Luxury Holiday Spots On a Budget

Kids are proving to be expensive enough these days huh?? Birthday parties, gifts, extra coaching, a new activity (their list seems endless right), and then there are new fitness trainers and routines to be met. So having depleted most of your hard-earned bucks on all of the above, saving coupla bob for the family’s funtime seems to be a mandate ain’t it? Be it a quick sun fix or your wish to explore someplace a tad more exotic other than the customary beach house, let us scour the globe for such affordable holiday destinations. Go on check out a handful of last minute getaways listed below that lays out the bliss of choosing from beaches and sunshine, good food and wine, art and culture creating a perfect weekend getaway in the process.

Goa – Famous for its backpackers and tourists, this city of beaches is quite colourful to explore and makes justice to the saying, “Live life king size.” Get there swim with turtles, scour for best deals in the flea markets, and also checkout kitesurfing. All these at a nominal rate including a sunset cocktail with food on one of the several stunning beaches the city has to offer. There are a variety of cheap private rooms to with a 10-minute drive to the Anjuna Beach that is known for its night life, awesome sea food that is served on the beach shacks, dolphin cruises and water sports. Rightly named a Yoga retreat it would be an ideal destination to meditate, keep yourself alienated from mad city crowd and chores. It would be the best place to head to if you are looking for a detox, time-out or just some “me” time when you are practicing your Virbadhrasana in sync to the sound of the waves

Travel agent servicesMcLeod Ganj –  looking for some out-of-the-world experience,then this would be the place that you gotta head to, a picturesque suburb city of Dharamshala that is thronged by tourists all year round. Once you reach Dharamshala (by air/raod) McLeod Ganj can be reached by cab or looping bus. The city has some amazing places to stay, exotic eatouts and cafes, breathtaking temples,  museums, galleries, and some cost-effective guided treks too are on offer.

Varanasi – Whoever said travel cannot be mixed with a wee bit of of spirituality? If you are pious and would love to mix travel with devotion, then Varanasi (Benaras) would be the place for you to hed to. The city oozes of divinity and purity and is one of the 7 holy Hindu cities. There are a variety of hotels and guesthouses to fit almost everyone’s pocket. While you are there, check out some amazing food options that the city has to offer along with stunning locations by way of ghats and vibrant temples in the city.

Amritsar: This is yet another holy city that oozes divinity from places like Golden Temple. Amritsar is considered a haven for devout believers, pious travelers and foodies. This holy city has other compelling reasons to visit other than the Golden Temple like the Wagah Border and Jalianwallah Bagh which oozes of patriotism with the walls of the place each having a spine-tingling story to tell. Also don’t miss out on the free stay at the Golden Temple and savoring the langar, which is an absolute delicacy that the city has on offer. Also while you are there polishing off some plates at a coupla dhaabas wouldn’t be a bad idea too.

Pondicherry – Also known as the French Riviera of the East thanks to the remarkable French influences till date in the Union Territory. Pondicherry offers you all – you name it, you find it pristine beaches, splendor, amazing cuisine,  tranquility, exceptional wine, matchless  French infrastructure, breathtaking and peaceful Ashrams together with pleasing culture, all of these at pocket-friendly rates. Without a stay in the Auroville Ashram (known for its highly affordable accommodation and a gratifying experience of pondy), your visit would be an incomplete one.

Kodaikanal –  Positioned at about 7200 ft above sea-level in Tamilnadu, Kodaikanal is fondly known as the “Princess of Hill Stations”. It boasts of an unexplainable splendor and also is famous for amazing street food at cheap prices. There is a whole range of options to choose from when it comes to accommodation, especially with not burning a hole in the pocket. You could either choose to try your hands on a lot of adventurous activities that is on offer or just laze around to thoroughly enjoy the beauty of nature.

Gokarna: An unspoilt beach town between Karnataka and Mangalore, Gokarna is an hit with foreigners and Indians alike. An ideal destination if you have these in mind – splendor, tranquility, and some fascinating places of worship. With an array of choice of homestays and guest houses, you can go on for days without really having to worry about the cost factor in a city as immaculate as this.

Hampi – Marvel architecture, temples, palaces, and historical structures then Hampi is the place to be. One can spend weeks together in his amazing city of Karnataka and watch travelling take a totally expression. There are budget cottages/hotels on offer along with some bicycles to rent and interesting eateries that is sure to change the definition of a holiday that is nonexistent in many other destinations.

