“It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
A road trip might be easy but planning a road trip is not an easy task. So many factors count especially when the trippers are spouses. Safety, uncertainty, road condition, hotel options, and booking, food, car cooperation, the list goes on and so is the packing list.
Indian and especially Gujaratis are known to travel with plenty of luggage as they carry their house with them. They can’t do without any of their daily requirements. So unlike western travellers who travel luggage light we Indians travel luggage heavy.
We have experience of short-distance road trips from Mumbai to Status of Unity, Mumbai to Ganapati Phule, Mumbai to Parasar in Junnar district, Maharashtra, Mumbai to Panchgani, Mumbai to Lonavala a few times, and Mumbai to Pune several times. All are under and about 400 kilometers.
This time we were planning a trip of about 4K kilometers that will be completed in about three weeks. We started planning quite long ago and finally zero down on southern coastal road trip starting from Mumbai to Hampi – Puduchchery – Rameswaram – Kanyakumari – the entire Kerala coast and Karnataka coast – Goa – and Konkan – Mumbai.
It was almost final and we started to look for suitable hotels in each of the places. Then came Omicron and things changed. I spoke with someone who is on six months all India road trip. He advised me to avoid Kerela as the Corona cases there were on the rise. Karnataka state is asking for an RT-PCR test. As per our original plan we were passing through both states.
Then the whole plan was revamped. The alternative plan was to travel from Mumbai (west coast) to Puri (east coast) and another plan was to travel to Gujarat which includes Saurashtra and Rann of Kutch.
We were impressed by the pictures we saw of the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan on our earlier trip to Rajasthan. Travellers usually visit the prominent cities in Rajasthan like Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Ajmer, Udaipur, Jaisalmer. However, the Shekhawati region is a less visited but equally beautiful region.
We wanted to include Indore in any North India plan. So final plan worked out is as under:
Mumbai – Dhule – Indore – Sanchi – Bhedaghat – Khajuraho – Orchha – Gwalior – Jhunjhunu (Shekhawati) – Mandawa (Shekhawati) – Jodhpur – Nathdwara – Shree Pavapuri Tirth – Idar – Sabarmati Ashram – Nadiad – Vadodara – Mumbai
(These are all end of the day destinations; the road journey is about a journey between the destinations)
“Because the greatest part of a road trip isn’t arriving at your destination.
It’s all the wild stuff that happens along the way.” Emma Chase
This might change as we travel. After zeroing on the places, we lookout for a good stay en route and at the places. The idea is not to splurge on the hotel property but to have a budget yet decent stay. We have found many. I talked with the people at the hotels at all the places and was informed them about our tentative plans.
Read as many reviews on Google, Tripadvisor, booking.com, and airbnb. This would give a good insight about the hotel/guesthouse/homestay.
This being done, our packing list was to be finalised. We have one standard checklist for all our tours. We updated it to suit this long road trip requirement.
- Clothes – day and night
- Inner wears
- Inner thermals (as winters in these places is chilling)
- Towel & Napkins
- Lock & key
- Old Napkins
- Garbage bags
- Mobile phone and chargers (One extra for additional storage capacity)
- Car papers – RC book, Insurance copy, Licence
- Aadhar card copy & vaccine certificates
- Hair oil & brush
- Dental and shaving kits
- Sun glasses
- Extra specs
- Loaded Pen drive with music and spiritual songs
- Dry snacks (Including Khakhara & Theplas : (We Gujaratis don’t travel without this)
- Fruit & Dry fruits
- Chocolate & Pipers (We are children first)
- Water bottles
- Thermos for hot water
- Ready mix Girnar tea & coffee sachets
- Note and pen
- Maps of places
- Shoes, slipper, and socks
- & some more things will go with us
- Personal medicines
- General medicines
- First aid box
- Odomos (Mosquito cream)
- Vicks and Balm (For cough, cold and headache)
- Omni gel (For any mascular pain)
- Lumber belt
I learned online to change tyres and to repair punctures of a tubeless tyre. Though I am not carrying a puncture repair kit. We are driving a Maruti Baleno so expect service centers/ garages to help anywhere in India.
All the car tools are in place in the car and the car is serviced recently.
We decided to use mobile as a camera and avoided carrying a DSLR camera.
I thought of a car sticker last Sunday and searched on Google to find a good site Circle one. I designed it online and ordered the sticker. They were cooperative to deliver before the journey would start.
Our decided protocol would be:
- Start as early as possible, and
- Travel maximum from 6 am to 5 pm only.
This trip will start on 4th Jan 2022. We will update our journey on social media on the go and detailed experience on this blog after we return.
“Discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”