7 Gorgeous Pre-Wedding Photoshoot Destinations to Rock Your D-Day Countdown

Does travel have to stop when wedding bells are in the air? Not at all! While marriage brings with it a bix box of changes, there are plenty of moments you can enjoy as you continue to indulge the travel bug in you. If you are planning to do a countdown to your wedding day, celebrate the entire journey through professionally clicked photos in breathtaking locales. Pre-wedding photoshoots are quite “in” these days, and you shouldn’t miss these last fun memories of your bachelorhood. Here are 7 beautiful places that will add some more oomph to the romance brewing between you and your soulmate-to-be:

#1 Northern Ireland

A soon-to-be-couple hide from the thundering Irish clouds under an umbrella.

Few destinations can match the pristine sights of Northern Ireland. Whether it’s the Irish countryside, the charming Tudor castles or the unpredictable weather, this part of the United Kingdom offers stunning backgrounds to add some character to your pre-wedding photos. If you’re planning on staying even longer, the capital city of Belfast makes for a great destination wedding option as well!

#2 Kerala

The forests of Kerala set the perfect tone for a romantic shoot.

If your wedding countdown pictures are to be shot in India, there are choices galore. The enchanting forests and backwaters of Kerala add rich colours to the photographic palette. You don’t always have to stick to the popular areas of Munnar, Periyar or Fort Kochi. Go beyond and explore the riverside of Iritty or the waterfalls of Peechi.

#3 Vietnam

Rural Vietnam provides a charming backdrop for pre-wedding pictures

While Vietnam is traditionally a favourite with backpackers and solo travellers, the Asian gem has special offerings for couples looking to shoot their pre-wedding pics. Skip the busy streets of Ho Chi Minh City and escape to the rock-strewn island of Ha Long Bay to snap some gorgeous photos against clear waters. The country is quite affordable, so the only big expense you’ll have to take care of is that of the photographer.

#4 Rajasthan

The groom-to-be twirls his bride-to-be in a palace in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

How can we forget the Indian state famous for its palaces and regal gardens! Rajasthan’s diverse landscape affords you the lakes of Udaipur, the desert sands of Jaisalmer, the blue-hued houses of Jodhpur, and more. Find top pre wedding photographers in India and create your own royal-themed pre-wedding album with period costumes to match the grandeur of the forts.

#5 New Zealand

Lake Wakatipu in Queenstown makes for a great place to kiss!

There’s so much more to New Zealand than Hobbiton! Live your fairytale dream in Queenstown as you pose before the mighty Southern Alps. Looking to add a local cultural twist to your pre-wedding pictures? Head over to Rotorua to dance with the Maori tribe as your photography team tags along. To lend a formal feel to your pictures, Auckland provides the urban cityscape you might be looking for.

#6 Ladakh

A man proposes to his lady by the Pangong Lake in Ladakh (PC: Saurabh Chatterjee)

The newly formed Union Territory of Ladakh is blessed with magnificent scenery. From the Himalayas of Nubra Valley to the Buddhist monasteries with their giant prayer wheels, there’s a lot to see. Pastel shades of clothing work best with the barren reddish brown and dark grey mountains of this part of Kashmir. Stage a romantic dinner or proposal by the famous Pangong Tso – the lake which attracts travellers from all over the country.

#7 The Maldives

My husband and I share a cosy moment on a private island in The Maldives

This classic honeymoon destination is also a lovely option for a pre-wedding photoshoot. The Maldives has over a thousand islands that make this country so exotic. Book yourself some water villas on a private island, and get ready for the most romantic settings on white-sand beaches, tropical gardens and even beside underwater corals!

Still wondering whether you should organize a pre-wedding photoshoot before you tie the knot? The short trip will certainly be worth your time and money!

Where did you have your pre-wedding photoshoot done?

Getting married? Which photo-destinations are on your mind?

Let me know through your comments below. 🙂

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FlyFree As You Take A Winter Vacation, Thanks To PayTM’s Flight Sale

It is that time of the year again when the nip in the air makes everything rosier than before. There are no monsoon showers to ruin your outdoor plans, nor is there the sweltering summer heat that would burn your skin. Winters are the best time for lovely vacations, whether you wish to head to the mountains, hide away in a forest, or escape to a private island.

Jet Off To A Maldivian Private Island

Our ocean-facing table at the Maldivian restaurant close to our water villa at Paradise Island Resort.

Winter was just settling in when my husband and I took off for The Maldives to celebrate our honeymoon. We knew we had made a great decision to stay on the private Paradise Island. Gentle ocean waves lapping on the white sand shores, lazy walks on our water villa boardwalk, breezy evenings with soft music… there was romance in the air already! You too can book your flights to this tranquil haven on PayTM Travel.

