Guide To Travelling During Monsoons Do’s And Don’ts
The monsoon season is an integral feature of India’s climate. You can love it, you can hate it, but you can’t ignore it! One can choose to stay put at home during the rains or you can learn to love and enjoy the rains and all that it brings with it. Even travelling during the rains, has a charm and beauty of its own. The landscape of this beautiful and bountiful country changes magically across the different regions and one can only consider themselves fortunate to witness and be a part of this wondrous, heady green transformation!
However, travelling during the monsoons definitely takes some planning and one also needs to take some precautions. Here are a few tips to ease you into this somewhat adventurous travel during the rains and help you make the most of your trip!
1 – Always do your research before planning your trip during the monsoons
It would always pay to check out the state of affairs before-hand and if any restrictions in activities, at your choice of destination during the monsoons. You wouldn’t like to land up at the location and then realize you cannot enjoy the place or its offerings because of safety factors. Find out if some roads tend to get blocked during monsoons, how you can get help if you get stranded, intensity of rain that it receives, and emergency contact information of that particular area. A hilly location can be a treacherous affair in the rains, with slippery roads and the possibility of landslides. So it would be advisable to choose the right mode of transport and be careful while travelling there. Even a beach destination could prove to be hazardous, if one does not pay heed to the warnings regarding the waterfront or swimming in the sea.
As this is considered a lean season for some cities, airlines and hotels may offer good deals for travel during this period.
2 – Choose your location
As discussed earlier, many locations take on a different look and bloom during the monsoons, making it apt to visit such places at this point in time. Lakes and waterfalls come alive and gush during this period. The hills and valleys get covered with dreamy mist, lush greenery and splendid colour during sunrise and sunset. And certain places are well known for activities like trekking during the monsoons specially.
3 – Pack smart
First and foremost, if you are travelling during the rains, please ensure you are carrying not just an umbrella for light showers but also a raincoat or a waterproof jacket with a hoodie to deal with heavy downpours and the type of terrain you are navigating through, so you can walk around hassle-free.
It would be best if you pack light, drip dry or synthetic clothing which dry out easily and don’t remain damp. Be sure to carry rain-appropriate footwear and avoid shoes that retain water, as fungal infections tend to be on a high this time of the year. Carry a few packets of silica gel to prevent moisture getting into your delicate electronics. And of course the obvious….. carry all your belongings in a waterproof bag (or wrapped in plastic sheets).
4 – Be prepared
Monsoons are at times unpredictable and so can prove to be troublesome while travelling if not properly prepared.
Medical Kit – Always carry an emergency medical kit while travelling, as you never know when you may contract a minor ailment in this season and then it’s difficult to run around for doctors in an unknown place. Some handy medicines for cold, cough, fever, stomach infections and band aids should be kept with you at all times. And honestly, this practice would hold good all year through.
Food and water – Travelling during a heavy downpour could make you encounter terrible traffic jams on the road or cause delay in reaching your destination due to weather hindrance. It would help if you keep some dry snacks and water ready with you for such emergencies, instead of scouting around for the same later.
Repellents – It might also be a good idea to carry a mosquito and insect repellent, as the damp weather does create a thriving atmosphere for this species.
Flashlight – Keeping a flashlight handy with you would help if you’re stuck somewhere while travelling and it’s getting late. Just relying on your phone’s flashlight may not be the best idea as with possible power failures during heavy downpours, it might be useful to conserve the phone battery and use a normal flashlight instead.
Power Bank – It would also be useful to keep a phone charger or a power bank with you during this time period.
Plastic Bags – Make sure you carry lots of plastic bags for storing your electronics and your wet clothes.
Books & Games – If the weather is exceptionally unfavourable, you may end up getting stuck in your hotel room or flights or transport might be cancelled. So, be prepared for a few delays. Carry a good book, some travel board games, your patience and sense of humour….. and you’re sorted!
Hair Dryer – And last…. but not the least, at least in this weather, carry a small hair-dryer if possible. Besides, using it to dry your wet hair after getting caught in a sudden shower (easy to catch colds in this weather), you could also use it to quick-dry your damp/wet clothes and other articles if caught unawares.
5 – Take precautions
As one is more prone to contracting infections and falling ill during this humid….wet period, it is advisable to avoid eating street food, no matter how delicious and tempting. It is also safer to consume boiled/ bottled/ mineral water, instead of outside water.
Please be cautious on your trips, while driving your own vehicle in the monsoons. Reckless and rash driving on slippery roads and in poor visibility, would not do you any good. It would also make more sense to stick to major highways and roads while travelling in the rains. In case you need assistance along the way, the chances of getting it will be much higher on a frequented route than on a desolate one.
And lastly, please pay heed to all warnings and safety instructions whilst in a new destination during the monsoons. After all, you would want to travel happy through the rest of the seasons too !
PICTURE CREDIT: india.com – Preeti Kulkarni, GoodFon.com