Cheap trip to Europe-a few tips

Travelling to Europe is a dream for most of us. The exotic locales, the wonderful history, the abundant natural beauty, all call out to us. But the supposed drain in our bank balance deters us sometimes. Don’t worry. We bring with us, a few hacks for you to have a great trip to the remarkable destination. Just follow these simple tips and enjoy the trip of your lifetime, within limited resources .

 

1.Plan much in advance-

One of the simplest way to have a  trip which does not cost you exorbitantly, is to plan much in advance.You will get air tickets at a much lower rate ,hotels will mostly have vacancy for you to choose a cheaper option.You will get more time to hunt for days when there are offers on eurail passes and other attractions like museums,amusement parks etc.

 

2.Go off -season-

The months of June,July,August seem like the ideal months to go to Europe ,escaping the excruciating heat of Indian cities.But these can be the worst month for the same.Apart from the problems of long queues at all attractions and maddening crowds there is also the consideration of spiralling rates of everything.Though ,it may not be always possible but try and plan your trips during less popular months.

 

3.Choose your place of stay wisely-

 The maximum drain on your pocket when going out is on accommodation, so choosing your place of stay wisely will help you in controlling that .Explore all options, even couch surfing and house minding. You can practically live for free. If ,it’s a family trip, try staying in home-stays and apartments ,where you save on other costs like food and laundry .Check out the deals in hotels too, you might just hit the jackpot.

 

  1. Eat smart-

After lodging ,the major spend -category happens to be ,food. But, it’s not very difficult to  eat a wholesome meal at a reasonable expense.

First of all, raid the supermarket. Buy whatever you think you can eat without cooking and carry it with you the whole day and have a picnic whenever you are hungry. This way you avoid restaurant food which can cost a bomb in Europe.

Secondly, use the facility if you have a kitchen in your apartment or hostel. Cook a basic but wholesome meal ,like sandwiches, bread-omlette, rolls and have in breakfast before leaving for the day. Similarly you can cook a good filling dinner  at night .You can also carry a few packets of ready-to-eat meals from India and have them when you come back late at night to your place of stay.

 

5.Explore maximum and spend minimum-

A little thought into your trip planning will help you in saving a lot of mullah.

First thing to be done after landing up in a new city ,is to go to the tourist information centre. You will get valuable information regarding various attractions and also save time and money by not wandering aimlessly.

Wherever you go, find out about the free walking-tours and make it a point to attend the same .They take you to most of the points of attraction and give you a fair idea of the city. You can decide after that which attractions you want to spend more time on.

Museum  entry fees can be quite high in Europe but most of them have a day in a month ,when entry is free. If possible, plan your itinerary accordingly.

local transport can be expensive .Try and  stay close to the city-centre and walk to the attractions. You will save a lot .If you must take some transport, avoid cabs, go for bus or metro.

 

 

6.Use free wi-fi-

Although staying connected seems like the most important thing to the millennium generation but when on a trip to Europe,curb that sentiment.It’s okay to invest in a basic plan for an international sim for emergencies but for the rest just  make use of the free wi-fi available almost everywhere in this post-modern continent.With the sim also,be very careful because even the incoming calls have different charge rules in different countries.

 

  1. Consider your cash options-

ATM withdrawals can be costly and you may get charged extra at every withdrawal.Go for a credit card which ,in most of the cases, more reasonable.

 

8.Travel light-

Apart from the fact that you will have to carry your luggage a lot of times, travelling light makes sense for monetary reasons also. Low cost carriers give you fares which are dirt cheap but they also charge a hefty premium for extra luggage. Whatever you save on fare ,you will have paid in double if your baggage exceeds their limit.

If you follow these simple tips ,you can have a great trip to this wonderland without spending a fortune. So, go ahead and enjoy.

 

Mamta Kumar

Budget Friendly Foreign Trips For Indians

When you  plan an international trip, budget arises as the biggest issue. You have a dream to travel the foreign locales with your loved ones, but  the tight budget  holds you back. But now you don’t need to worry.