Darjeeling: Yet another charming and breathtaking hill station  famous for its cottages and traditional homestays that comes at an unbelievable low budget. The exquisiteness of the snow-laden mountains are indeed a sight to watch, not to mention the incredible   sunrise and sunset. The divine flavor of the famous Darjeeling tea is indeed a must-try and one of the compelling reasons to add it to your bucket list of destinations.

Top Wonders of the United States

AT about 3.8 million sq. miles America is a massive country that houses extravagant mountain ranges, deserts, archaic forests, volcanic features, canyons, swamps, waterfalls, caves and glaciers. And guess nothing beats awesomeness of this country. So let’s a take quick look at coupla wonders that the United States of America has on offer for tourists.

New-York-brooklyn-bridgeBrooklyn Bridge – Brooklyn, NY This Historic Landmark dates back to the early 1800s with the residents of Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn wanting to have a connecting bridge that linked both the cities thus making life easy for people and goods to get across the East River. John Roebling, the mastermind behind this architectural wonder suggested a suspension bridge that got approved only after two years. With Roebling dead by then the same was carried on by his son, Washington and wife Emily. Even before its launch in 1883, the bridge was already considered a symbol of greatness and landmark of New York and continues to regain the 44th longest main span amongst the other suspension bridges in the World.

Empire State Building – New York, NY

Yet another Historic Landmark that was built during the Depression, the architecture speaks volumes about both the the Empire State Building is a work of determination and dignity and will power of the Amercians. What started as a competition between General Motors and the Chrysler Corporation on who would construct the tallest possible building resulted in this marvel with architect William Lamb finishing the building in high speed. It is believed that it is possible for the workers to maintain their speedy pace owing to the fact that the beams, windows and posts were built in factories and transported by trains to the work site.

Golden Gate Bridge – San Francisco, CA

The Golden Gate Bridge is flocked by millions of tourists every year who appreciate warmer weather and unique attractions. With chief architect Joseph Strauss proposing a budget of $35 million dollar that was approved by 6 countries, the project was well ahead of schedule and still continues to be one of the wonders of the US that was won abundant awards including “Distinguished Building Award” bestowed by the American Registered Architects

Hoover Dam – Las Vegas, Nevada-Arizona

After 60 long years of geological studies of the Colorado River, it was not before 1933 when the concrete was decided to the poured for the construction of the same. Despite lengthy negotiations between the 7 basin states on how the water is going to be distributed, bidding companies, site inspections planning and many more, it is a mere 5 years before this mammoth structure stood in its place. Now the dam stands as a tribute to the nation’s talent in constructing a Dam which is also a Historic Landmark.

Mount Rushmore – Black hills, South Dakota

Mount Rushmore also known as Black Hiills and a property of Sioux attracts about 2 million tourists every year.

Seattle Space Needle – Seattle, WA

This 605-foot tall structure was intended to endure winds at 200-miles per hour.

Washington Monument –  Washington, DC

A single glance at this obelisk design would suffice for people to know that they are in America. This monument is intended to celebrate the legacy of a single person, the famous George Washington, America’s first president.

A few other notable places of interest that is worth taking a trip to, especially for roadies and adventure-seekers would be Death Valley (driest, lowest, hottest place in North America); CA;  Kilauea, HI (one of the islands in Hawai’s that sends streams of lava gushing into the Pacific Ocean); Monument Valley, UT; Niagara Falls, NY (also known as the legendary Maid of the Mist), Redwoods, CA (where one gets to be in awe of the tallest trees in the planet), Grand Canyon, AZ (with the Colorado river still cutting); Mammoth Cave, KY (protecting a part of  the longest known cave of the world); Florida Everglades, (a super-slow 60-mile wide subtropical river edging the tip of Florida); Hubbard Glacier, AK; Black Hills, SD; The Missisipi (4th longest river draining 31 US states); Bryce Canyon, UT; Mt. Desert Island, ME; Crater Lake, OR; (a collapsed volcano that now turned blue lake); Arches, UT;Yosemite Valley, CA; Carlsbad Caverns, NM; Old Faithful, WY (a geyser in Yellowstone National Park spouting about 140-foot of water  at frequent 45 to 120-min intervals.

 

Billionaire Vacation Playgrounds Around The World

The sheer advantage of having endless flow of cash is being able to afford finer things in life that most people can’t. It makes perfect sense for the rich and famous to dig out holiday destinations that a common man can only dream about. That is exactly the focus of this article, dream destinations that only the rich and famous can afford that literally is the quintessence of luxury. I bet most people wouldn’t even have a clue of coupla destinations listed below unlike the rich that are in total love with these destinations and frequent them regularly.

