Travel essentials this monsoon

Words Vani Kambali

For everyone else, trips and travel can still come to a pause, but for the businessman and globetrotters, something as trivial as rain is no excuse.

For 3 months every year, India experiences a climate that is pleasing and bothersome at the same time. Yes, Monsoons.

India is my country and all Indians… face the same problem for three months, when the roads flood up and getting from point A to B seems impossible. Everything comes to a halt with this season that we have a love-hate relationship with. But for an average businessman or a constant traveller, something as trivial as rain is no excuse. There is no word such as halt in their dictionaries.
Bringing to them, a travel guide this monsoon to help them move ahead without any hindrances. Because believe it or not running down London bridge or Gateway of India while a heavy downpour looks appealing only in our Desi Bollywood movies.

There is no passing on the basics. Research on the city or country you’ll be visiting before you start packing. If the predicted weather says light rains, an umbrella should suffice, but if its pouring cats and dogs then carry your raincoat along with you too. Imagine meeting someone important while you’re absolutely soaking. That’s definitely not an impact that you’d want to leave on your clients. So even though it might add an extra few grams to your luggage and more importantly consume a lot of space, never ignore your raincoats and umbrellas.

I have childhood memories of my mother packing a lot of extra plastic covers and bags whenever we went travelling. It seemed very middle-class to me back then, but now considering we live on the support system of the wires we always find ourselves entangled with, that small little trick is pure gold. Carry a lot of zip-lock pouches and in varied sizes for your cash and valuable papers as you cannot afford to lose them while travelling. When on a business trip or enjoying a vacation you might carry your laptop for essential documents or files, always carry a cover bag for your laptop and camera bag to protect them from any water damage whatsoever.

The real monsoon struggle begins when you wear wrong footwear on a rainy day. It only adds on to the trouble when you have a meeting to attend as flip flops cannot justify your professionalism one bit. So this is the time where you can opt for semi-formal shoes. Opt for a material that’s plastic but doesn’t scream casual. When not in a meeting always choose flip flops over anything. And if you are planning to trek, go for shoes with sufficient grip as that would save you from slips and falls. Also, there aren’t many things which get as uncomfortable as wet socks. So avoid those at all costs.

While the synthetics are mostly shunned in during the other seasons, during the rains and especially while travelling, they are highly convenient. They dry up the quickest and take up very little space when packed. Because they are purely chemically made, there are no pores to hold water within unlike most natural fibers.

We might love exploring new places and traverse the roads less taken, but in a city that might be entirely new for you, try not to Michael Schumacher your way to your destination. Put your safety before anything else especially when the roads are slippery. Always carry a first aid kit. Especially if you’re planning to trek. Don’t forget to wear clothes that cover you entirely as you dont want to cut yourself and bleed.

Monsoons, just like any other season, should be enjoyed in its utmost glory. A few careful steps will ensure that you don’t mess up your trip and sail through it smoothly. And don’t forget, nothing works against nature. You will have to face cancelled plans and rescheduling but don’t let that affect your vacay and make the most out it.

Few must-haves in your bag:
– Travel clothesline so that you never fall short of dried clothes.
– Waterproof phone cover.
– Little headlamps, if you go for a trek
– Clothes/ Shoe freshener because who wants to smell bad
– An ultralight rain jacket


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