Use Technology to your advantage…Take a virtual tour

virtual 1

The last few days have been excruciatingly difficult for each one of us. With the entire world in a state of lock down and restricted movements, with governments telling us to stay at home and to only go outside for food, health reasons , and maintain social distancing, the one thing we shouldn’t neglect to do is look after our mental health .

Since many of our regular social activities are no longer available to us, let us look at things from a broader perspective.

Let’s follow a different rhythm of life, a chance to be in touch with others in different ways than usual.

Let’s be in touch with other people regularly on social media, e-mail or on the phone.

Create new daily routines that prioritise looking after yourself.  Read, watch movies, try new relaxation techniques, or finding new knowledge on the internet.

With all travel ceasing, a good way to indulge in your wanderlust is to make full use of technology and take a virtual trip to anywhere you like, without spending a dime and leaving your room.

If you’re seeking a bit of adventure, check out Google Maps’ virtual treks.

You can hop from climbing El Capitan in Yosemite to journeying around Petra in Jordan to braving the icy terrain and looking for polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba in just a matter of minutes.

So go ahead and enjoy this virtual vacation.

The only remaining question: Will you watch from your bed or your couch?

 

Stay safe.

Madhavi

 

 

 

 

 

Family friendly holidays

Summer-Family-Holidays-Family-on-the-Beach

Summer is just a few months away. It’s about time to plan that vacay with the family. Travelling with your wee ones need not just be mainly resorted to theme parks. Some ccities make great getaways—short or long—for families. They are hubs for direct flights, ample accommodations, top-notch restaurants and iconic, innovative attractions as well as some of them provide a touch of history, making them both educational and fun and appealing to all ages.

So let’s dust off your passport and pack up your kids for adventures in these family-friendly world cities.

Orlando

disney

Why it’s great for kids: Orlando’s an absolute paradise for kids of all ages, with home to not one but four action-packed Disney theme parks.

Put it on your itinerary: The fun doesn’t stop once you’ve explored Disney World, as the Kennedy Space Center is just a short drive from Orlando. The kid-friendly museum displays America’s space rockets and even lets you touch a piece of moon rock! The museum’s located on Florida’s Space Coast, which boasts tons of gorgeous beaches. However, when it comes to nature, it’s not just sandy shores that impress children and parents alike. Florida’s famous for its marshlands, and the whole family can glide through the swamps on an air boat. Be sure to keep an eye out for gators!

London

londres-legoland

Why it’s great for kids: With a host of historical attractions and many contemporary exhibits, the British capital city just screams ‘kid-friendly’.  There’s no language barrier, the food is kid-friendly (those chips!), and there’s lots to do around one of the major characters of modern childhood—Harry Potter.

Put it on your itinerary: Many of London’s main attractions, like the Tower of London and the British Museum, are geared to be family-friendly, so they’re incredibly interesting for both you and your little ones. Your kids will love spotting red telephone boxes, exploring Tower Bridge and following the River Thames as it meanders across the capital. If any of you are Harry Potter fans, you’ll all be in your element at the Warner Bros Studio Tour; and just outside of the city are theme parks like Lego land and Chessington World of Adventures which are easily accessible by public transport. There are also plenty of whimsically themed high tea experiences (try the Mad Hatters Tea Party at the Sanderson) and endless free museums, including the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum.

Cancun

cancun

Why it’s great for kids: You’ll get the best of both worlds — a bustling city culture and a beach vacation.

Put it on your itinerary: Parque de Palapas, the city’s central park, offers food carts, performances, and the kiddo essential, playgrounds. Mercado 28 is a bustling marketplace where you and the kids can bargain for local treasures to bring home. Isla de Mujeres lets you get away from the city’s hustle and bustle with a trip out to this laid-back island just off the coast — the Garrafon Reef Park there lets you swim with dolphins or stingrays or take a ride on a zip line. When you’re not busy lazing on the beach, make sure you head out to tour Chichén Itzá, the Mayan Ruins nearby.

