If you’re planning a trip to Northern areas of Pakistan for the first time and you’re living in Karachi, I can relate what you are going through. Tourism from this part of the country to that part of the country is not only a labor of love but of time and money too.
Pakwheels forum experts puts it like that often,
“Karachi walay planning buhat kartay hain trips ki lol”
Unfortunately they have to because of the distance and time it takes to reach North unlike tourists of Lahore or Islamabad. While I believe in as-it-happen tours yet its good to have some info before leaving Karachi.
For the sake of the soul of a tourist in me, I’ve been to Northern areas few times on a tight budget and schedule. Recently with a kid too. I’ll try to point some things that might help you plan your trip.
Internet is handy
Isn’t it always? You must know the best time and weather to visit the place you’re going to. Like if its Murree and you want to experience snowfall you better be going in January-February But if its Naran then you can go in May-June to experience all chilled n snowy mountains( though there will be no snowfall at that time)
Google maps are there to guide you but don’t believe it to calculate distance or expected travel time up North. Not worth it. Take guidance from Pakwheels trip gurus or forums.
Less is more
You need to have an idea of weather forecast of the place to help you pack appropriate clothing but keep it simple and hassle free. Obviously you don’t want to waste time ironing and managing dirty laundry. Pack some wrinkle free stuff or fabric that looks good without ironing. Have few tops/shirts that can go with same bottoms/jeans. Just keep it simple.
Gadgets like camera, smartphones and (latest obsession worldwide) selfie stick are convenient to record some memories of your trip. Pack them carefully and separately for quick access. Power banks comes handy. Do not use internet while you’re on vacations. Please DON’T. Enjoy your journey but for the sake of social media and memories, save some shots and upload after the trip.
Bargain is our motto. On spot hotel bookings are highly recommended but if you want hassle free trip then you can either pre-book hotels via Jovago or contact any tour operating company. There are many available online and doing great for tourism.
Advance bookings of Business class cabins of any train is recommended for budget travel. You can also save on food by ordering discount deals through food delivery services like Foodpanda (only when in big cities like Lahore or Islamabad though) or not being choosy and dining at dhabba like places. Order daal fry and parathay ❤
The point is to enjoy the moment and celebrate scenic beauty of Pakistan. Save at least a month’s salary every year and go to a place you’ve never been before. It will enrich your soul with experiences and memories.