Travel is not a luxury, it’s a way of life, the best way to bond with family, realize your dreams. If you don’t agree to the above, then you are probably not making the right travel decisions, at the right time.
With airfares behaving like stock prices, currencies fluctuating wild and travel fairs on the rise, it’s a good time to travel four times a year … but to the RIGHT destination!
But what’s the right destination? It’s the one which will fit easiest into your pocket, fulfill dreams and create long lasting memories. It’s a destination where you can fly, shop, eat, roam and stay with little bother.
At Learning & Creativity I will give one travel tip per month … and at the right time.. enough to buy your tickets cheap, early and start building the excitement!
So my recommendation for summer 2015: Turkey & Greece
And 5 reasons why now is the RIGHT time:
1. For whatever reasons, Muslim countries are slowly dropping off the tourism radar. Many of us are not likely to visit Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia or a Syria for tourism. The once favored Egypt is no more a top contender now. Before Turkey goes off the radar it’s the best time to visit and keep the trump card up your sleeve. I have toured Pakistan. Turkey today ranks amongst the safest countries of the world.
2. Muslim countries have the most artistic architecture, deep-rooted cultures of their own, delicious food, economical stay and shopping. India loves Mughal architecture and aromatic biryani. Middle Eastern cuisine outlets are mushrooming fast in metros. Shish kebab or Doner or even egg-plant variations. So why not?
3. Turkey and Greece have connectivity via cruises which are popular, economical and dreamy! The deep blue Aegean Sea will mesmerize you and willingly be the backdrop to your Titanic pose pics on Facebook!
4. The Euro is hitting all-time lows. At the time of writing it’s Rs 68 = 1 €, and around 25% cheaper than what it was just more than a year ago. Greece is reeling under economical crisis, hotel fares and local shopping prices are really down now. The Euro is expected to slide further and by the time summer comes, your trip could possibly be even cheaper.
summer comes, your trip could possibly be even cheaper.
— Learning&Creativity (@LearnNCreate) February 5, 2015
5. Santorini is where Hrithik and Katrina danced a duet in recent Bollywood release Bang Bang. The white architecture, the narrow lanes, the cliff overlooking the deep blue ocean are all what should comprise your second honeymoon! Add Acropolis (Athens), Minarets, mosques and palaces in Istanbul, Cappadocia and Pammukkele in Turkey and you have a trip where everyday you get one lifelong memory, at the least.
Weather: Better than anywhere in India in June, only get your shorts, tees and glares 🙂
Airfare: makemytrip, skyscanner or cheaptickets offer the best deals if booked now. You can get as low as 35K round trip per person.
Major Flight Route: Singapore to Athens. Return Istanbul to Singapore.
Internal Routes: Athens to Santorini or Mykonos (recommended) then cruise to Turkey.
Visa: Take Schengen visa for Greece and with Indian passport you get a visa on arrival at Turkey based on the Schengen visa.
Cost: If you book flights and hotels/apartments early, then a family of four for a 2 week vacation will cost at max 4-4.5 Lakh Rupees including airfare (1.5 Lakh), stay (75k for 12 nights), internal travel (75k including cruise to Turkey), visa (25k), basic shopping-meals-entrance fees (1 Lakh).
Best Travel Agent: Yourself. Every family has specific requirements and you may want to make a kids excitement heavy itinerary or history heavy or local culture heavy or just strike a fine balance – customization always helps optimize. Personally as I have two small kids I like keeping alternate days as light relax days to ensure kids recover from previous days stress. The last thing you want is kids falling unwell spoiling your dream trip.
Standard tours make you go through certain museums, buildings, places of worships and handicraft stores you wish you hadn’t wasted precious hours on. So best is to make your own itinerary. Get all your family members to research on sights to see, chart the routes, days to stay, circle on hotels/apartments to book, economical/best places to eat, etc, etc.
Start the bonding and excitement now!
Pictures used in this article are courtesy Sayan Roy