When you  plan an international trip, budget arises as the biggest issue. You have a dream to travel the foreign locales with your loved ones, but  the tight budget  holds you back. But now you don’t need to worry. There are  many international destinations to visit, in pocket friendly budgets. Here is the list of the countries that are ideal for a shoe-string budget:

  • Sri Lanka:

Located on the South of continent India, Sri Lanka is an Island Nation famous for its beaches, Buddhist Temples, hills, mixed colonial architecture, sea food and lovely people. For people who love  relaxing on a beach and also  exploring scenic beauty of hills, Sri Lanka is an ideal place to visit.

Must Visits:-

  • Colombo-Visit the Capital city of Sri Lanka, Colombo and explore the National Museum, Gangaramaya Temple, Viharamahadevi Park, Cinnamon Gardens and Dehiwala Zoo and also the public beaches where you can enjoy ,delicious sea food.
  • Ella-Ella is an enticing small village on the highlands of Sri Lanka .It offersbreathtaking views of tea estates, waterfalls, mountains and lets you breathe in the wonderful fresh air it has. A Train ride from Kandy to Ella is the most enchanting scenic journey, you will ever experience.
  • Kandy Kandy in Sri Lanka is a city famous for sacred Buddhist s While on a trip to this city visit the Kandy Lake and the  most popular Temple of Tooth. Also pay a visit to the Royal Palace of Kandy, Royal Botanical Gardens and Udawattakele Forest Reserve.  .
  • Sigiriya– Sigiriya in Sri Lanka is an ancient fortress overlooking exuberant forests. It is famous for its ancient Rock Fortress which is situated at the top of Sigiriya Cliff.
  • Dambulla Cave Temple – This 2000 years old temple is situated 148km East of Colombo and it is the best preserved cave temple of Sri Lanka.
  • Galle– Famous for the age-old Galle Fort built by the Portuguese during 16th century, located on the shore of the most popular Galle Beach, this Fort also has a Lighthouse at its Southern tip.
  • Mirrisa- Relax and swim on the beach of Mirrisa.
  • Yala National Park– Experience the wildlife in Sri Lanka and get a chance to see elephants, deer, crocodiles, leopards, monkeys and colourful birds.
  • Polonnaruwa- Enjoy a trip to an ancient city in the middle of dense vegetation that has the ruins of old temples.

Number of Days in Sri Lanka: Ideal for 7-10 days trip.

 

Train Ride from Kandy to Ella

 Bhutan

A Buddhist Kingdom,  Bhutan is located on the Eastern Edge of the Himalayas having dramatic landscapes which seems almost surreal in its beauty. Bhutan has steep mountains, beautiful valleys, Buddhist Monasteries, pagodas, along with a lot of mesmerizing locations.

Must Visits:

  • Paro in Bhutan– On arriving at the International Airport of Paro, the journey of Bhutan begins. Visit the Taktsang Lhakhang or Tiger’s Nest which is the most iconic and world famous site of Bhutan. A 3-4 hours trek ,through the mountainous path ,takes you to this monastery . Also visit Rinpung Dzong (pronounced as Zong), Kyichu Lakhang,one of the oldest shrines of the kingdom,drive through Chele La Pass leading to the most beautiful Haa Valley.
  • Thimphu in Bhutan-It is the capital city of Bhutan and an unusual mix of modern and traditional.Sightseeing in Thimphu Valley includes the National Memorial Chorten, Tashichho Dzong, The National Library, Textile And Folk Heritage Museum, Handicrafts Emporium and lastly Institute of Zorig Chusum.
  • Punakha in Bhutan-Punakha Valley is mesmerisingly beautiful, and is mostly famous for Punakha Dzong situated at the junction of the two rivers ,Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu. Also visit the Punakha Suspension Bridge, along with the nearby sites,Chimi Lakhang , Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten.

Number Of Days:- Ideal for 5-7 days trip.