Copenhagen

copen

Why it’s great for kids: Denmark’s capital is literally a fairy-tale city — it’s where Hans Christian Andersen wove his classics, like The Little Mermaid. And if your kids are even mildly Lego-obsessed, they’ll probably be thrilled at a chance to visit the country where the blocks were first created.

Put it on your itinerary: Copenhagen is home to the Tivoli Gardens, the amusement park that is said to be the inspiration for Walt Disney’s amusement parks. With gorgeous gardens and architecture and one of the world’s oldest still-in-use wooden roller coasters the Tivoli gardens, with rides and games, is an awesome place to take kids of all ages, and adults that want to indulge the kid in them! There are roller coasters for older children and kiddie rides for wee ones. And if your children don’t like rides, there are musical performances and pantomimes to enjoy. When it’s lit up at night, the park is a joy to stroll through.

Other than Tivoli Gardens, children will enjoy viewing the statue of the Little Mermaid from the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, and posing for a photo with her. Watching the changing of the guard at Amalienborg Palace is wonderful. And if you and your family are looking for a green space to enjoy, the King’s Garden is the ideal place to go. You can picnic on the grounds and enjoy some chill time here. Copenhagen is a fun destination and very family-friendly.

Dubai

dubai

Why it’s great for kids: Full of architectural superlatives, the Emirate with the tallest building (Burj Khalifa), vastest sand desert, and largest mall, is great for adventure, relaxation, and even good old-fashion theme park fun.

Put it on your itinerary: The city isn’t all fancy cars and glittering skyscrapers (although there are plenty of both). It’s also home to adventures your kids (and you!) will love, from feeding a three-foot-wide turtle at the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project to catching a free show at Dubai’s massive musical fountains. Once you venture outside the city limits, there are camel rides, sand skiing (think of it as hot-weather sledding!), and dune-bashing (where your Jeep guns it over sand hills, so you feel like you’re on a rollercoaster) through the Arabian Desert. Check in at Atlantis The Palm for loads more family-friendly activities: There’s the Middle East’s largest water park, an aquarium holding more than 65,000 creatures, and evening programming for kids age 3-12  You can also explore the souks of Old Dubai where you can shop for textiles, spices, and even gold on the streets alongside the Dubai Creek.

Sydney

Sydney

Why it’s great for kids: Sydney is one of the most family friendly cities in Australia. The city has plenty of things to do for all the ages. For the smaller kids, there are extraordinary zoos, great aquariums, wildlife parks, plenty of playgrounds and there is even a Luna Park as well.

Put it on your itinerary: Admit it: You’ve always wanted to visit Australia. If your kids are old enough to make it through the long plane ride out there, now’s the time: There’s plenty to make you feel like a giddy little kid, from being blown away by the Scienceworks Museum to checking out the march of the penguins at Phillip Island to seeing the forest and fern gullies from the century-old Puffing Billy Steam Railway. There is a ferry trip on the Sydney Harbour, iconic Sydney Opera House to explore, Darling Harbour, tonnes of museums, Blue Mountains, beautiful beaches and even a Haunted Sydney walking tour to check out. Sydney Aquarium is home to more than 12,000 marine animals, including dugongs (sea cows). And there are a ton of ways to see Sydney’s sights, whether you and your family venture up to walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge, or Skywalk on a glass-floored platform above the city.

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The fact is that kids — even young ones — love traveling for the same reasons we do: They get to have a new routine, spend time with the people they love, and eat fun snacks. Plus the parents get to experience places that can make them feel like a child again, which is gratifying.

 

-M

 

 

PC:Pinterest;WaltDisney;VisitLondon;LonelyPlanet

 

Travel Traits of an Aquarian.