MALDIVES

This famous island nation situated in the Indian Ocean is a very common vacation spot for the well-to-do for many reasons with the most prominent being serene beaches, stunning  waters, unrivalled seclusion. The Island boasts of magnificent white sandy beaches, friendly locals and extraordinary weather. The island is a haven for celebrities that are starved of unrivalled privacy in addition to tropical luxury

BORA BORA

Vacation-Playgrounds-For-The-Rich-And-Famous-5.-Bora-Bora

This is yet another favorite destination among the elite that draws rich honeymooners plus high-end tourists. It is quite understandable as to why this French Polynesian pearl of the Pacific is a hit among romantics and the rich alike. Surrounded by a lagoon and barrier reef Bora Bora boasts of some of the finest aqua-centric resorts in the world. Activities like snorkeling and scuba-diving in and around the lagoon are a few of the popular pastimes out here. Do we need to say anything more, it sure does find a spot in the list of dream destinations?

 ASPEN

Aspen tops the list of dream destinations as a coupla celebrities themselves have vouched for the same that they just cannot get enough of this city. The city boasts of many attractions with the most notable being its celebrated and lavish ski resorts. It sure does exceed your vacation expectations particularly if you are staying in one of the best ski resorts in the world.  The tourists are so very in love with this place that a coupla them have chosen it as their permanent residence. This destination has become a place that only the rich can afford to live with reports stating single family homes are priced above one million US dollars.

 HVAR

Hvar is mostly an unheard of tourist spot to the common man unlike the rich and famous for whom it’s a most common holiday destination. They even compare it to St. Tropez in Europe thanks to its splendid Mediterranean coastline that is flocked all year round. A coupla celebrities that frequent Hvar would be Bill Gates, Steven Spielberg, Eva Longoria etc. A few attractions of the coastline include stunning beaches, isolated  coves, thriving vineyards, finest restaurants, lavish boutiques and vivacious nightlife.

BARTS

Yet another celebrity getway in the Caribbean would be St. Barts. It boasts of designer boutiques, spotless beaches together with lavish yachts. The most important thing that the island offers is the most sought-after time-out longed by celebrities from paparazzis and never ending camera flashes. The island is mostly flocked during winter

 SAINT TROPEZ

Situated in the French Riviera, this is yet another billionaire destination in France. The rich and famous love to brag, big time, about Saint Tropez’s glamour and archetypal luxuries. One gets to have the best ever yachting experience during this French vacation. Now you know where to head to if you wanna spend on some of the most luxurious and biggest Yachts in the world. Sounds super duper fin indeed.

A few other favorite holiday destinations among  celebrities would include Ibizia, Las Vegas, Monaco, and Dubai.

Ways to be a Tourist In Your Own Hometown

Lack of time and low budgets sure does make a dent one’s vacation plans, beyond doubts. Well, that doesn’t mean that you cannot have a good time because you ain’t travelling far! Fondly known as “staycation” by coupla enthusiasts, we would also like to call it playing tourist in your own city. Well, here are  coupla tactics on how to go about them’.

Travel agency services

Sketch it out – like what would you like to do? Where would you like to go? What kinda cuisine would you prefer? Jot them down and try doing them one by one. Grab a brochure from one of the local motels and jot down a few attractions that catches your eye; like some of the archetypical stuff a tourist ends up doing, something you generally don’t pay attention to. Check out with the lady behind the desk as to what she would recommend for tourists wanting to spend a day in your city and also make sure you check out if there is any package or discounts for residents/locals (trust me, you’d be surprised at what you hear)

Explore new horizons – though technically you are a resident of your city all your life, there most definitely has to be places that you would have missed or left unexplored. You’d surprised to see the same things that you once saw as a kid that seem totally and extremely different as an adult. Explore areas that you have avoided all your life.

Asking a friend to take you around as a tourist wouldn’t be a bad idea too. What is special for him/her could possibly be a total alien place for you.

Revolutionize Explore new areas week on week, for eg if you have one neighborhood in mind this week, go up the mountains, if any nearby, the following week. Try a lake or a beach or a waterfront or a famous national park that you had been wanting to explore all your life. With more variety mounting the list, the less bored you are likely to get with it all.

Experiment stuff – Now being a tourist isn’t always about exploring the city, it would also mean changing the way on how to look at things. Try fun stuff like kayaking if there are waterways in your city, or zip-lining of mountains wouldn’t be a bad idea (there has to be mountains in almost all parts of the world, well if not nearby) or how about some new pastime that you discovered while traveling abroad, how about revisiting it again, at the comforts of your own home?

