My rucksack with detachable daypack review & how to choose rucksack tips

I love my rucksack with detachable daypack For a whole variety of reasons. But mostly it’s because I only have two arms !  It’s so much easier when your travelling to carry all your luggage loaded over your back in one go than to have to cope with a rucksack and then in addition a separate day bag/handbag over one shoulder or hanging off your arm. The only nervousness I have over the rucksack with detachable daypack system is that I cant see it and worry people could access the daypack without me knowing in a crowded environment but this […]

Indian Rupees

Indian Rupees  ₹ , Rs or INR are the currency in India. Unfortunately actual Indian Rupees cannot be taken out of India so you are unable to convert pounds to Indian rupee notes prior to travelling.  On arrival at the airport purchase approx £50 of rupees and exchange more later when you find a better rate . Larger hotels will exchange for you.  Visit a bank or currency changer for the best rates. Larger outlets accept debit and credit cards. However it is likely you will need a fair amount of cash for stalls, smaller shops, food, cabs, buses, markets […]

Top tips for saving to travel

So you’ve decided your going to travel somewhere. Maybe it’s India.  Maybe you’ve booked it.  Maybe it’s still a dream. Let’s face it the more money you have available the easier your trip will be and the more fun you’ll have.  So why not start saving now. Buy a hot drink flask.  Make fresh coffee at home and stop buying on the way to work. This will not only benefit your pocket but the environment also. Plastic coated paper coffee cups are not good for the environment – they do not recycle – and millions are used and disposed of […]

Don’t forget to pack these top ten items for India

If it’s your first visit you might be wondering what to pack for India – it isn’t quite as straightforward as other destinations. These are the top ten items for india always in my case / backpack. 1 Malaria prevention One of the most important of the top ten items for india is Malaria prevention. Malaria tablets and Mosquito spray. Check before you go whether you are in a Malaria zone. There are other mosquito transmitted diseases – Dengue fever, Chikungunya and Japenese encephalitis. 2. Mobile phone And don’t forget the charger. I would advise a spare also.  Sunglo chargers […]

Does Avon Skin So Soft work as mosquito repellent ?

Does Avon Skin So Soft work as mosquito repellent ? You may have read this in the press or on the internet and wondered if it is really true.   A friend I recently travelled with to India, who normally gets heavily bitten,  swears by it.  Having tried everything else, including Jungle Formula, without any luck it was strangely me that had suggested it to her a couple of years ago, when she travelled to Africa volunteering. I had read online but still wondered to myself – Does Avon Skin So Soft work as mosquito repellent ?  She tried it […]

Volunteering at Mother Teresa Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Are you considering volunteering in India? I travelled to Kolkata in February 2017 with a friend and volunteered at Missionaries of Charity for just over a week. Volunteering was, for me, hard work but extremely rewarding and at times emotional. I often found myself very tearful.  The process of arranging to volunteer is fairly simple – there is no need to contact the Missionaries of Charity before you travel to India  – you literally just turn up in Kolkata and register. Language should not be a problem as many people in India speak English – most of the sisters at […]


When I am travelling I find it very useful to keep all my documentation in an clear plastic A4 Documentation wallet that stays in my hand luggage. This keeps them all together for easy reach – you may need to show some of them at the airport –  and most importantly keeps them dry ! Before I leave home I check in on-line and print off any boarding passes – it’s a good idea to try and do the same for the return journey either at an internet cafe or at the hotel if possible. I used the Emirites App […]

Filling in the Indian e-tourist visa & uploading photo & passport pdf

The Indian e-tourist visa Leaving it too late to apply for a normal visa I applied instead online for the new e-tourist visa.  I was disappointed that there is only an option for a one month visa for online applications whereas if you apply via you can get a 6 or 12 month multiple entry visa. Prepare before applying ! It took over 3 & 1/2 hours to complete the appliction.  Uploading photo and copy of passport in pdf format – which had to be under 300kb – was time consuming. I’m in my 50’s so thought perhaps it was […]

Indian e-tourist e-visa biometrics problems

Things I wish I had know before applying for the new India e-visa Joining the snaking hundreds deep queue for immigration at Kolkata airport we noticed a small sign with an arrow pointing towards the  e-tourist visa counters and smugly joined the much smaller 30 deep queue instead. The smugness wore off when we were still waiting half an hour after the previous queue had cleared. So what was the problem ? If you arrive on an e- tourist visa you will have your biometrics taken at the airport. Since 2016  everyone travelling to India requiring a visa will need […]

The great loo roll debate – should I take loo roll to india

One of the mistakes I made the first time I travelled to India was to take the advice found on many blogs regarding taking toilet roll to India – What was I thinking ? Yes there were occasions where I needed some tissue for the bathroom but had to fish into my suitcase / rucksack for the messy unravelling loo roll. And how discreet was that ? Not. I learned from this and now make sure I pack lots of small packs of 12 tissues. They fit easily into pockets, rucksacks, daypacks bumbags and inside shoes and corners of your suitcase/backpack – and […]