Hey y’all, how are you doing? Well, its been really long since I wrote a blog; time flies. In my defence, I’ve been crazy busy doing things that paid my bills. Ha! I got so carried away with work, that I forgot to take time out and do what I enjoy the most. Yep, blog….
Most of us would want to hire a travel agent instead of taking the effort of planning a trip from the scratch. I would rather do the latter. It’s so much more fun. On my recent trip to Bali, Sandy and I planned the entire trip from the scratch. This might seem like a lot of effort, but trust us it’s not. A little planning will result into an exciting trip to your most favourite destination.
Read on to become a profession in planning a trip to Bali:
#1 Start 3 to 6 months in advance
Spontaneous plans are fun, but expensive. Planning a trip ensures you stick to your budget and don’t go bankrupt traveling to your most favourite destination – Bali. The first step towards planning a Bali trip is to ensure you start early. Chances are you might get your airline tickets cheaper than what it would be a month before your vacation!
#2 Zero down on your vacation dates
A lot depends on your vacation dates – your flight tickets, your hotel bookings, your application for leave. Consider these things when you’re deciding your Bali vacation dates – is there a family occasion, will there be any office work?, will there be any reason why you shouldn’t book these dates? If everything is clear, congratulations, you’ve decided your vacation dates!
#3 Book your return air tickets
Book your return air tickets from Bali within a week of deciding your dates. Procrastination can turn out to be extremely expensive. Avoid it. Sandy and I decided our Bali dates almost 3 months in advance, but procrastinated buying the tickets. We booked the tickets almost a month before our dates, and we regretted immediately. We purchase unnecessarily expensive tickets to Bali. Nevertheless, we experienced a safe trip with Malindo Air.
#4 Decide where do you want to go within Bali
There’s a lot to see in Bali. Deciding the places you want to visit in Bali can help you book your stay easily. A blueprint or day-wise plan can help you plan your trip better and enjoy the most of this beautiful island.
#5 Start looking for resorts, villas, hotels or AirBnBs
Once your dates, air tickets, day-wise Bali plan is ready, stay should be your next concern. Start looking out for hotels, villas, resorts or AirBnBs at least 3 months before your trip to Bali. This will help you select only the best stay and at a cheap price. We made all our bookings through booking.com.
#6 Zero down on your stay choices
Once you have a clear idea about the places to visit in Bali, it’s time to zero down on your stay choices. By now you will have a clear idea about where will you go in Bali and when. Thus, decide a place that matches your day-wise plan. Google the distance between your hotel and your destinations of the day to avoid booking a far-away hotel.
#7 How do you plan to travel – Car, Cab or Bike?
When in Bali, travel is a big concern. Decide beforehand how will you travel within Bali. Most tourists prefer renting a bike, but this might not be a good option considering you’ll be out in the sun at all times. Sandy and I switched between private cabs and bluebirds depending on our distance of travel. Both the transports were extremely comfortable and not very cheap. We recommend private cabs for daily hire and bluebirds for short distances or while shifting hotels.
#8 Where do you plan to eat?
It’s absolutely okay to not know where to eat in Bali. We took it head on and Bali surprised us every now and then. We recommend you visit local markets and eat in whichever restaurant pleases your eye and your pocket. 😉 If you’re a vegetarian, Balinese food is not your best bet. Stick to what you like to avoid having an unpleasant experience in Bali.
#9 How much do you plan to spend?
A rough budget of how much are you planning to spend will help ease your spends. We had a basic figure in mind, and we managed to stick to it. A budget will help you decide what is worth spending on and what is not worth your penny. I kept a track of our expenses in Bali to avoid overspending and know where it all went. Moreover, when I look back at the spends sheet it brings back so many pleasant memories!
#10 What to pack?
Do not overpack. When in Bali, comfort should be your sidekick. You will not wear those heels, so don’t pack them! After coming back from my trip, I realised, I didn’t use 70% of my clothes. Thus, understand your needs and pack accordingly. When in Bali, less is merrier! 😉
#11 Plan your activities
Your Bali trip will be incomplete without adventurous activities. So, plan them! Want to do snorkelling? Plan it. Where do you want to do? When do you want to do? How can you go about doing it? If you leave this unplanned, half your Bali vacation will go in booking tickets for your activities. To avoid that and enjoy the beauty of Bali, plan ahead.