Tiger’s  Nest  Monastery              
  • Nepal

Nepal, a country lying along the Southern slopes Of Himalayas, is landlocked between India and the vast empty lands of Tibet. Nepal has beautiful landscapes, being  closest to Himalayas and is ideal for

‘take a break’ trip, as the mesmerizing sites of valleys, mountains, temples and monasteries are going to rejuvenate you. Places to see include the following-

  • Kathmandu in Nepal –Explore the capital of Nepal, and visit the Kathmandu Durbar Square, Swambhunath Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple, Boudhnath Stupa, one can go for sightseeing along the beautiful valley of Kathmandu and do some shopping in Thamel.
  • Pokhara in Nepal-Pokhara is a city among the Phewa Lake and mountains, a beautiful place for boating and enjoying the scenic beauty. Pokhara is the gateway to the Annapurna Circuit,popular trail of Himalayas. Visit the Tal Brahi Temple, International Mountain Museum,showcasing the history of mountaineering and the people of Himalayas.
  • Nagarkot in Nepal- Located at the rim of Kathmandu Valley, Nagarkot has the best spots to view the ‘top of the world’, Mt. Everest.This place is ideal for watching the best sunrise and sunset views of the world.

Number of Days: One can plan a trip for 5-7 days.

Phewa Lake
  • Thailand

A Southeast Asian country, Thailand is a popular international destination that fits in a pocket friendly budget. It is mostly popular for beaches, Royal Palaces, ruins of ancient temples of Buddha, crowded cities and authentic Thai Food. Pay a visit to:

  • Bangkok in Thailand-The capital city of Thailand- Bangkok, has captivating street lifeand ornate shrines. Visit the majestic Grand Palace and its sacred Buddhist Temple Wat Phra Kaew, along with nearby Wat Pho and Wat Arun Temple. Explore the Khaosan Road that has abundant shops, hotels, restaurants and lively night life.
  • Pattaya in Thailand-A city of Thailand located on the Eastern Gulf coast, Pattaya is popular for beautiful beaches among which Pattaya and Jomtien Beach are the most popular . Visit the Truth of Sanctuary ,a massive temple carved out of wood.Enjoy the wonderful nightlife and do some shopping on the Walking Street.
  • Nong Nooch Village in Thailand -Explore the Thai Culture and breathtakingly beautiful landscaped gardens. Also, this place organises Thai cultural One can visit Nong Nooch From Bangkok or Pattaya through road routes.

Number of Days: 5-7 days.

  1. Maldives

A South-Asian Sovereign state, Maldives lies Southwest of Sri Lanka and India in the Indian Ocean. Maldives is popular worldwide for its white sandy beaches that are indeed paradise. Coral Reefs, lagoons, scuba diving &snorkelling, luxury hotels,resorts and spas, all comprise together to make Maldives an ideal international destination. The must visits are:

  • Hulhumale in Maldives-An Island in Maldives that marks the beginning of the journey, can be reached by road through public or private transport. Hulhumale is an ideal place to relax at the beach where the water is turquoise in colour,hence more beautiful than usual.
  • Male in Maldives-Take a boat from Hulhumale Island and reach the capital city of Maldives,Male. Explore the city life of Maldives and pay a visit to the Male Friday Mosque, Islamic Centre, National Museum, Male Fish Market, stay in a private resort and enjoy the private beaches.
  • Maafushi in Maldives-From Villingili Ferry Terminal,Male, begin your journey to the biggest island of Maldives, Maafushi. Explore the most popular beaches, Bikini Beach, Public Beach, Water Sport Beach and Coral Beach. Do scuba diving, snorkelling and get a chance to see the school of dolphins.
  • Fihalhohi in Maldives-Located on the South of Male, this island has overwater bungalows giving you a once in a lifetime experience. Fihalhohi is luxurious, with exquisitely decorated bungalows, exotic spas and restaurants.

Number of Days: 5-7 days.

Maldives

So, what are you waiting for? Let go of your worries and come visit these beautiful international destinations that won’t cause a drain in your pockets.

 

 

 

Nine Best Destinations to visit in Asia

“To Travel Is To Live”

When Gayle Foreman proclaimed “Travelling is not something we are good at; it’s something we do, like breathing”, he captured the essence of a life well lived. There’s a whole world out there to explore and take in, sights both known and unknown. Read on to find a list of 9 wonderful places you can visit in Asia.

 

1) BRUNEI

This scenic country offers you travel at its best form. Its capital Bander Seri Begawan shines with its magnificent mosques that is the exact contrast to the stilt house water village and flourishing mangrove forests nearby. The main attractions are Brunei City center which is small, compact and can be easily explored on foot and has the city’s traditional and modern architectural styles embedded in it. Also to see is the Brunei Museums which showcases the nation’s history and culture and don’t miss the Ulu Temburong National Park. This small yet wealthy nation has got it all!

