Thursday, November 17, 2011

Power Snack at Chai Point

This little shack is a must-visit for all tea lovers. Conveniently located and open to the streets, the Chai Point offers a variety of tea along with a limited set of snacks.

I am not much of a Tea lover, but tried the Mango Tea Shake with an Egg Puff.

Both tasted awesome but that wasn't quite enough for me. So I close the deal with an Iced Green Tea on the rocks!

Chai Point has a couple of combo deals, where you can get your favorite flavored tea with any snack you like. The prices are very reasonable. The mango shake + egg puff + iced green tea costs me 57 INR.

Chai Point is for tea lovers and for those who wants to take a quick bite. The seating capacity is very limited and open to the streets. Chai Point is located in Kaikondrahalli, Sarjapur Road and opposite to Pai Electronics.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Traveller's Guide to a Peaceful Journey

1. Find the perfect destination.

Do start early with some good research on finding your perfect destination. Your budget and days to spare are the major things to consider prior decision. Once finalized, do some in-depth research on the place. Places to visit, Places to stay, Places to eat, Mode of transportation, Expenses, Exchange rates, Climate, Safety and Visitor Reviews.

2. Make the reservations.

Book your travel tickets and a visa if needed. You could do this directly but to be hassle-free, its better to assign an agent to do this for you. A tourist visa wouldn't take longer than a week to process but its wiser to provide at least a month. Agents will let you know what all documents you need to file along with your application. You could google the list of documents needed for each country. Once the tickets are confirmed and the visa is under process, you can proceed with making other reservations. It’s always good to reserve every attractions/hotels that you intend to visit on your trip before you're there, if possible. For Inst: If you are planning to visit Universal Studios Singapore, you can book your tickets online, carry a printout and enter straight into the park. It saves a lot of time and makes you tension-free. However it’s a must that you have the reservations for your stay ready with you, before travel. You could use any travel review sites to locate recommended hotels depending on your budget. Most of the hotels need credit card information but that will only be charged once you've checked in.

3. Make an itinerary.

Once you've completed your research and reservations, its time for you to make yourself an itinerary. Itinerary is either a hard or soft copy on the things that you want to do on your trip. An itinerary should include, your traveling tickets, your hotel booking confirmation, a document on day-by-day activities you are planning, attraction reservation slips, In-country MRT/LRT/Bus Route and Stations, A map of the place with locations you want to go, highlighted. If you have a smart phone (which by-the-way everyone has now), you could carry a soft copy of the itinerary as well for easy access. But you need to carry hard copies of all your tickets anyway.

4. Backpacking.

A very important rule to remember: Travel light. I would suggest a single piece hand luggage for each one and that’s all! Only do carry clothing you need for the duration of your stay. If you are anxious do make a list on what to wear each day. Do invest in a quality backpack, preferably one with a laptop compartment. Do take a travel adapter and all the cables you need to charge your devices, but do it wisely. For inst. If your phone supports USB charging and you have your laptop, do not carry the wall adapter of the phone. This will save a lot of space when you wish to travel light. Put all your travel documents in a compartment that is easily accessible.

5. Carrying Cash.

Be ready with your finances at least a week before traveling. Convert 3/4 of your total budget (left-over post reservations) to the required foreign currency. Put the remaining 1/4 on your credit card and carry it along as reserve money. Do carry a few notes in your wallet for emergency needs but make sure that you have the major portion safe inside your hand luggage.

6. Bon Voyage.

As mentioned earlier, if you are carrying just one piece of luggage, you don't need to worry about reaching early at the airport. You can reach the airport two hours prior to your departure and start with your check-in procedures. Now here are some tips to avoid some very common delays at the airport. After getting your boarding pass, grab an immigration form and start filling it. Keep the passport handy for this. And do not forget to carry a Pen! Be cool at the immigration department, they might irritate you, but you will definitely get through that counter in less than 5 minutes. Be ready to answer some very silly questions. What is the purpose of your visit / Where are you working/ Traveling alone? Etc. Answer those , get your passport stamped and proceed to the security check. Now here's one useful advice. Before going to the security check, take out your wallet, your cell phone and your watch and put it in your hand luggage's front compartment. If you are carrying a laptop, take that out and hold it in your hand while waiting in the queue. Now you can just dump your laptop and bag in the belt and walk. Once its over get back your bag and laptop. Pack it back and proceed to the gate of departure. Most of the major international airlines will have a second round of security check, which is a bit more serious. They might ask you to remove your shoes and your belt. It would be embarrassing to hold your documents in one hand and your pants with the other one! So I would suggest wearing a perfect-fit trouser without a belt. Also do prefer shoes that you can easily get out of and vice versa.

7. Flying time.

I am not going to put statistics here, but they say flying is the safest mode of transport out there. Still many people are afraid of flying. I am one among them! But even then I am forced by opportunity to fly at least 7-9 times an year. Trust me, there is no easy way to get out of that fear but these tips will make your journey as smooth as possible. If you are traveling on an international flight, track the flight a couple of days before your flight on the Internet. You will see that the flight is making a safe landing and take-off on time every day. Turbulence (or a bumpy ride) is another common fear most people have. Turbulence is a very common phenomenon and all the flights are made to withstand even higher levels of turbulence. So don't think that your flight is going straight down. For every downdraft, there is an updraft as well. If you are still worried about it, try and get a seat by the middle of the aircraft (the wing area). The effect of turbulence will be less there, though with only a negligible difference. Another easy solution for your anxiety is to go see a doctor, get a prescription, and take an anti-anxiety drug before you fly. It will give you a peaceful sleep on-flight and thus will take care of any on board anxieties. (Restyl .5mg helps for a 4.5 hr flight but will give you a bad hangover the next morning. Be cautious, as the drug is addictive).

If you hate to sleep or you have an even longer flight, take some entertainment with you. Throw in some movies and music to your iPod/iPad whatever and carry it along. Don't forget to fill out your disembarkation form (the attendants will provide one to you) before your land.

8. Arriving.

Most of the international airports will have the smoothest arrival procedures. Though it will be good to have your destination airport map handy. You can grab a bunch of required brochures from the airport ( maps, mrt information, attraction info etc).

Hope this helps someone someday!

Travel Safe; Eat a lot of food; Travel Back Safe!