So for today’s post, I decided to talk to about my city Mumbai. Most of you’ll know this where I have been born and brought up in South Mumbai, so I thought why not give you’ll an insight about this magnificent city. Mumbai isn’t your average big city; it’s very different from any other big city. It is definitely the city of dreams in India; it’s the city where the magic happens. This dynamic multi-cultured city that never sleeps, all year round you can experience different festivals being celebrated from various regions and cultures across India.
This city is has got something in store for everyone, no kidding! From the famous starry Bollywood industry to millionaire slums (however ironic this sounds, it’s pretty damn true) this is not it, if you’re a finance brainchild or a creative media person, Mumbai has it all for you. For a foodie, there are endless options, from the famous street food like our vada pav and chaats to some of the best fine dine restaurants. But for food, I think India itself has so much to offer like literally, every state in India has it’s own cuisine and speciality. Read more about Mumbai’s street eats here.
But, apart from all this what makes this city so special, it’s the PEOPLE that make this city what it is. I have never come across people that are so humble, helpful and they just don’t fail to make you feel comfortable. If you tend to interact with people in the city, there is story everyone will have on how they made a living in Mumbai. Everyone here is so approachable and friendly, language, age barrier isn’t even a problem to ask someone for help here, cause irrespective of that people will always offer a helping hand. One thing I have noticed over the years is that most people in the city are extremely energetic and passionate about what they do, A story of a driver coming to Mumbai with absolutely nothing, he even spent nights on the railway station taking up odd jobs, soon he got employed as a taxi driver and he noticed he was catering to a lot of foreigners as he used to work near the airport. He felt the need to learn basic English, which he did, thereafter he could communicate with a lot of people and this expanded his horizons. Little did he know, in a years time he bought his own car and started a personalised tourist taxi service in Mumbai and couple of years later he even opened his own Indian fast food restaurant in the city. This was pretty inspirational that from having nothing to owning a company and restaurant, for this he had to say “this was possible for me to do only in Mumbai as in a smaller city, he wouldn’t have the aspirations to become big”. Well, that being said I believe that if you are truly passionate about something, there’s nothing that can stop you in life.
This was a little glimpse into my city Mumbai, which is the fourth most populated city in the world and on of the fastest growing cities, and the city of dreams in India. And it’s the only city that gives me the feeling of home.I would love to know about your city and what makes it special.
Students, this one’s for you or rather for anyone who wants to travel on a budget but still have one of the best experiences. Ground rule for traveling as a student I experienced was budget myself, and it’s difficult, as you want to explore the city, party and we can’t forget a tad bit of shopping. Budgeting with so many quests is a task, so here I have a perfect guide that will allow you to do all of it just with minor compromises.
Let’s get started now!
Decide an Estimate you want to spend:
This should be the first step in to planning your vacation, have an estimate of how you want to spend on your trip, this will allow you to pick a destination, the kind of hotel/hostel you would want to stay in, transport and the duration of your trip. After having an estimate, you could plan out 2 to 3 options laid out to make the final choice. As much as I love spontaneous holidays, here it’s advisable to plan at least 3 months in advance, as a student you will curb and budget your daily expenses for the coming months to have extra cash for this trip and besides you will get good deals with the advance bookings. Here, you will be able to find sites that will help you decide a budget for your holiday.
Book Hotels/Hostels & Flights:
This is obviously the biggest and the main expense of your trip, once a destination has been finalised it always good to keep a tab on flight deals and offers, book as soon as you get a good deal, For hostels, it’s the same prices tend to be inflated closer to peak season or the hostel you’d be hoping to book could be sold out, its preferable to complete hostel bookings along side flights and bag a good deal.
For hostel and hotel booking, compare prices from HostelBookers, Booking.com, HostelWorld and for flights the best sites to compare various airlines would be Skyscanner and Kayak, so I would suggest look up all these sites, compare prices and book.
Visas (if required):
Depending on where you’d be traveling a visa may or may not be required. Incase there is a visa requirement, the best thing to do is do the application as soon as your flight and hotel bookings are done. I would suggest this as you can apply for visas three months prior to your travel and from past experience, the closer you apply for your visa to the holiday season there are chances of delay in your visa arrival. Just to be safe and assured about your holiday, don’t be lazy and leave the visa for the end.
Make A To-Do List:
For me this is one of the most fun and exciting part of planning a holiday, do a little research on the places you’re going to be visiting, make a list of what you want to there. This would include activities/water sports, museums, restaurants, bars and clubs that you’d like to cover. After this is done, check prices (budgeting needs us to do this). This will give you an idea how much you should keep aside for you expenses per day. My favourite bit would be finding stuff to do for free, I mean besides being on a budget who doesn’t love freebies? Imagine a museum is on your list and then you know it’s got free entry for students (excitement right there), I would be buying couple of beers and fancy cocktails with this saved money. Also, before I forget, it’s good to find out if places give student discounts and offer good deals for a group incase you’ll are traveling in a bunch.
Let’s get packing:
Girls, this is probably for you’ll. You have to be smart while packing on budget holidays, check the weather forecast, bars and clubs you would be headed to and get an idea of the local culture then start with your packing, letting it be appropriate and minimal. I have made this mistake in the past of carrying heels along with me by just assuming all the clubs else where would be like London and guess what it was the complete opposite. Silly me, let those heels take up so much space in my bag that I could barely shop and had the worry of paying excess baggage with cheap airlines. So just be smart while packing.
So this how you students will be able to plan in a budget but still have a sick vacation, and trust me you’d be surprised by how much you’ll end up saving following this planning process for your holiday.