Picking a destination for your next vacation should be simple. Ideally you should be able to tick off as many places as you can on the globe.  But if you’re looking for something a little more, let’s say, unconventional, how about choosing something based on your zodiac sign. For example an Aries probably thrives off of some sort of activity with an adrenaline junkie kind of element, or a Virgo who loves to go on well planned and executed travel itineraries, and an Aquarian who is always known to be unconventional, loves to immerse themselves in a completely different culture.

I understand that this may seem a little hocus pocus and weird, but why not indulge in it just for the fun of it.

Aquarius-woman

Let me just give you an insight into the world of an Aquarian (AKA ME) with this post today.

While children make wishes on rainbows, artists paint them and dreamers chase them, an Aquarian is way ahead; not only do they live on a rainbow they even believe in it!

Being an air sign, Aquarius beings crave the numerous rich and varied experiences that travelling has been known to offer.

It’s often been heard that the Aquarius prides itself on being unique and different— whether it be in dress, thought, behaviour, or even choosing a travel destination.

Knowing how determined, intelligent, and charming Aquarians can be, it’s not surprising that Aquarius travellers seek qualities in their trips that mirror their personalities.

Anchorage-Skyline

So, unexplored landscapes such as the one-of-a-kind and full of adventure over the permanently snow-capped mountains and volcanoes of the Alaskan hotspots are a perfect destination for that “inner-maverick” wanting to do things differently. With tons of culture, sophistication, and stunning natural beauty in the large port city of Anchorage, makes it the ideal location for sight-seeing or taking on traditional Alaskan rendezvous.

Machu_Picchu

Shrouded with age-old mystery, Machu Picchu, Peru offers a good dose of rich history, as well as the chance to breath in some mysterious Incan ruins. Travelling to this Peruvian citadel where mountaintops and archaeological wonders are all around, this awe-inspiring ancient city perched atop a high plateau deep in the Amazonian jungle would be the perfect getaway for the dreamy Aquarian.

tech museum

Having being blessed with loads of energy, a hunger for steady mental stimulation, and a love for innovation with a constant need to change the world, it really is not surprise that Silicon Valley, the Northern Californian technology and research hub is a fitting motivation for any innovative and visionary Aquarius being-the revolutionary, the genius, the scientist, the eccentric artist, the truth-sayer, and the ultimate inventor.

computer museum

Engaging in tours of the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose and the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, as well as long walks through the spectacular campus of Stanford University near Palo Alto fuels their inspiration.

northern-lights-finland

Always on the lookout for a world away from the daily grind of working nine to five, the enchanting Northern Lights, in the Land of the Midnight Sun— a.k.a. Finland comes closest to an utopian paradise for all Aquarius individuals.

A modern state with well-planned out cities and towns, along with pristine landscapes, awesome latitudes and vast spaces of ripe wilderness to explore and breathe in, offers a wintry, European experience that’ll fulfill any Aquarian’s childhood fantasy, and cast a magically powerful spell that’ll haunt the imagination and memory for years to come.

disney

Doing anything too ordinary or going anywhere too touristy will bore dear Aquarius individuals to the bone– so it’s important to keep these water carriers excited with a highly adventurous vacation. What better place than Orlando to bring out their inner child, and let loose the excitement in places such as the Florida Kennedy Space Center, the Great Barrier Reef, or, for little Aquarians, the Magic Kingdom and Disney World’s Epcot Center. There’s nothing ordinary about this place. It’s truly magical!!

Water bearers love to find solace in places filled with rich doses of spirituality, serenity, and harmony. Getting close to nature and indulging in unique pampering indulgences which take a load off their shoulders, leaves them feeling invigorated and beautiful.

Spa-Four-seasons

To calm their over active mind and always craving for more ‘alone’ time, enjoying a soothing luxury spa treatment at the Four Seasons Resort Mauritius, would perhaps top the charts. The “Let it go” is just an indulgence found few other places in the world. This signature Let It Go 8 Handed Massage treatment” originating in Ayurvedic treatment takes place in an overwater villa and is the perfect opportunity for the water bearer to indulge in an exclusive treatment, where four highly trained therapists work in synchronicity, like a “dancer’s choreography,” on the body to release stress, emotional weight, and offer a sense of total rejuvenation. WOW!! Can there be anything better than this?

