Countdown to India: 15 weeks to go… 🇮🇳

With less than 15 weeks to go until my trip to India, it’s time to start getting organised.

I still have a fair amount to sort out before I can board my flight from Heathrow to Delhi on 23rd December.

I still need to:

  • Apply for my visa
  • Pay for the rest of my trip
  • Arrange travel insurance
  • Book my vaccinations
  • Arrange care for my cat
  • Sort out travel to and from Heathrow
  • Buy a suitable holdall for lugging across India
  • Purchase travel guides
  • Buy suitable clothing (easy to wash and quick to dry…with the trip lasting just over 2 weeks, and not wanting to haul a large suitcase across the Indian terrain, it sadly means I will have to wash clothes in between travel days…)

As I’ll be away for Christmas, I also need to be super on it in terms of Christmas gift buying, as mum has already agreed we will have an early December get together before I head off on my adventure.

Uncertainty

A lot of my plans (and some of my excitement) for India, have been on the back burner of late thanks to hospital referrals, work stresses, relationship ups and downs, and a couple of unplanned trips home. It had started to cross my mind whether my trip may be in doubt…

Despite still undergoing tests at the hospital, everything else has started to settle down a bit more over the last week or so, giving me headspace and time to start to feel excited again.

Having secured my flights during the summer, and wanting to spread out the costs of the trip as much as possible, I plan to finish paying for my trip this month. One of the many things that attracted me to booking my trip through Intrepid, was the fact that I only needed to pay a £200 deposit upfront, with the balance needing to be paid up to 56 days before departure.

After looking into what I need to do to apply for my visa, it would appear I can apply for that nearer the time. My travel insurance can also wait for the time being. Ideally I would like the all clear from the hospital before I arrange insurance cover, just in case there are any complications.

Travel to and from Heathrow can also be arranged nearer the time, as this will largely depend on which of my friends or family are feeling generous enough to play taxi. Alternatively, at least I know I can get the train.

Decisions to make

Whilst most things can wait for now, I am keen to get my luggage and cat care sorted out as soon as possible.

Suitcase v Holdall

Having never even been away for 2 weeks before, deciding how much to take with me for an 18 day trip is mind blogging. I also need to find a holdall or a suitcase that will at least survive 3 flights, plenty of local transport, and 2 overnight trains.

I have been doing some research into the types of luggage I could take with me. I will need something sturdy, but also something that isn’t going to be too heavy, can take a bit of a battering, and can be locked securely during travel periods.

So many websites seem to recommend taking a suitcase, but I just can’t see myself wheeling a suitcase around the district streets of India. If I was based in one hotel for the entire trip, maybe. But for lugging my belongings from city to city, a holdall definitely sounds more practical.

The bag that keeps catching my eye at the moment is the Osprey Farpoint 70 Backpack. With a 13L detachable daysack, and a lockable zip on the main section of the holdall, it seems to have everything I am looking for. Ideally I would’ve liked something a little bit cheaper, but for the journey I’m going on, I can’t afford to waste money on anything that may break or get damaged en-route.

Cat Care

Having never put my cat in care before (she’s always had family or friends come in and feed her so far), it’s difficult to know what type of care will be best for her.

Unfortunately with it being Christmas when I travel, most of my London friends are either away for Christmas or unwilling to venture out on Christmas Day to feed her.

I’m reluctant to put her into a cattery. She doesn’t like change, and isn’t fond of strangers. It’s also a long time for her to be away from her home comforts for the first time. On top of that it’s a fairly expensive option.

A friend recently recommended Cat in a Flat, which is basically where local cat lovers can be chosen to come into your flat and feed your cat for you while your away. Some of them will even change the cat litter, bring in your mail, and even water your plants for you while you’re away. This also looks to be a much cheaper option than putting her in a cattery. Slightly risky having a stranger come into your home, but they do have to sign code of conducts, some have dbs checks, and you also get to meet them before you go away.

If anyone of my lovely UK readers have used Cat in a Flat before, I’d love to hear how you found them, and whether there are any cat minders you would recommend…

Likewise, if you have any recommendations on the type of luggage I should take with me, I would love to hear from you.

Also, if any of you have been to India before, or have travelled with Intrepid, I would love to hear from you.

Thanks for stopping by,

The Mindful Gingernut x