The no-sweat, stress-free guide to planning a vacation

  • Veenu Singh, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: May 08, 2015 13:12 IST

It’s that time of the year when you’re planning to spend some quality time with family and friends. But are you thinking of enjoying yourself in an exotic location or stressing over crazy schedules, bad hotels and unnecessary hassles?

"You need to enjoy travelling. Indians consider travelling a task, but one has to understand that it can be fun," says Vikas Lakhani, Founder, an online luxury travel community. And so we spoke to experts for tips on how to travel smart, without breaking into a sweat. your options and book early:

Ideally, do your own booking for trips – there are plenty of online portals that will help you with the best rates, whether it’s airfares or hotels. "You might receive frequent flier miles as a bonus for booking at the airline’s site. However, online travel agencies offer services you won’t find there, such as bundled hotel and holiday packages that provide maximum savings," suggests Rajesh Magow, co-founder MakeMyTrip.

Consider your itinerary:

Think about what you plan to do on the trip, and pack accordingly. "Instead of trying to figure out at one in the morning what you need to pack, create a list of items that you will need on your trip, in advance. This could vary if you are planning to travel by road or by air," says Lakhani.

Be a smart parent:

Be realistic as far as travelling with kids is concerned. You will need a lot of patience while dealing with them. Make sure you keep them busy – carry their favourite books or toys, plus medicines, diapers and wet wipes too. Always keep a change of clothes in your cabin baggage, suggests Payal Jain, an entrepreneur.

Fitting it all in:

Don’t take a whole library: take one book, and swap it enroute. Shoes are bulky – take just one pair; say, a smart, multipurpose pair of shoes / sneakers/boots. "If you need two pairs, wear the bigger ones on the way and use the packed pair to stuff shorts and socks or use the cushioned interior to protect delicate items," says Neha Dixit, travel anchor & producer, NDTV Good Times.


Finally, remember you are taking a break. So, even if you are caught in a jam or your flights are delayed, make the most of the time available to you.

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From HT Brunch, May 10

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