euro) provides free or discounted entry to most attractions in the city and free use of the transport system. It even includes a handy canal cruise. Similarly, the Grutt Pass (2000 Yen), offers free or discounted access to the 78+ museums in Tokyo city. If you plan on covering a lot of ticketed attractions during your stay in the city, it might make sense to invest in one of these

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