#12 Make copies of your Passport / ID card!
Honestly, we didn’t need them. But, that does not mean you wouldn’t. As visiting Bali does not require any visa, keeping copies of your passport / ID card will help you stay safe. Just keep the copies for the sake of it.
Do this and we assure you, you will have the most fulfilling trip to Bali. For any more details about our trip or to get any more queries about Bali answered, comment below!
Have a safe trip!
Most of you know that I’m visiting Bali on 17th of July. How? Because I’m pretty vocal about it on my Instagram stories. Hm. That being said, visiting Bali, Indonesia will be my 1st international trip ever!
I’ve travelled exceptionally well within India, but going international is a virgin territory and I’m pretty excited about it. I’ve always taken life head on and have barely researched before jumping in a situation. Not a great trait, I agree. But that’s me. Bali, for an extremely strange reason was an exception and I went ahead and read a lot about the place. I also happened to ask some of my friends who have already visited this beautiful destination and were kind enough to guide me.
With such ground breaking thorough research, I’ve become an expert and have managed to type down few things one needs to know before visiting Bali.
N˚1 Busy is the 2nd word for Bali
As the number of people visiting Bali has gone up, Bali is bursting at the seams. Bali is the busiest during the peak season, i.e, July, August and September. Thus, if you’re visiting Bali during this time, well get ready to find yourself amid a crowd. The best way to visiting Bali during the peak season is to book your stay and restaurants in advance, or be prepared to shell out more than required.
N˚2 Bali’s real beauty is their local life
Kuta attracts a lot of tourists but the real Balinese experience comes from the rural parts of this island. Want more than burgers and booze, then living the local life in Bali is the way to go.
N˚3 Traffic is crazy
So they say. Traffic in Bali can make you pull your hair out. The motorists and crazy / confusing rules can ridiculously increase the travel time in Bali. Thus, when in Bali, travel smart and be safe.
N˚4 Get ’em Massages!
You don’t wanna miss out on Balinese massages. It will be a waste of a trip if you do. You can get a 90 minute high class massage with kick ass view for as low as $30! And hey, when in Bali, you deserve the rejuvenation. 😉
N˚5 No matter what’s your Budget, Bali is apt!
Bali can be a well within the budget holiday, but don’t be shocked if you spend more than you anticipated. Bali boasts luxury hotels, fine dining restaurants and exclusive bars, which you seldom can say no to. So, get ready to spend more than you planned!
N˚6 Say yes to private drivers
Exploring the streets of Bali is best done on a scooty as you can zip through the traffic. But if scooty is not an option for you, then let the private drivers of Bali pamper you. Hiring a private driver will ensure you get to see the lesser-visited tourist spots in Bali.
Now that you have your things that you need to know before visiting Bali, go book your tickets! 😛
*Continues packing bags*
We wanted to make it easier for you to choose places to travel in 2017 and thus here are 39 alluring destinations for you to choose from.
(Wait. Did we just make the choice even more difficult? Oops!)
35. Angra dos Reis, Brazil
33. Portugal and the Azores
32. Croatia’s Coast
30. New Zealand
27. Buenos Aires
26. Chilean Patagonia
24. Belgrade, Serbia
23. Cambodian Coast
22. Guayaquil, Ecuador
21. Cincinnati, Ohio
20. Helsinki, Finland
19. Belfast, Northern Ireland
18. Honolulu, Hawaii
17. Hamburg, Germany
16. Noosa Heads, Australia
15. Nashville, Tennessee
13. Hampi, India
12. Norfolk, Virginia
11. Panama City
10. Paros, Greece
9. Perth, Australia
8. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
7. Salta, Argentina
6. Leh Ladakh, India
5. Himalayas, India
3. Rome, Italy
1. New York, New York
So, which of these destinations will make your 2017 memorable?
“I think I deserve something beautiful.”
