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Monday, 16 April 2012



I have been advised by almost everyone right from my childhood that one must travel light. It has taken me six decades to throw away this advice into the dust bin because for me now my personal comfort is most important and I don’t like the idea of running around or compromising with uncomfortable situations. I am not a backpacker any more but I can’t afford the luxury of all amenities and facilities too. I plan budget holidays but cannot compromise on my comfort and habits. Therefore, I have drawn up a list of items which I must carry when I venture out as a tourist especially by car. Yours could be slightly different as per your habits and tastes. Just peruse the following list to see that all your essential items are with you when you are away from the comfort of your home.

1.TEA KIT: For me a good cup of tea as per my taste and at my time is very important. If I get up at 6 am in a Guest House on a winter morning, nobody is going to bring me tea at that time. Even if they do, the chances are that it would be a decoction tea boiled till all the tannin is released in the liquid. It may have been boiled in pure milk or the size of the cup may be too small. So why start my day by spoiling my mood right in the morning? Hence a tea-kit is the most essential accompaniment for me while travelling. The following items are suggested:
a.   A small electric kettle,
b.   Tea Bags as per your taste,
c.   A bottle of Coffee Powder. Yes, I mean a bottle and not a refill pack as handling an open packet only creates hassles,
d.   Dairy whitener, emptied in a plastic jar for easy handling,
e.   Mug(s) if you like your tea in a large mug. Most hotels/Guest Houses have small cups which do not satisfy my early morning craving for tea,
f.    2 Spoon(s), one for stirring and the other for taking out milk powder.
g.  Duster/Tissue paper as you may like to wash and wipe your mug dry before packing it up for the next destination,
h.   A packet of your favourite biscuits (Marie?) to accompany your morning cuppa.

2. PHOTOGRAPHY: No trip is complete unless you bring memories  back with you. Hence the following are essential:
a. Camera: I think one must carry a camera and take as many photos as possible. Later, if you don’t like, you can always delete them.
b. Camera stand: Not essential but desirable.
c. Cell-charger: If you are using rechargeable cells, you may need to put them on charger every night.
d. Extra cells: If you are using ordinary cells, you surely would not like to land up in a situation where you want to shoot and the camera does not comply,
e. Extra camera card of at least 8 GB memory for camera is extremely important. In case the memory in your camera is full and you are yearning to take more photos, you will not start looking around for a shop. Even if you do, either you will not find it or it will be too expensive,
f. Camera Lenses, optional in case you are  an amateur photographer but essential if you are an avid one,

a. Routine Medicines: You may like to carry sufficient stock of the medicines in case you are taking something regularly and may not like to search around for a chemist shop in a small town who may not have your brand or may be dealing in spurious drugs,
b.Emergency Medicine Kit: Dispirin for headaches, Crocin for fever, Some anti-allergic for cold or allergic reactions, a pain-killer for sudden tooth-ache/ear-ache, Digene/Eno for acidity, an antibiotic for stomache infections and a medicine like Immodium for uncontrolled loose motions etc. An upset tummy and high fever need to be controlled forthwith and you cannot wait till morning to see a doctor.
c.First Aid Kit: Must have Volini/Moove ointment/spray for any accidental muscular pulls, sprains or strains, a few Band Aid strips, some cotton soaked in spirit, an antiseptic ointment, a 2” gauge bandage and a 3” crepe bandage,

a.  A Towing Rope is absolutely essential. If your car breaks down suddenly on highway, you should be able to get it towed to the nearest town.
b. Dusters/Glass cloth for cleaning the wind-screen time and again,

5. CAR DOCUMENTS: All the following documents must be carried in original if you are travelling inter-state:
a.  Car Registration Papers,
b.  Copy of Insurance Policy,
c.  Driving Licenses of all the people expected to drive the car in routine or in   emergency, and
d.   Car Pollution Check Certificate,

a.   Identity Card
b. Voter ID card/PAN card as it is essential for checking in most hotels,
c.   Credit Cards (along with ATM password),
d.   ATM Card (along with password),

a. One bed sheet per person for using as inlay for the blanket which is often used repeatedly by different guests and may not be hygienic enough,
b. Your own pillows are desirable if you want a good night’s sleep.
c.  Towel, at least one in case of emergency

a.      Mobile
b.      Mobile charger
c.      Top up with sufficient amount in case of pre-paid connections

   All local and emergency contacts must be fed into your mobile phone for easy access and hotel booking papers should be available in your glove cabin. Important documents which one must not forget are:
a.Documents relating to your bookings/stay arrangements at various places,
b.Phone numbers of your contact persons in places of visit,
c.Emergency Phone numbers of your friends /relatives

a. Spare specs if you wear specs. You never know when you may accidentally break it and then become incapacitated,
b. Goggles desirable while driving to reduce strain on eyes,
c. Sun-blocker cream if you are going to expose yourself to high UV rays,
d. Music CDs for your car or your favourite music on a pen-drive/I-pod.

While doing all this, please don’t forget to pack your most comfortable clothes and footwear for various occasions expected during the travel which may require formal, informal or casual dressing.

For my TRAVELOGUES, please visit my dedicated blog on travels
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