Minimal packing hacks for women travellers

In 2016 I travelled to Japan with my best friend (7 Things You Should Know To Plan Your Japan Trip). My first question to her when we met at the airport was, “is that your luggage for 10 days?” She had the same question for me. We were definitely on two extreme ends of the packing spectrum. Her luggage was over 20kgs while mine only 8kgs. She got my point when we both had to pickup our trolley bags and climb a few flight of stairs at the subways where there were no elevators or escalators. Before she threatens to beat me up for sharing this disclaimer publicly, here’s a disclaimer – her packing skills have improved considerably and now she packs her as well as her baby’s stuff in just one suitcase.

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Phaltan – A weekend getaway in Maharashtra

Around 250 kms away from Mumbai (110 kms from Pune), there’s a small town where the sky is clear blue and vast green hiils till as far as you can see. Located 50 kms from Satara, Phaltan was once a Maratha Princely state of British India ruled by the Nimbalkars, descendants of Naik Nimbaji Nimbalkar. The first wife of Shivaji, Sai Bai belonged to Phaltan.

The drive to Phaltan, although a bit bumpy, is made pleasant with pristine lakes and acres and acres of sugarcane farms, the main crop of the region. On my recent weekend trip (hosted by Jakson Inns), I drove around the length and breadth of Phaltan and the surrounding region only to be enamoured by the sheer beauty of Maharashtra.

Things to do in and around Phaltan

Windmill Farm in Pusegaon

Around 45 minutes drive away from Phaltan, exists one of the most dream-like places in Maharashtra. The windmill farms of Pusegaon can be one of the most romantic destinations in India. There’re huge windmills till as far as eyes can see on top of the hills, clear sky, light breeze and the most spectacular sunset. You can pack some food and drinks and have a little picnic here. If you’re staying with Jakson Inns they’ll arrange a cute picnic basket for you.

There were more than 200 windmills in the region producing enough electricity to supply to the whole Phaltan area.

Pusegaon Windmill Farm, Maharashtra

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How to save money for travel and plan your trips smartly

Last month when I was in Goa to attend a sourdough baking workshop at Sujit Sumitran’s house (read more about it here), I received a phone call from a business journalist. She was talking to people who had quit their jobs to travel and wanted to know how were they managing their finances and funding their travels. While quitting my job in early 2016 I never thought I was doing it specifically to travel. Yes, traveling was on the list but sorting my life out after a divorce and getting away from a job I didn’t like anymore were far bigger reasons to quit. Also, while I was quitting my regular job with fixed paycheque, I wasn’t quitting working. This only meant I had to work towards getting freelance projects that would help me sustain my humble lifestyle in Bombay as well as save to be able to plan a trip once every 2-3 months. The saving part came easily to me since I already built a habit during my job, the trick was now to sustain the habit and save more efficiently.

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