What an excellent quote by Elizabeth Gilbert from Eat, Pray, Love. One thought that inspired the author to travel 3 different countries in search of…everything. Eat, Pray, Love is a true story based on the novelist and journalist Elizabeth Gilbert. Her story will take you through some closely relatable situations. That is exactly what makes Eat, Pray, Love connect with so many souls world wide.
American writer Elizabeth Gilbert begins her memoir, Eat Pray Love with a vivid description of her crying alone on the bathroom floor. She is married to the wrong man, has found herself on the repressive suburban baby track and is living a seemingly perfect life that she sadly doesn’t want. This is not something I relate to, but the story moves on.
Those bathroom-floor moments are a rite of passage for the thirtysomething brigade (mine, thankfully, never came).
With that image of a terribly private moment, the author captured the attention of a huge female book-buying audience in the United States and beyond. Gilbert, a journalist and author based in New York, is 34 at the time the book was set.
As her crisis plays out, she appeals to God, divorces her husband, has a doomed affair, and leaves for a year of self-discovery and healing. “I wanted to explore the art of pleasure in Italy, the art of devotion in India and, in Indonesia, the art of balancing the two,” she writes. Her year of traveling, right from Italy to the mystique farms of Bali is what I related to the most. This is exactly what I desire, exploring new cities, meeting new people, eating good food, learning about new cultures, and living life one experience after the other.
Eat, Pray, Love… these three words correspond to the book’s three sections. These in turn refer to a highly schematised year of Gilbert’s life, in which she lived consecutively in three different countries – Italy, India and Indonesia – to fulfil that title more or less on demand. In Italy she eats, in India she lives in an ashram, in Indonesia she finds physical passion.
Overall, this book can be read once for the joy of eating, praying, and loving! 😉
There has to be a way out of this lack of jobs and I am sure there is one. We need out of the box solutions, great thinkers and creative minds to come together and develop credible solutions for creating new jobs in India. Not one, not ten but millions of jobs. This is the right time to predict the future by creating it and Axis Bank, with its Axis Moves initiative wants to support you!
Yes, you heard it right. Axis bank is ready to back your idea with INR 25 lacs. This can give a great start to your idea. What we are trying to emphasising is the need of the hour – quick adaptation.
Sadly, India is all set to become the most populated country by 2022. According to labour ministry data, around one million people enter the workforce in India every month. So, where are so many jobs? If there are no jobs to compliment this rapid growing population, it will increase the poverty in the country. Thus, raise your ideas at #FutureofJobs competition, not with an objective of winning. But, with an objective of creating better lifestyle and richer country! And of course, winning does matter..after all its about that great start!
Great ideas float around in all corners of our country, but often go unheard due to the lack of a platform. They not only need financing, but also the support of the biggest stakeholders, such as the Government of India.
Here’s how everything you need to know about #FutureofJobs –
Pick any sector where you have identified a challenge or where you see an opportunity, and present your idea to create 1 million jobs in the future in India. The key question to ask yourselves is: can your idea create 1 million jobs in the future? Once that is crossed of, here’s what will help you –
Requirement: You should be between 18 and 30 years & a citizen of India to take part in the competition.
Need more info? Head over to http://fojindia.com/ and watch this video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZcuza7yQ4w
Do follow and search this hashtag for more information on social media platforms – #FutureOfJobs
The first long weekend of the year is here (not technically a long weekend), and you have to set it on fire to get 2017 rolling!
The 3 trips below will help you spark your Republic Day weekend with ease. Note: No matter where you go, don’t forget to celebrate our Republic Day, and be proud of our beautiful nation!
So, buckle up, some quick decisions are to be taken.
A hill station in Dehradun District of Uttarakhand, known for its beautiful cloudy weather. Ideally, 2 to 3 days are enough to get the most out of Mussoorie. Here’s everything you need to know about Mussoorie –
Mumbai to Dehradun flight duration: Approx 3hrs | Flight cost: Around INR 10K – Return
Where to stay: JW Marriott Mussoorie Walnut Grove Resort & Spa | Room Charges: INR 14K starting (Available on 26th Jan)
What to do once in Mussoorie: Visit Kempti falls, Bhatta falls, and Camel’s Back Rock. Treat your adrenaline rush at Mussoorie Adventure Park. Take in the panoramic view from Gun hill, and The Mall.