Aquarians love things that are unique and uncommon more than anything else. Something that’s off the wall and unconventional, something peculiar that’ll blow their minds.

Hawaii rainbow

Natural wonders offer the ultimate experience these free spirited beings are looking for. It goes without saying that the hills or the oceans have an inspiring affect on their creativity, and the Aquarian positively respond to the calming effect nature provides.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Where you would like to travel to based on your Zodiac sign? Do share in the comments.

-M

 

 

PC;AlaskaTourSaver; LonelyPlanet;VisitSanJose;HouseofLapland;Tripadvisor;LuxuryMauritius;TravelAndLeisure

 

 

 

‘Mancation’

mancation-1

Chances are most of you having seen the Bollywood flick ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ -you’d agree with me that it gave us some major travel goals. The Mancation of three friends was the ultimate vacay every man ever dreamt of having.

Or the Hollywood flick ‘The Hangover’ – a blowout Sin City trip which had many a bachelor planning a similar bash with his groomsmen.

Enough of the woman traveller blog posts. Let me give the men their due here with a post on Mancations .

Well what can I say ; sometimes dudes just want to be with themselves. And mancations provide the perfect opportunity for men to get together and bond with guys from work or old friends from college. It could be a father son vacation, a bachelor party, or even a millennial man wanting to trade tips and learn skills from his older counterparts.

Whatever the reason ‘Mancation’ one of the latest buzzwords in the travel industry, is a spin-off on the girlfriends’ getaway marketing phenomenon.

Golf

Although golf outings, sports events and fishing trips are the mainstays of male bonding, high-velocity adventures, spa treatments or just laid back chilling vacays is a fun way for men to disconnect and “allow guys to be guys.”

 

And when you talk about guy trips there is one top most destination that has the power to drive all the guys moony. Yup you guessed it right –Thailand. I don’t think I need to say anything more here.

bangkok

 

Rio de Janeiro– With awesome beach neighborhoods like Ipanema, Copacabana, and Leblon, Rio de Janeiro is a single guy’s paradise and is known around the world for its sexy atmosphere, Dubbed the party capital of Brazil and the site of the annual Carnival celebration, and with beach sports like soccer and volleyball, Rio has everything a single guy could ask for.

Rio

 

Ibiza-With some awesome nightclubs, Ibiza’s nightlife scene is second to none. Situated in the Mediterranean Sea about 50 miles off of Valencia, Spain, Ibiza is a one of the best destinations for a mancation.

ibiza

 

Miami-World renowned for its nightlife, Miami has it all for the single male traveler: beaches, food, culture, and beautiful people.

miami

 

Las Vegas-The home of many bachelor parties, Las Vegas is well known for its active nightlife and casinos. Upscale hotels and home to some of the world’s finest restaurants makes Las Vegas a great destination for the single male traveler.

las vegas

 

Cancun-Cancun is the party capital of the eastern part of Mexico and with good reason. Cancun sees millions of visitors on an annual basis who visit the city with the sole purpose of having fun. With mega clubs and some of Mexico’s most pristine beaches, Cancun is a fun destination for any single man.

cancun

 

Barcelona-Spain’s city that never sleeps is filled with a youthful and energetic vibe that is hard to beat. The nightlife areas of Barcelona around the plazas or squares of the city have the highest concentration of bars in the city.

barcelona

 

Have a wild night of music at Sunburn, getting the party mode on, and swimming in the sea of blood pumping music and vibe, Goa has always been a perennial favourite of the boys

sunburn

If women can have their ladies only – getaway, men should be able to do the same. Biking trips, Pub hopping, Brewery tours, Bungee jumping, White water River rafting, Sky diving, Golfing, there are unlimited options for the men out there. They can do whatever pleases them.