 

2) SRI LANKA

This small country boasts of a rather unique culture and tradition. It comprises of scenic spots such as Kandy which is home to Buddhist relic, Galle- a coastal city home to the Galle Fort, a lighthouse, and a marine-time museum. There are also national parks to visit such as Minneriya National Park, Udawalawe for safaris and Peradeniya for beautiful gardens. For the shopoholics in us, Pettah is a must visit -with it large variety of markets for clothes, souvenirs and so on. Sri Lanka is famous for the Ceylon tea production. Make sure to visit Royal botanical garden to witness the fascinating tea production process. Trust me after seeing that you will be a tea lover if you weren’t before!

 

3) FUJAIRAH

This small emirate in UAE houses the most scenic beauties of United Arab Emirates. Located near the mountains and flowing rivers it’s a must-see place to visit and enjoy. Starting with the imperial Fujairah Fort and Al Badiyah Mosque showcases this emirate’s culture and tradition. Next up is the Madhab Spring Park which is a perfect spot for kids to play and enjoy. There are shopping malls which provide modern choices for tourists but for a traditional outlet, you have to visit the Fujairah Heritage village for some of its relic collection. Finally, nobody misses the sandy beach and corniche which are the serene spots. If you want a relaxing environment without any loud arrangements, Fujairah is the place to go!

 

4) COCOS KEELING ISLANDS

A paradise for nature lovers located in the middle of Indian Ocean, some 2750 km northwest of Perth, these islands are usually enroute for boats from Mauritius. If you want a break from your tech, then this is the holiday for you. It also has activities such as the Lagoon swim, mid-year Cocos Ball, Music and wine festivals and also dishes out concert events. Snorkeling is the favorite activity around this region. It’s great for all ages and offers shallow and protected conditions. The islands offer numerous snorkeling spots that cater to all experience levels. Whether this is your first time snorkeling or you have already snorkeled the waters of the world, there are plenty of options around that will delight you; the most famous of snorkeling sites is ‘the Rip’ located at the southern tip of Direction Island.

 

6) KERALA, INDIA

Deemed to be ‘God’s own country’, Kerala offers backwaters and food delicacies aplenty. From the backwaters in Alleppey to the hilly Munnar, to the coastal town in Kovalam to the paragliding, hiking experiences in Vagamon, Kerala offers a lot more than you can see and have. The buzzing cities of Ernakulum and Trivandrum offer shopping spree for tourists and the tasty tapioca and fish curry is hard to resist.

 

 7) BHUTAN

This happy and serene country offers an extraordinary diversity and tourist attractions such as Thimpu, Paro, and Punakha which has amazing markets and parallely also showcases mountains, waterfalls, and temples. It also houses Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary which is a protected area. Also, how can we ever forget the mouthwatering Ema datshi which will make your senses go high!

 

8) MACAU

Nicknamed as the ‘Las Vegas of Asia’ this place houses giant casinos, malls and have amazing landscapes such as  Senado Square, Taipa, and Venetian Macau. Its beautiful architecture and scenic spots will bring the fun element of holidays to the forefront. The cuisines are in variety to cater to the growing need of the tourists. It also has the iconic St Paul church which is also a religious museum.

 

9) JORDAN

This country houses ancient ruins and rather an antique history of their culture and tradition. The main attraction is the Dead Sea which is the salt lake which has the lowest point on the dry sea and has the famously hypersaline water and mineral-rich mud which is used a lot in cosmetics. Also, Jordan offers deserts and oases around the region with which we can go on safaris and rides. Camping is also an option which can be utilized when you are here.

Traveling is all about enjoying the pleasures of life which can’t be provided by staying in one place. These places offer you complete enjoyment at its best. Traveling tends to magnify human emotions to such an extent that it overwhelms you and makes you widen your perspective of life. So happy traveling to these wonderful places!

Bon Voyage!

BY

KAVYA SANTHOSH

A student who is passionate about reading and travelling, has a passion to pen down her travel experience. She plans to see as many countries as she can!