Plan of action: 26th Jan – Leave for Mussoorie. 26th Jan to 28th Jan – Take in the best Mussoorie has to offer. 29th Jan – Return back to reality!
Enthralling, historical Jaipur, Rajasthan’s capital, is the gateway to India’s most flamboyant state. The city’s colourful, chaotic streets ebb and flow with a heady brew of old and new. Want to give a royal start to 2017? Jaipur is your answer!
Mumbai to Jaipur flight duration: Approx 2hrs | Flight cost: Around INR 9K – Return
Where to stay: The Lalit Room Charges: INR 10K starting (Prices are subject to change)
What to do once in Jaipur: Visit City Palace, Amber fort, and Hawa Mahal to experience a sea of palace windows. Get an eyeful of Jaipur from Iswari Minar Swarga Sal, and Nahargarh.
Plan of action: 26th Jan – Catch a flight for Jaipur. 26th Jan to 28th Jan – Take in the beauty of the beautiful forts of Jaipur. 29th Jan – Back to the bay!
A hill station in Srinagar known as an alluring ski destination. Visit Gulmarg to find heaven on earth, and to experience magic f2f!
Mumbai to Srinagar flight duration: Approx 4hrs | Flight cost: Around INR 16K – Return
Where to stay: The Khyber Room Charges: INR 20K starting (Limited rooms available)
What to do once in Gulmarg: Take in the beautiful view Gulmarg has to offer in cable car at Gulmarg Gondola, ski on the snow capped mountains , relax by the majestic Alpather lake, and trek on Khilanmarg.
Plan of action: 26th Jan – Catch a flight for Srinagar. 26th Jan to 28th Jan – Let the beauty of Gulmarg astonish you at every moment. 29th Jan – Come back with a bunch of stories to tell.
Did any of these places ignite the travel junkie bulb in you? Don’t think much, just go for it.
The final experience will be worth every penny spent, and the stories will last the entire year.
So, where are you going this Republic Day weekend?
I love India! I’ve fallen in love with every Indian destination I’ve visited so far. Not many, but enough to make me fall in love with my country.
Like any other traveller, I also have an extremely vast to-explore list. It’s so vast, that I fear I won’t tick off every destination. Anyhow, along with the frenzy international destinations, my list also has amazing Indian places the traveller in my craves to visit. Because, I still remember the vast tea gardens in Darjeeling, the sunflower fields in Punjab, and the gorgeous snow in Kashmir. This assure me there’s more to what’s been shared about India, there’s more than what meets their eyes!
And thus, I’ve this exclusive list of destinations I want to visit in India. Read on to know why their significance on making to the list-
The simple, and serene beauty of this place is why I crave to visit Lachen the most. I have this intuition that I will either fall in love with Lachen, or fall in love with life on my visit to this heavenly place. You know what I mean?
I have to go here! I envy people who have been to Leh Ladakh. I listen to their Leh stories like a 2 year old excited about her first story! I’m damn sure the snow laden mountains, crystal clear water, and the fresh cold wind at Leh Ladakh will put all my life’s puzzle back together.
Because what is prettier than tall coconut trees, boats and backwaters? (Snow, but never mind :P) There is a reason why Kerala’s called ‘God’s own country’, and nothing speaks better than experience. Get it?
Safari. No other reason. I want to go on Kanha Safari so bad!
A girl loves mountains. A girl loves snow laden mountains more!
Dalhousie is pretty well known for its pleasant climate, and natural beauty. I don’t see any reason to not visit this beautiful indian destination. I could settle down here…for like a month.
For all the alluring forts, and to discover why is it called the pink city. Do you know why?
I wanna visit everywhere it snows, and I cannot imagine skipping Shimla. Plus, I really really want to travel in that train reading my favourite series – Harry Potter. Because, what is life if not a little bit filmy?
Oh my! I have been to Darjeeling before, and such pleasant memories this place has to offer. I could visit this indian destination every other year just to bring some love and freshness right back in my life. I absolutely, irrevocably love Darjeeling.
This indian destination is on my list for I can imagine me and my sisters fooling around the beaches, gossiping, and enjoying our love-hate relationship to its best. So, yeah for a quick getaway with my sisters!
