Planning a trip with Planet J and Ramchandra

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Maria Fernandes | NT KURIOCITY

‘Travel cheap’, The Navhind Times Planet J’s workshop on making travel affordable and organised was held on February 10 at Dempo House, Panaji. The workshop aimed at highlighting the importance of the need for travel and educating participants on how to plan a budget around the world trip. The three elements to travel – theme of the travel, planning phase and actual trip were explained in detail by resource person, Ramchandra Prabhu Salgaonkar.

Ramchandra who has to date travelled to 17 countries, began the workshop with a questionnaire which made participants realise their common interests in places they wanted to visit. “From this activity it is clear that there are always likeminded people around you, however communication holds us back. We carry a lot of baggage with us, it is time not only to learn but also unlearn a few things,” he said as he began speaking about the benefits of travel and the misconceptions that people have.

Travel is expensive, travel is dangerous and solo travel is boring – are the three misconceptions he believes Indians have. “A simple activity of finding the cheapest fare from India to Malaysia can teach us so much about the airline fare and pricing. Travelling is never dangerous, however one needs to be cautious,” he stressed. In the quiz that followed, he tested participants’ knowledge about places within the state, country and some international destinations as well.

To highlight the misconception that travel is expensive, he gave an example of a trip to Gokarna. He showed participants how in approximately `1500 a one-day trip was possible. “Of course, you cannot expect luxury in this amount but a decent place to stay along with decent food is assured. When you are on a budget trip, you need to be able to rough it out sometimes,” he added.

For aspiring travellers and explores, he had a word of advice. “I recommend that you take small baby steps before you go for the big one. If you are considering a long or solo trip or travelling for the first time, you should first check out the short overnight trip around Goa. Gokarna is one such gateway for overnight travel. It is cost effective and is a complete destination for the backpackers or flashpackers.”

The topic next on the agenda was international travel and Ramchandra gave tips about the various aspects that need to be looked into in order to make a trip cost effective, organised and fun. He explained in detail about stay, air fare and visa. With regards to stay he said: “We need to be aware of all the options and select the best one that suits us. We have to understand that stay is not only limited to hotels, hostels and home stays are also an option that needs to be checked out.”

The session was extremely interactive and participants learnt a great deal from Ramchandra, whose final advice was “Take a solo trip to an unknown destination, at least once in your lifetime. You will discover yourself besides learning a lot, meeting people and making friends.” He also called upon the youngsters to take up travelling because “It makes you wise,” he added.

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