What if someone told you that instead of planning one family trip a year, you can go twice with the same budget? Ansoo Gupta, a solo woman traveller and COO of a digital marketing firm Pinstorm, suggests eight simple ways to travel the world without burning a hole in pocket.
Ansoo started travelling independently almost 20 years back when travel information in India was not that readily available. She used to research and plan her own itineraries for exotic locales from Mcleodganj in India to Great Barrier Reef in Australia. She always came back amazed and enriched and then encouraged her friends to go as well.
A marketing professional who has worked in the media industry for almost 15 years with brands such as Star TV, National Geographic Channel and The History Channel; Ansoo has now travelled to over 50 countries and managed to see some fantastic sights such as Northern Lights and Yee Peng.
Ansoo wants everyone to do that. And that is why she has been conducting travel workshops for the last two years where she shares her secrets and tips about cheap, long, independent, budget travels. She conducts these travel workshops purely out of passion with a mission of empowering as many people as possible with information and inspiration about exploring the whole world.
Q : At what age did you realise you have been bitten by the travel bug?
First time, I travelled independent to Mcleodganj, which was not very well-known place at that point of time. I met many people from all over the world, sampled food from Israel, Germany, etc.
Q : What sort of traveller are you?
I am a modern-day backpacker, which means I don’t travel with a backpack; I travel with a small trolley with wheels. I am a minimalist when it comes to travelling.
Q : Do you prefer a specific type of destination, like beaches or mountains?
When I was in north India, I was a mountain person. When I moved to Mumbai, I was a beach person. I love snow and desert equally. Actually, they all are beautiful.
Q : Your suggestion for solo Indian woman traveller…
There is no doubt that women feel more unsafe in India than in some other parts of the world but frankly accidents can happen anywhere. So, keep your innate women’s antenna up and the language of admonishing in a firm tone or screaming loudly for help is same all over the world!
Plan in advance and visit websites to see if there are better deals. There are low-cost airlines that provide cheap tickets. You may detest connecting flights, but it does save a good volume of money. You can find cheap fares at sites such as ixigo and sky scanner.
Airlines have started charging for everything now, so travel light. Remember not to use oversized bags. Consider packing old clothes, if you plan to buy new ones on the trip.
Plan your meals
Figure out where you will be and eat before you actually go out. This is not good just for your wallet but your stomach too as you may find economical restaurants with good food.
Many exchange centres have unacceptable exchange rates so don’t go there. Search the internet to find out good places to get cash in the local currency.
Stay there, but there are many independent hostels now where anyone is welcome to stay. Hostelworld.com is the site to find affordable accommodation.
Talk to the locals
Be friendly and chat with them. Sometimes, they will tell you where to eat and some may even offer you to stay over.
Limit your shopping
You will no doubt want to get gifts for friends and family, but your time and energy is better spent exploring the place where you travel.
Don’t give up looking for deals
Even if you have your plans set, keep trying to look for deals. Reservations can often be cancelled with a full refund so if you find a last minute deal that fits into your plans, take advantage of it.