I really want to take a solo trip in life, and I want to go nowhere but Munnar. I want to sit on top of a hill and just ponder over life, and being alive in general. No extraordinary dreams.
Because look at it. Doesn’t it look like the perfect place for a picnic. Told you, no extraordinary dreams. Just the regular human-y dreams.
See the 3 kids in the pic? Well, I would love for them to be me, my brother, and my sister! Just being our silly selfs in Shillong will be one hell of a memory to share with our respective kids later in our life. Okay, too much na?
I’ve high expectations from Rishikesh. I want it to show me who I am. Too much to ask? I’m sure I won’t be disappointed.
So, this is my to-explore list in India, hoping to cross off 1-2 destinations this year. There’s more to this list, but for now these Indian destinations are on priority.
What’s your travel plan for 2017, and the absolute silly reason behind it? Do keep us posted!
Love & happiness…always!
Is there anything as important as weekends? Not in my world!
For professionals like me, working 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, weekend turns out to be the closest I could get to heaven! With so much of importance given to the weekends how do you often enjoy them? Lazing on the couch, I assume?
We all have limited weekends granted to us in our lives, the challenge is how do we make these to be extraordinary weekends? Just like you, even I faced the challenge of how to turn my lame weekends in to extraordinary weekends?
What can I do?
While looking for answers, I came across an extremely effective program by my bank. It included privileges like none other. It included luxury travel, food, experiences, and much more.
The minute I came across this Axis Bank initiative – #AxisReserve, I had to apply!
You can now make your weekends memorable with exclusive benefits & handpicked experiences curated for a privileged few – with your Axis Bank Credit & Debit Card*.
Now that we have backing of such a great initiative, here are 4 extraordinary weekend ideas to spruce it up for you:
1. A Family Getaway
There’s nothing as refreshing as a family getaway, and Axis Bank understands just that! Axis bank along with #AxisReserve pledges to bring exquisite vacations for family getaways. Know more here.
2. An exquisite meal with a special someone
Be it a dinner date with someone special, or a celebration meal. Axis bank is deemed on making every experience luxurious. Experience the best there is to luxurious dining with Axis Bank here.
3. An unforgettable experience with your friends
From surfing, to sailing, playing Golf, or table tennis, #AxisReserve ensures you live unforgettable experiences with your friends. What more could we ask off a weekend, innit?
If you too want to be part of such exclusive events, you have to possess Axis Bank’s ultra-premium card – The Reserve. The Reserve is a by invite only card that has a sign-up fee of INR 30K and annual maintenance of INR 30K. You can check out the benefits here.
Join our journey…Subscribe here!
The Night of Sula Selections - Globe In A Glass
A night to remember!
Last Friday night couldn't have been any better. #GlobeInAGlass, a brilliant marketing move by Rajeev Samant, Founder Sula Wines, and his outstanding team. They together brought a fun element to wine drinking by turning it into an energetic celebration. The event was packed with music, dance, delectable food, and believe us - wine tourism! Yes, we had over 40 different wines, and 20 spirits from around the world. Thus, the event being aptly named #GlobeInAGlass!
It was one crowded day, as the wine lovers gathered at Sofitel from noon to midnight! As I entered the grounds of the event, we were greeted by such cheerful souls, already drunk on happiness. Sula vineyards made sure that everyone had a great time, and found out a little more about wine. The live music was cherry on top, or should I say 'coldest wine one could find'! The evening was filled with interesting conversations about wines, how did a particular brand landed in India, how lovely every wine at the fest tasted, and more. I assure you, I never thought a wine evening would be this fun.
As you can imagine, it was one massive exhibition with a huge number of brands showcasing their wines, and liquors. Experts from all over the world – Brazil, Argentina, France, all were there keen to explain to us what's the speciality of their wine, how did it land in India, and why we must try it.
Let's talk about the liquor!
Brands at #GlobeInAGlass
Three things I can't get over from #GlobeInAGlass
Words can't justify how sensational each of the drinks I had on Friday night were! Still, if I have to pick favourites, it would be - Pitu Cachaca | Beachcomber by Cointreau| Cono Sur | Remy Martin - Grand Tonic | Sambuca |
Variety of cheese, delectable finger food, is the best way to go about sipping your wine! Sula Vineyard played it's cards right, by putting nothing but the best in front of us.