 

poster-happy-brew

But hey, who am I to give any advice. If your man is not too keen on taking off with his buddies maybe you should do this –give them a couple of chilled beers, a lounge chair and leave them aloneThat should be their ultimate “mancation”

 

🙂
madhavi
PC: Trip Advisor; Pinterest; Timeout; Liveinstyle; Frio canon.

It’s holiday time

It’s that time of the year again. Summers are here and can the planning for a special family holiday be far behind? In fact some of the children have already decided where the family will go this year. They are after all the ones deciding the destinations ,aren’t they? While we all love taking the weekend or middle of the work /school days breaks, Summer vacays are a big deal. Like they say there are holidays and then there are the summer vacations.

While some destinations like Santorini and Phuket are done to death by over-crowding, people are always on the lookout for newer and unique places to vacay, places that bring out the storyteller in you.

So whether it’s the lofty peaks of the mountains, or the calm beaches, from adventure holiday spots to the sober quiet walking trails, that fascinate you, travelers will find that perfect holiday spot to quieten their wanderlust.

Listed below are some of the trending go-to places in 2019 in no particular preference.

Egypt – Egypt is emerging as the new art pilgrimage destination. The Egyptian Museum will have everything – bejeweled sandals, embroidered tunics etc. the Nile cruise with sailings of its boutique wooden boats, kitted out with art deco fixtures and leather deck chairs to sink into while gazing at Nubian sandstone cliffs and the teeming ancient tombs and temples of Luxor.

luxor.jpg

The Peloponnese, Greece– Forward thinking visitors are heading to the mainland and discovering the wide-open spaces of Greece. This laidback region has been a destination for wellness and fitness.

Peloponnese

The Scottish Highlands -Think big skies, mind-blowing landscapes, superb food and hospitable people ,the most beautiful and romantic castles in the world – and you’ve got the Scottish Highlands.

scottish

The Turkish Riviera-An area of southwest Turkey, the most stunning part of Turkey’s Mediterranean and Aegean coasts with its perfect sun, clean beaches, ultra luxury resorts, charming nature, ancient history, good entertainment and nightlife.

turkey

Valle De Guadalupe-Mexico’s wine country. This boulder-strewn bronze sweep of Baja California has been luring wine-lovers and weekending West Coasters for some time. Known as Mexico’s Napa Valley, Guadalupe is a weekend getaway just 2 hours from San Diego and is known for its architect-designed wine tasting rooms.

guadelope

New Orleans -renowned for its distinct Jazz music, Creole cuisine, unique dialect, and its annual celebrations and festivals, most notably Mardi Gras. The historic heart of the city is the French Quarter, known for its French and Spanish Creole architecture and vibrant nightlife along Bourbon Street.

new orleans

Tahiti-the largest of islands that make up the French Polynesia. Tahiti is a barefoot beach-shack island with smart new places to stay.

tahiti

Namibia -Sharp new lodges in the outback of the outback. With its otherworldly landscapes and elemental emptiness of the desert, of the dunes, of the savage Skeleton Coast, Namibia is famous for dune-climbing, beach-combing for whale bones and spotting seal colonies and Wilderness Safaris’

namibia

Patagonia– Quite literally at the end of the world. Patagonia has epic landscapes and with its increasing appeal being one of the least populated regions anywhere. With its unique wildlife, hiking trails and being a bird watchers delight, adventurers are drawn to the vast emptiness of its desert and the drama of its Lake District.

patagonia

Singapore –Sound and light shows and flash designer shopping malls. Singapore is more than just a stopover city, for its tropical British colonial grandeur and futuristic architecture, for street food in the night markets and night safaris, sundowners in Marina Bay Sands’ rooftop pool, and for its Slings at Raffles.

singapore

Israel– Shiny new trains, airports, and hotels are all catapulting the ancient land into the modern age as the rest of the country catches up with vibrant Tel Aviv.

tel aviv

And of course there are some of the faithful holiday spots in India that are on most people’s summer to-do list. One can always spend a good 4-5 days exploring and relaxing at these below listed hill stations.

