Himachal Solo Trip- October 16
So here goes. My first ever Solo trip. And what an adventure it has been. I will be writing about some of the places which I visited, in Himachal Pradesh, which is in the north part of India. Before I begin writing about my trip, however, I suppose I could share some information for those people who are also looking to go on Solo Trips. For the expert traveler, you can kindly skip the next few paragraphs.
First of all, even though you might be going alone, it is advisable to keep few people, maybe in your family or friends about your location, in case of any emergency. This is even more important if you are staying alone, in hotels or guest houses, and not at a place of a friend or acquaintance. These are some of the things I did, before embarking on my trip.
Packed Light, as I knew I would be doing a lot of walking. Honestly, carrying an insane amount of luggage with you makes no sense whatever. Pack light, travel light. Will save you lots of trouble.
Carry a medicine and/or first aid bag with you. This is essential, you do need to carry basic medicines with you. Plus, I was going on a mountainous region, so I also carried some anti-vomiting tablets. And I make it a habit to carry some basic gel, band-aids and stuff. At a time of need, the pharmacy shop may be far away from you. So be prepared.
Made an itinerary, based on my budget, for roughly a week’s duration. Did all the bookings online, and well in advance. This saves a lot of hassle later on. The two important things are travel and lodging. I even booked buses to travel within Himachal, through redbus.in (a pretty handy site). Some of the other websites used to search for accommodations are-
And others. Based on my budget, and the hotel ratings, I booked the hotels in all of the locations where I would be staying. Most of the hotels will not charge anything during the booking. You can pay when you check out. Make sure you read the other traveler reviews of the hotel to avoid any last minute bad experiences. Of course, depending on your preference, you might want to stay at dormitories, couch-surf, or look at guest-houses. I, personally prefer hotels, even though they are expensive, as they are safer, and offer more comfort. It’ s of course a personal choice.
Keep some loose cash with you, preferably in alternate locations (bags, shirt pocket, etc) in case you need it during an emergency. Also, some of the places where I visited did not accept debit/credit cards. So it is essential to keep cash. Do remember that unlike in metro cities, ATM’s are not very frequent. You might have to travel a bit to reach a working ATM.
Make a list of the places which you want to visit. Remember not to over-stuff too much of activities in one day. You might not be able to cover everything. Just because you are on vacation, does not mean you need to stress out. Keep some free time in between. Also, it would pay to have a basic look at Google Maps and get an idea of the location where you are traveling. For example it might take 8 hours to travel from Manali to Dharamshala by road. We need to factor all of this in our vacation.
Keep a photocopy of your tickets and necessary documents ready. You might need it at any time.
Also do not forget, to carry at least one Government Id proof with you. This is mandatory for checking into any hotel.
Rest, use your common sense and bring whatever item you would prefer. Though remember, not to overstuff.
Always remember to be alert. You are responsible for your own safety and the safety of your belongings. On a solo trip, you are alone. Do not get too relaxed, and get your stuff stolen in the process. Do not venture off alone in any deserted area, especially at night, if you are unsure about the location. It is also advisable not to carry extremely valuable stuff with you.
At the end of it, have fun. That’s what you are on a vacation for, right. Go discover yourself, learn to know your strengths and weaknesses better, and grow as a person.
Before I start writing about my trip, I would like to thank my good friend, Divya Gonnabathula, for telling me about all the places I should cover in Himachal, and sharing some good information. For those who would like to read about her experiences, this is her blog link:-
Stay tuned for the next post on the Himachal Adventure.