Clicking some cheesy pics wouldn’t be a bad idea too – Try posing in front of a well known statue that you’ve ignored all your life, a view of the downtown, a signboard of your city welcoming you. Embrace the cheesiness of the city by freezing some moments in front of em’.

Exploring new food (one of my favorite) Try grabbing an absolutely new dish that they swear they are best at, immerse in its glory or greasiness and as you grab a bite from some unvisited place also do look around; you never know you might unravel some cool history about that place as you munch on your new found food with some cool photos and history waiting to be discovered.

Finally, if none of the above appeases you and you are still hungry for more adventure or surprises try exploring nearby areas or towns that has been pending for long now. How about parks, or a hike maybe or a yoga retreat? Go on, make it special and check-in to a hotel turning it into a weekend getaway kind.

So for those of you all that miss traveling, but unable to do so owing to other commitments, playing a tourist in one’s own city would be your best bet. Along with getting a tourist experience even as you fulfill your day to day chores, there is no significant spending required in terms of travel/stay and yet adds some oomph to your otherwise dull day-to-day routine. Plus, it is sheer and absolute fun!

 

Places To Visit In San Francisco

Tourists leave their hearts high on a hill, where lil cable cars welcome you with open hands offering you a ride to the stars. The city of San Francisco, in northern California, that lies on the tip of a peninsula is bordered by the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Renowned for its mountainous landscape, constant fog, iconic Golden Gate Bridge, vivid Victorian houses, cable cars and the notorious former prison, Alcatraz Island, sitting right on the bay, the city sure is a place where many reluctant tourists end their vacation leaving their heart behind. The Trans america pyramid is the Financial District’s most eminent skyscraper. The aforementioned Golden Gate Bridge, though not the tallest, largest or longest bridge in the world, still is the most celebrated one. Well, in contrast to its sister, the Bay Bridge (connecting the East Bay and San Francisco), it is open to cyclists and pedestrians. And of course, it is toll-free. Nevertheless, if you plan on driving into the city, don’t be surprised to be charged with a hefty 6-dollar toll. Now such a majestic structure doesn’t come for free right?

malibustockThe morning fog might get a bit chilly but then who cares, California is a dream-come-true for many to be bothered about such petty things. With its very own unique mythical aura, it attracts thousands from neighboring states and people all over the world.

Artsy – would be more an appropriate a phrase to describe San Francisco that has from the early 60s with its hippy culture loves all things creative and usually different. It is there right in the air, the prominent vibe of the city that enthuses one to be a free spirit always venturing into something unique.

Foggy, that would be best work to describe SFO’s weather as one would be welcomed by the fog almost every morning. Check out the San Francisco Burritos that are bigger than the usual ones. Your next stop would be the Silicon Valley, the land of the young, brainy and triumphant. Well, maybe if luck would have it, you might be the next Zuckerberg. So imagine you fell in love with the place and choose to be there for some time, then Oakland is the place that you gotta head to as SFO can turn out to be a very costly affair, especially the rent. But it Oakland the cost of living is relatively cheap and yet you still feel like being a part of SFO, especially with it being just 15 minutes away on BART.

Yet another attraction in San Francisco for free would be the Lombard Street that prides itself of being the world’s most crooked street. People drive down this street for fun and why not, it is one of its kind now, aint? Wannbe famous, trying dwelling in the crooked section of the Lombard Street with tourists taking pictures from every nook and corner of the street, you might almost get a celebrity feeling with paparazzi right outside your doorstep 24×7!

Next comes the Fisherman’s Wharf which is every tourist’s dream and the most visited too. By the docks of Pier 39 one gets to see a flock of Sea Lions eternally playing, swimming and love grabbing attention of people. Many a street performers take advantage of the site in trying to perform and earning that extra buck. Well, yeah watching is free, but they sure do expect gratuities. Beware of the Bush Man though! Nooo not President Bush, just a homeless man hoping to make that extra buck by jolting people in his shrub bush costume. Then there are the museums, some incredible ones, but the cost might be a bit too high, that is something that you gotta watch out. Again parks and beaches sketch the bay and is indeed a beauty of it. Any nature lover will be fascinated by it. And last but not least is the strange weather of SFO, that is mostly microclimatic. Well, think of it this way, while it gets too cold in one place, trying going someplace else in the city where the climate is quite the contrary. Solves the issue, ain’t it?