auli

  • Manali– Manali is a popular backpacking and one of the most popular summer holiday destinations in India. Nestled idyllically amidst the Pir Panjal & Dhauladhar Range of the Himalayas, Manali has some cool adventure activities and holy places.
  • Nainital– The quaint hill-station is still a very popular hill station in India. Though the list of places to visit in Nainital is pretty long, the Naini Lake and the Naina Devi Temple attract the maximum number of tourists.
  • Mussorie– The varied flora and the lush green hilly lands attract a lot of tourists to the little fairyland. From shopping on Mall Road to cable car rides to Gun Hill, and from Kempty Falls to the Jwalaji Temple; the summer destination has a lot to offer to its visitors.
  • Kanatal– If you are looking for an offbeat summer destination then Kanatal is a quaint village located at a distance of 38 km from Mussoorie. It is surrounded by lofty mountains and is lush green. People who love camping will love this place .
  • Auli– Auli is a great town to be in during the summers. The majestic snow covered peaks and the lush green meadows are the highlights of this town. One can have a good time while indulging in many adventure activities. Enjoy the local sightseeing, delicious local cuisine, and wander around in this quaint town.
  • Shimla– The capital city of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla is a favourite summer tourist destination. The cool temperatures make it an ideal spot to go to, as it is easily accessible and have a lot of tourist attractions.

maha

  • Panchmarhi– The only hill station in Madhya Pradesh, Pachmarhi is among the lesser-known summer holiday destinations in India. The decently high hills, forest gorges, stunning waterfalls, prehistoric caves, and rock paintings at Pachmarhi attract a lot of tourists every year.
  • Munnar– A perfect destination to spend your summer holidays in India, Munnar is famous for its salubrious climate, lush hills, and the vast expanse of tea plantations. With a myriad of things to do in Munnar, the hill station from God’s Own Country – Kerala –makes your vacations an ultimate peaceful and rejuvenating affair.

munnar

  • Kodaikannal– Kodaikanal is to Bangaloreans what Nainital is to Delhiites or what Darjeeling is to Kolkatans. Meadows, grasslands, waterfalls, valleys, forests, and lakes of the quaint hill station of Tamil Nadu make it one of the most popular summer holiday destination in India from the peninsula.
  • Ooty– Udhagamandalam, or Ooty, Located in the Nilgiri Blue Mountain hills, is often called the Queen of Hills. The famous toy train takes you through the nearby lush hills. The little hill station also offers a lot of places to visit and adventure activities to its visitors.

goa

  • Goa– Goa is India’s most accessible destination and is eternally popular with tourists from both within India and across the world. It boasts laid-back vibes, some beautiful beaches, and a thriving party scene. Goa remains utterly charming, and fully deserving of its prominent place as the jewel in the crown of Indian tourism.
  • Mahabaleshwar– Perched atop a height of 1,372 m above the sea level, Mahabaleshwar is another ultimate getaway. The breath-taking views of the valleys and mountains, the colonial buildings, verdant forests, sparkling rivers, sonorous waterfalls, and Pratapgarh hillfort have been major crowd pullers. The scenic hill station is, without doubt, an ideal retreat away from the hustle-bustle and the punishing weather of Mumbai.

kodai

  • Darjeeling and Kalimpong are the best entries from the east of India. But what gives Kalimpong an edge over Darjeeling is that it is untouched and less frequently visited by people. Sitting on a ridge overlooking the Teesta River, the hill station is a perfect summer destination owing to its pleasant climate, magnificent views, and proximity to other tourist attractions. River rafting and visiting buddhist monestrey is a major draw in Kalimpong.

These are just some of the places you can enjoy this summer. The world is too large to just fit into a page.

So enjoy your dream summer vacation and make some memories to remember forever!

PS: Don’t forget to carry that camera.  🙂

Have fun

Madhavi

 

PC: Lonely Planet,Getty Images, Viator