Live Music & lively conversations
Well, who doesn't enjoy a live band playing? The music at Sula Selections Roadshow 2016 was soul satisfying. The conversations with everyone who attended the event was second to none. I would definitely visit any event by Sula, a thousand times over.
FROM OUR GALLERY
What do you think of Sula Selections - #GlobeInAGlass?
Indian beaches have always been a tempting tourist destination all over the world, owing to the 7517 km long coastline, and will continue to remain one.
Countless beaches of the Indian peninsula provide many opportunities for adventure lovers, travellers who just want to relax, or for tourists who want to explore. The peninsular India, surrounded by waters in three directions, stands to enrapture the imagination of nature enthusiasts. With many beaches extremely popular amongst tourists, and Indians alike, there are few that are snubbed.
Not every one loves to spend time at overcrowded beaches. So, if you, like me, love to spend some unperturbed time at the beach, then the below list is tailor-made for you.
Without further ramblings, lets take a look at these 11 arcane beaches in India:
1. Cherai Beach, Kerala
Instead of visiting Varkala, and Kovalam in Kerala, you must head straight to Cherai. Cherai is located just off the main Ernakulam town. Most tourists are unaware of this 15-km beach, making it a serene destination for a quite evening at the beach.
2. Jallandhar Beach, Diu
Jallandhar Beach – an unlikely name for a beach in Diu, isn’t it? This shoreline is named after a nearby shrine, which bears a carved face of Jallandhar, a mythical demon killed by Lord Krishna. Be rest assured to get your ‘me time’, as this beach is free from modern-day demons, a.k.a. loud tourists, and pesky kids.
3. Ezhimala beach, Kerala
Situated 55-km from Kannur, Ezhimala is an important historical site, featuring prominently in the Ramayana, and the Tamil Sangam period’s literature. With clear blue water as far as the eye can see, you’re likely to spot a few dolphins even from by the beach.
4. Devka Beach, Daman
Devka beach is a perfect destination if you just wanna hang, and watch the sun go down off the rocky coastline. With beer and freshly fried fish freely available, it makes for a quintessential time at the beach. However, when the tide rises, navigating the waters could get a little tricky.
5. Rishikonda Beach, Andhra Pradesh
Arguably one of the best beaches in the Vizag. Rishikonda beach is ideal for swimmers, and water skiers alike, thanks to its calm waters, and golden sands.
6. Mandvi Beach, Gujarat
Powdery sands, and azure blue water makes Mandvi beach a winner in Gujarat. With the proximity to the palace of the erstwhile rulers of Kutch adds to the charm of Mandvi.
7. Mandarmani Beach, West Bengal
Mandarmani beach is one of West Bengal’s newly developed tourist destinations, with 13-km of motorable beach, and a surprisingly squeaky clean shore. We suggest you to visit this beach before it turns out to be yet another tourist attraction!
8. Agatti Beach, Lakshwadeep
The crystal clear water, and long stretches of lagoons, make Agatti beach a diving, and snorkelling paradise. This is an ideal destination for those looking to explore what lies beneath the water.
9. Devbagh beach, Karnataka
Sitting pretty at the confluence of the Kali River, and Arabian Sea is Devbagh beach. The beauty, and serenity of this beach once served as inspiration to Rabindranath Tagore, when he penned Prakritir Pratishodh.
10. Beach No. 7, Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Locals refer this beach as the Radha Nagar Beach. Beach No 7 boasts of some of the best diving schools in India, and is a great place to go snorkeling, or scuba diving.
11. Bangaram beach, Lakshadweep Islands
Bangaram beach is the only beach in Lakshadweep islands where you can drink. This beach is not as famous as Agatti beach, as it’s difficult to reach, but is absolutely worth the efforts. This island also happens to have a lot of flora and fauna, along with a wide range of birds. An ideal destination for nature lovers.
Aren’t these worth a visit? Let us know which interested you the most in the comments below!
Here are 37 more ways to fall in love with India, just in case you need any!