Stay In A Tree House In A Jungle

Our jungle-stay in one of the Wood Cabins of The Machan in Atvan, close to Lonavala.

When I went on my first trip with my hubby after our marriage, I wondered if I would miss solo travel. But the joy of travelling as a couple far outweighed the highs of being on my own. We went to a small village called Atvan, almost 4 hours’ drive away from Mumbai. Our wooden room in the woods was kitted out with all sorts of modern and rustic amenities, from mood lighting to an hourglass.

Fly Free With PayTM Travel

So many of you ask me how to travel now that vacations are so expensive. While you can look for affordable homestays and boutique hotels for your stay, you sure can take advantage of PayTM’s Fly-Free flight sale to book your upcoming trip this winter. The offer is on for Axis Bank credit and debit card holders, and you will receive a surprise discount each time you make a flight booking between 5th and 7th December, 2019. The best part is, every hour, one lucky customer gets her flight entirely free! You can register ahead so you don’t forget about this travel-savings opportunity.

Holiday In The Scottish Highlands

The Stirling Castle in Scotland, just after a steady drizzle.

When your flights are sorted, you can pick a destination you’ve always wanted to visit. Even the Scottish Highlands won’t seem so distant when your airfare is taken care of. Scotland is not just about whisky, there are scores of enchanting castles (such as the Stirling Castle at the border of the Highlands and the Lowlands), cobbled roads, and sprawling meadows that beckon a stroll.

Book A Romantic Escape, Far From The Madding Crowd

I share a quiet moment with my husband in this cocoon swing chair during our honeymoon.

It is no news that winter is the unofficial wedding season. If you happen to be recently married or will soon take the nuptial vows, don’t tarry before booking your honeymoon. Those dreamlike beaches may remain just a dream if you don’t plan your sojourn in time.

Where are you vacationing this winter?

Have you registered for the Fly-Free sale yet?

Let me know through your comments below. 🙂

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Work And Travel: How To Do Both

Let’s face it: life is short. Each year is even shorter. We get only 52 weekends in a year, and if you get paid monthly, then you only have twelve pay-days. You’re probably entitled to about twenty-something days of holiday at your day job too. With that and your weekends, you have to fit in seeing family and friends, going to weddings, doing nothing, pursuing interesting activities and also travelling.

It can sometimes feel impossible to fit it all in. However, if travel is important to you, there are ways that you can adopt to do more of it (travel, that is) and still work at the same time. But how, you ask? Check out these tips:

Speak to Your Boss

There’s a good chance that you won’t have to quit your job to work and travel simultaneously. As an increasing number of people are working remotely, the idea of flexible working is gathering steam. You may be surprised by how responsive your boss might be when it comes to allowing you to try working from home, wherever in the world that may be. There are innumerable places you can work from too, as digital nomads are on the rise and multitudes are opting for this way of life. Check out this Bali Bustle coliving space as an example of where you could be living.

Teach English Online

If keeping your current job is not an option, or if you want something new anyway, then you could have a go at teaching English online. All you need to be is a native or near-native English speaker, and you need a reliable internet connection, a microphone, a webcam and a quiet space for the lessons. You should also have a university degree and an internationally recognized 40+ Hour TEFL Certificate. Teaching English online is a great way to earn a good amount of money while choosing your own work schedule. And, as with most companies, you can work from anywhere in the world.

Start a Blog

Today, blogs of various types are some of the most profitable websites online. While building a personal brand is a new concept to many people, it’s proven to work faster and more efficiently than working with many large brands with huge budgets. There are a lot of different ways that a blog can earn money. But generally, as your audience and traffic grow, you’ll start making money from advertising, affiliate marketing, product sales, freelance writing and much more. You just need something you’re passionate about to start writing.

Work on a Cruise Ship

Working on a cruise ship is a great work-and-travel job because you have little to no overhead costs while you’re on the cruise liner. Your housing, accommodation and travel are all paid for, so most people who travel and work on luxury liners can save 90-100% of their paychecks (to be spent spend later, exclusively on travel)!

Become a Yoga Teacher

If you’re passionate about yoga, then you’re in luck because a lot of other people all over the world are too. To become a yoga instructor, you’ll need a yoga teacher training certification and a good level of health and fitness, but this job allows you to work both online, or in person.

As for me, I am a full-time freelance travel writer. This helps me immensely in choosing the clients I wish to work with, and at the same time, lends me the flexibility to travel (or pursue other interests) whenever I want.

Have you been able to strike a balance between work and travel yet?

