Planning a Vacation? Here's a Guide to Plan Your Own Trip

February 07, 2019

Plan Your Trip

ICICI Bank is happy to introduce the monthly travel newsletter ‘Vacations’ — your one-stop guide to travel inspiration and ideas to make each holiday a memorable one. Not only is it brimming with information about new destinations, best places to visit at any time of the year, it is also your go-to source for travel related updates and news. And we don’t just stop at giving ideas, we go further in helping you plan your perfect vacation — from tips to practical guides — how to pack better, best times to visit, best ways to carry forex, travel insurance and even a handy reckoner of events and festivals happening all over the world. You name it, we have it.

All that is left for you to do is to Vacations!

In our first issue, we take you to the most happening places in the world in the upcoming months of March 2019 and April 2019. It’s when winter gives way to spring and in the southern hemisphere, the day get cooler. As our planet gets ready for the next season, nature puts on a colourful display in the form of cherry blossoms in Japan and people match the fervour with annual carnival dances and parades.

There’s a section on ‘How to pack light’ because the weight of your luggage can literally make or break your travel experience.

Travelling is not just about going on a holiday, it is also about exploration, getting to know a different culture, different foods, indigenous crafts and embracing the diversity of the world. Done right, travelling can open your mind to ever new experiences. Our section ‘Soul Trip’ introduces you to the wonders of travelling.

Soul Trip — Travelling can transform you

You can make every trip a deeper experience.

You must have often read stories of how one day a person got really sick and tired of his boring routine and decided to quit it all and travel the world. Somewhere deep down, we all want to travel and see the whole world but do you have to quit everything for a life-changing experience?

You can have a deep, meaningful travel experience even while continuing with your studies, doing your job, carrying out your responsibilities towards your family and your work. But this is possible only if you travel right. If you let the charm of the unknown, nuances of a new culture, adventure of a new experience overtake you, then each trip of yours will touch you deeply and transform you. Here are five necessary steps for soul-stirring travel:

1) Step out of your comfort zone

2) Be prepared to live differently

3) Keep your mind open

4) Connect with local life

5) Travel with an intent to learn and discover.

Done right, travel has the power to change the way you look at the world and at yourself. It can turn you into a storyteller, make you more compassionate and provide a fresh surge of positive energy. For starting on such transformative experiences, some of the places to try the steps mentioned above are the Backwaters of Kerala, Bali, the verdant hills of Himachal, Nuwara Eliya in Sri Lanka, etc.

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes” – Marcel Proust

Discover Your World

If it is Spring, it must be Japan

To get a sample itinerary for Japan, Click Here

Japan is a totally different world. Their culture and unique and elegant practices make Japan one of its kind. It’s a must-do in every traveller’s list. More so in the months of March and April, when the Sakura (cherry blossom) is blooming.

It is tricky to try to time your travel perfectly with the blossoming season. That's because it is a natural phenomenon and doesn't follow our exact calendar. Also, with global warming causing climate changes, it is becoming tough to accurately predict when the blooming will start. Keep a watch on websites that predict Sakura blossom every year, for example the Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) website. And also keep in mind that blossoms occur in Southern Japan first and in the northern parts a few days later.

Why is Sakura so special? Firstly, because of its visual splendour. Rows and rows of trees get covered in soft pink, feathery, beautiful flowers giving you the feeling of floating in clouds. They fall within a day or two. And even when they are on the ground, the delicate baby pink carpet that they create weaves a heavenly spell. The Japanese have created a cultural tradition around watching Sakura — Hanami. Hanami is the philosophy of enjoying natural beauty even if it is short-lived. In fact, that’s what makes it so moving. The right way to enjoy Cherry Blossom in Japan is like the Japanese. Choose a spot in a park, make a small picnic basket full of Japanese goodies and spend your day immersed in beauty around you.

Here are the five best spots in Japan to enjoy Cherry Blossom:

  • Himeji Castle
  • Philosopher’s Path, Kyoto
  • Ueno Park, Tokyo
  • Takayama City
  • Chureito Pagoda, Mount Fuji

Travel smart

Packing light for a great trip

Luggage is an inherent part of travel. And it can actually make or break your travel experience. Travelling light gives you an unshackled chance to immerse yourself into your destination. In this article, we discover the advantages of travelling light and some tips to let go of excess baggage.

There are many advantages of travelling light. Some of the benefits that you will notice from your first lightweight trip itself are:

  • You don’t have to worry about check-in baggage: If you don’t check in any bags, not only would you be saving on costs on some airlines but you will also never lose baggage! Moreover, you won't have to queue up and wait for your luggage to come. This way you can get out faster and even make tight connections.
  • You will be more flexible: If you travel with minimum luggage, you can move around more freely and will be able to take advantage of spontaneous trips to places that were not even on your itinerary to begin with. This is the real fun of travelling and exploring. You can jump into a bus, a train, or maybe even just hike to the next village!
  • Your mind feels light: With less stuff, you have less choices to make and decision fatigue does not set in. So your mind is free to imbibe your travel experience much more fully. If you have not travelled light before, it might take you one or two trips to start using this golden mantra. But once you have tasted the freedom of less baggage, you will always travel light.

Here are some guidelines to get you started:

Don't worry, you don’t have to carry items for all possible scenarios. If you need something, you can buy locally.

Research the climate before you go. This way you won’t have to carry clothes for warm and cold weather both.

Don’t worry about dressing up the way you do for a party. Your travel is your time. Keep your shoes, clothes and handbags to a minimum.

Take out all the things that you think you want to pack. Then reduce this pile by half and pack.

News you can use

Events, Festivals around the world and key announcements

  •  Ice and Snow Festival, Harbin China: Till February, 28, 2019
  •  Venice Carnival: February 15 to March 4, 2019
  •  Brazil Carnival: February 26 to March 5, 2019
  •  Les Gilles de Binche, Belgium: March 3 to March 5, 2019. Like Tomatina, but with oranges!
  •  Mardi Gras: New Orleans
  •  Northern Lights Season: Iceland, Sweden, Norway
  •  Monarch Butterfly Migration season: Mexico
  •  Fallas, Valencia, Spain: March 15 to 20, 2019
  •  Kazakhstan now offers e-visa (announced on January 4, 2019
  •  Government shutdown leads to closure of museums, monuments, national parks and other tourist attractions in the US
  •  Venice will start charging an entry fee from day-trippers to combat overtourism

 

‘Vacations’ is powered by OneShoe Trust for Responsible & Mindful Travels – a travel events and marketing social enterprise that promotes travelling as a means to raise awareness about climate change and preserving local ecology.

Disclaimer: 

Any use of the information in the emailer/blog/website is at user’s own risk. Nothing contained herein shall constitute or be deemed to constitute an advice, invitation or solicitation to purchase any products/services of ICICI Bank and shall not be relied upon as such. ICICI Bank shall not have any liability towards any third party for any loss or damage incurred as a result of use of the content or reliance on any information provided hereunder. Terms and Conditions of ICICI Bank and third parties apply. ICICI Bank is not responsible for third party products, goods, services and offers.

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