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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Private Luxury: Breaking Away From The All-Inclusive Holiday Packages

Before we take a look at bespoke indulgences, let me make it clear that there’s nothing wrong with, say, a two-week trip to a 4-star hotel in Spain. However, with so many destinations and holiday experiences now readily available, it would be a shame to miss out on those opportunities. After all, variety is the spice of life. Enjoying some private luxury is one of the best ways to build a holiday that you’ll never forget. Here are five of the best ways to do it.

Hire A Private Home

Photo by Milly Eaton from Pexels

City breaks are a winning solution for many, especially for long weekends and other short breaks. Solo travellers, couples, and groups alike can enjoy this. While there are many ways to appreciate places like Geneva on a budget, staying in a private rental home is the best. Even if you have a large budget, having a little privacy compared to staying in a noisy hotel is a hugely rewarding factor. Furthermore, in many cities, this route provides far greater flexibility with regards to location.

Stay In Paradise

What could be better than waking up to your own slice of paradise each morning? How about waking up in a private hotel as part of a bigger resort. The Maldives are among the most desired destinations on the planet. The ability to wake up in your own private chalet right by the water is truly incredible. As a honeymoon solution for newlywed couples, there is no better option out there. The slice of privacy certainly adds to the sense of luxury, but the backdrops and sea are equally essential.

Head Out To Sea

Cruises are deemed one of the best holiday experiences in the market. With the support of a sailboat charter company, it is possible to enjoy all of those rewards but with a sense of privacy and freedom like no other. With sailboats available in destinations all over the world, exploring the seas and port towns has never been easier. For small to medium size groups, this is truly the perfect way to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. The sense of exclusivity is truly astonishing.

Take A Walking Tour

Machu Picchu

The word ‘luxury’ probably isn’t the first thing you’ll think of when discussing hiking holidays. While it is a little rough and ready, the sights that you’ll see are sure to make the trip seem extra special. The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is one of the best, but there are plenty of alternative solutions out there. Once you reach the final destination, you can always spend a few days relaxing at an opulent place to gain the best of both worlds. The memories created will be incredible.

Staycation

Photo by Emre Can from Pexels

There’s no place like home, and a staycation may be your ultimate solution. This gives you a chance to truly appreciate all the wonderful things in your local area. Moreover, you’ll be guaranteed a good night’s sleep and all the comforts of home. Other benefits include the financial aspects as well as the fact that you’ll have removed the long haul journey. As long as you time it at the right point of the year, this can be a marvellous solution.

What type of holiday do you prefer?

Think you’ll try any of the ideas for your next trip?

Let me know through your comments below. 🙂

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