Let me know through your comments below. 🙂

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Eat Your Way Through August With The Great Indian Restaurant Festival

It has been raining non-stop in most of India, certainly in Mumbai which seems to be flooded every other day. But that is no reason to sulk and eat leftovers every alternate meal. Also, if your typical food scene looks like cereal-for-breakfast, rajma-chawal-for-lunch and soup-for-dinner, you definitely need to eat out! Perhaps, cash-crunch is your excuse for not dining out? However, that shouldn’t stop you from hogging at the top restaurants in your city any more. Here’s why:

GIRF Is Back This August

Eat your breakfast like a king (Photo Courtesy:  Engin Akyurt)
Eat your breakfast like a king (Photo Courtesy: Engin Akyurt)

Thanks to the initiative by Dineout, India’s largest platform for dining out, August is going to be a month of binge eating. After the Great Indian Restaurant Festival (GIRF) in February, earlier this year, they’ve come up with an encore this month. From 1st August to 1st September, you will be able to dine at over 8000 restaurants across India for half the regular price! Read on to know more…

What Is The GIRF?

Instagram your restaurant moments (Photo courtesy: Victor Freitas)

GIRF is the annual Great Indian Restaurant Festival happening in 17 cities across India right now. All of August is now the #MonthOfMore because you get to eat more (twice as much, to be precise) for the same price. Dineout is offering flat 50% off your entire bill on select restaurants in these cities, and Mumbai obviously is one of them. What’s more? There is no restriction on the minimum or maximum amount to be spent, and you can avail the offer on a-la-carte dining, drinks and also buffets. This means you can go out to eat more often and collect more Instagram-worthy pictures while you’re at it!

How Can You Participate?

Reserve your tables before it’s too late (Photo courtesy: rawpixel.com)

To make the most of the 4th edition of the Great Indian Restaurant Festival, book your tables on Dineout. You can do this by downloading the Dineout app, searching for the restaurants by filtering your city, preferred cuisine and ambience, and finally, reserving your table. Don’t make the mistake of putting this off for later because the seats are limited and the demand is high. Keep an eye on their Flash Sales to buy deals at only INR 11! So, what are you waiting for? Plan all your brunch meetings and date nights for August and prepare yourself to eat your way through August.

Do you have a list of your favourite restaurants ready yet?

Are you working out extra to eat more this month?

Let me know through your comments below. 🙂

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Savvy Travel Tips to Make Your Next Beach Trip Great

If you love spending time at the beach, then make sure that you are actually able to enjoy it. Making the most of beaches on your travels comes with a lot of preparation. When you plan properly, it can mean the difference between having a great time on the sand, and being miserable because you have a sunburn, an insect-bite, or are uncomfortable. A great beach vacation will need some planning and packing so that you are prepared for both the good weather, and hopefully not too much of the bad weather. Then, you can carry some essentials with you like sunglasses and sun lotion. Having items like water, fans and towels will ensure that you are as comfortable as possible. Here are some suggestions to make it certain that you will have a great time in the sun, as well as the sand, and the surf, of course!

Choose The Right Beach

Image by Terri Cnudde

Do Your Research! To start off, you need to decide on the kind of experience you are looking to have on your vacation. Do you enjoy lively and busy beaches, with group surfing and watersports on offer? Or would you rather prefer a really quiet beach where you can sit back on a hammock, read a book and enjoy the calmness of being by the sea? Do you want to go someplace that has boat clubs so that you can head out on the waters? Or does swimming sound more appealing to you? Will you be travelling alone or have friends or family with you? The answers to all of these questions will help you choose the best beach for your needs. Do some research and then you will be able to find a beach that has the kind of environment that you will appreciate to the hilt.

Find A Comfortable Place To Sit Or Bathe

If you are going to be at the beach for the whole day, then you’d want to be at ease. But what are your options? When you are on your travels, you are unlikely to be able to take things like a deckchair with you. So it can be a good idea to see what the beach already has on offer. There will be charges, but for all day, it is pretty reasonable and a sane choice to make. By all means, take your towels, but if you think you’ll need something else for your comfort, then inflatables are always a good idea as they can be deflated to take home with you.

Apply Sunscreen Frequently

According to skin cancer experts, you need to make sure that you are applying around two tablespoons of sunscreen to your body every couple of hours, and at least half an hour before going out into the sun, giving it time to sink in. If you go in the water, then reapply quickly afterwards, even if you have a waterproof sunscreen. Sunglasses and hats, too, are great for hot sunny days. Better to be safe than sorry!

Got more beach tips for my readers?

Are you a beach person?

Let me know through your comments below. 🙂

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