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Top 5 Travel Tips for Your Adventure Tour in Pakistan

October 19, 2023

When it comes to adventure travel worldwide, Pakistan has consistently maintained its prominence. The nation is endowed with the largest mountain ranges, the most enchanted valleys and lakes, vast cities that provide abundant exposure to the arts and history, and people who embody the height of unrivalled hospitality.

Pakistan was ranked as the top travel destination for 2020 by the widely read travel and lifestyle website Condé Nast Traveller and as the most undervalued travel destination for 2020 by Forbes. Regretfully, the pandemic’s rule did cause the travel sector to temporarily come to a standstill in that year. Nevertheless, COVID-19 does not prevent tourists from boarding an aircraft to tour this nation with some of the most majestic views of nature.

Travelling in Pakistan can be challenging, whether you’re travelling with family or on your own. This is particularly true if your destination is a distant area of the nation. But fear not—this is precisely what will make your trip the best adventure possible!

It is advisable to acquaint oneself with the customs, acceptable behaviours, and avoidances of the nation before starting your once-in-a-lifetime journey. Before you organize your next adventure excursion to Pakistan, keep in mind the advice listed below.

1. Itineraries are necessary, but set realistic expectations

Pakistan is a destination that has inherent value for tourists. However, the nation rarely provides opulent or hassle-free travel, particularly if you’re considering a road trip. Although most decent hotels have polite, helpful staff and nice amenities, luxury hotels are not always available, particularly in isolated areas. Long off-roading excursions, lots of mud and dirt, potential flight delays, unforeseen obstacles like landslides, protests, building work, and other events are all usual components of an adventure tour in Pakistan. To finally appreciate your trip, you must learn to manage your expectations in accordance with the infrastructure that is accessible to you locally.

You should definitely create an itinerary after conducting adequate research so that you can organize your schedule. Not every tour will be able to happen on the spur of the moment without prior hotel reservations, car plans, weather reports, updates from construction sites, etc. To ensure that your adventure journey is as enjoyable as possible, your local tour operator can help you with this and create comprehensive itineraries for you.

2. Be well-prepared for all situations

Being ready is essential when travelling in Pakistan. With everything that this breathtaking, kind, hospitable, and adventurous nation has to offer, you will be in complete awe. But your otherwise amazing trip could be marred by being unprepared for extraordinary events.

I have been telling everyone I know for years how important it is to always pack a smaller backpack with an additional set of clothes and your necessities in addition to your main luggage. Most of your large baggage is tucked away, covered with a tarp, and secured to the vehicle’s roof; they aren’t always reachable in the middle of your trip. It is considerably more pleasant to have a rucksack filled with necessities for the night in case there are any unplanned delays.

Expert advice: Always carry some snacks, particularly if you’re travelling through a remote area without superstores around. You have the best friend in chocolates!

3. Add a ‘local’ element to your tour

It is usually advisable to have a local guide to assist you while visiting any place in Pakistan, even if you choose to go by tour bus or independently across Pakistani cities. There is seldom a tour that can match the charm and experience that local guides provide, along with background information, history, and insider knowledge.

It is also important to note that hiring a local guide may appear like an additional price. However, it is a way for those who live in the most isolated locations and in the worst conditions to make a decent living. You could use it as a means of assisting neighborhood companies and obtaining knowledge that will be well worth the money.

You will undoubtedly be astounded by the warmth of a local family if you are fortunate enough to be asked in for a cup of chai!

4. Be mindful of local cultural sensitivities

Experiencing the local way of life is frequently the primary draw for tourists, particularly those coming from overseas. We can appreciate your fascination—it’s intriguing to consider living in a society so dissimilar from your own that you can’t help but want to fully immerse yourself in it. But it’s also important to recognize the cultural sensitivities of the area and know what is and isn’t appropriate.

For instance, the peculiar customs and vibrant clothing of the women have made the Kalasha culture, which originated in the Kalash Valley, extremely well-liked. As a tourist, you may find yourself tempted to take pictures of the native ladies wearing headdresses and long, black robes embellished with vibrant embroidery. However, these ladies are frequently conservative and find this invasion of privacy offensive. It is usually preferable to start a discussion, get to know them, express interest in their life and profession, perhaps make a little purchase, and then request permission to take pictures of them or their male guardian.

Similar to this, wearing Western attire is typically allowed at well-known Pakistani vacation spots including Hunza, Skardu, Deosai, Lahore, and Karachi; nevertheless, some residents may find shorter dresses and shorts bothersome. It’s advisable to dress modestly in accordance with local customs to ensure the comfort of those around you as well as yourself.

To have a nice and comfortable vacation, inquire in advance about cultural constraints and suitable behaviour from your local Pakistani tour operators and travel agents.

5. Of ATM machines, SIM cards, NOCs, and so on

Here are a few more crucial items that your friends who are travellers can overlook:

The majority of vacation spots have ATMs that are operational and readily available, however, in some isolated places, they are located far away, may not always be stocked with cash, or both. It is also uncommon to find credit card machines outside of Pakistan’s main cities. Hence, avoid using credit or debit cards for payment and always carry cash in your native currency.

  • SIM cards are widely accessible from Pakistani mobile companies Jazz, Zong, Telenor, Ufone, and SCom. But not every area will be covered by every one of these telecom service providers. In most cities, Zong and Telenor provide reasonable data packages together with good coverage. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Telenor is the most effective network; in Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir, SCom is the only network that functions. Based on your itinerary, investigate which SIM card is best to buy, and be sure to get one with a decent data plan. It is reasonably priced and accessible.
  • A No Objection Certificate (NOC) may be required if you’re a foreign visitor to specific tourist locations. For additional information on the necessary travel documents, contact your neighbourhood travel agent.

Pakistanis are renowned for their generosity, which may occasionally be overwhelming to a visitor arriving from another country. It is essential in these situations to maintain civility.

  • In case any of your original travel documents are lost, make many copies of them and hide them in various parts of your luggage.

Energy banks!

Finally, and above all, practice patience. Unprecedented delays and modifications to the schedule are inevitable, but there are always ways to get around them and have an amazing day. It’s important that you practice patience and give your local culture and adventurous experiences a top priority.

The summer months in Pakistan are ideal for travelling to various towns, mountains, and valleys since the weather is nice, there is a lot of activity at the locations, there are festivals, and people are excited about the holidays. However, it would be preferable to schedule your trip during the spring and fall seasons (Sep-Nov/Mar-April), when the northern side’s vibrant beauty really comes to life, if you’re hoping for better weather and fewer tourists during your visit, particularly to the northern side.

So, take advantage of your trip options and board that plane to the most affordable travel destination!

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Read More: List of Coldest Places in Pakistan: Choose Your Next Adventurous Destination

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