Travel

Jordan Self-Planned Travel Guide for Indian Travellers | How to plan for Jordan trip from India – Trips & Hacks and Frequently Asked Questions for planning a trip to Jordan

Jordan  - the tiny Hashemite kingdom in the Arab region is most famous for Petra – one of the Seven Wonder of the World. This beautiful semi-arid country also has many interesting places such as Dead Sea, Wadi Rum desert and many beautiful castles & historical monuments from various historical ages such as Crusader era, Roman period and Ottoman empire. It was my childhood dream to visit Petra and me & my 2 close friends visited the stunning Jordan this year on a self-planned trip. Post our trip, we got many enquiries about our trip to Jordan and I am sharing our trip planning experience here benefit of all Indian travellers.

[caption id="attachment_5806" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Mesmerized at Petra, Jordan - My childhood travel wishlist[/caption]  

A self-planned trip to Jordan is always a better idea economically as well in terms of experience both quantitively & qualitatively. I have broken down the Trip Planning into 5 major components – (1) Travel Itinerary in Jordan (Places to Visit in Jordan), (2) Visa from Jordan, (3) Booking Flights and Accommodation for Jordan, (4) Food & Drinks in Jordan (Eating Out in Jordan) and (5) Transportation within Jordan, including for all sightseeing.

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Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

A Summer Getaway to Tirthan Valley in Himachal Pradesh, India | Things to do in Tirthan Valley, Himachal Pradesh on a family vacation

Tirthan Valley in Himachal Pradesh is a pristine Himalayan region in the kullu district of Himachal Pradesh, India. The Great Himalayan National Park (one of the largest biosphere reserves in India and UNESO World Heritage site) is located in the Tirthan valley and if you are looking for a quiet time away with family amidst lofty mountains and mesmerising natural beauty, then this is the place to head on a summer vacation.  The first time I visited Tirthan Valley and Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP)on a solo trip was in 2006 and was completely charmed by the pretty valley as well the warm locals. However, despite my best efforts, I could only visit it next time last year (2017) on a long weekend getaway at Tirthan Anglers’ Retreat with friends. I so much wanted to come back with my family to Tirthan Valley, so this year, our summer family road trip destination was to Tirthan Valley. It took us 1.5 days to reach the Tirthan Valley from Delhi and equal time to get back, however, the 6 days we spent here absolute bliss and my family was totally taken in by the charms of the pretty valley. Sharing our experiences of a summer family vacation in Tirthan Valley :

[caption id="attachment_5721" align="alignnone" width="688"] By the Tirthan River in Tirthan Valley, Himachal Pradesh[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Schengen Visa from Switzerland | Detailed Guide to applying for Schengen Visa from Switzerland for Indians/Indian Passport Holders

Every year in summer, scores of Indians make their ultimate travel dreams come true by visiting Switzerland (alongwith some cities of Europe). One of the main preparations for a Switzerland or Europe trip is applying for a Schengen Visa for Indian Passport holders, which is also a main pre-requisite to travel to Europe. When me and the husband were preparing for our self- planned trip to Switzerland last summer, one of the most time-consuming process was for applying for Schengen Visa from Switzerland. We had to research a lot on the internet, ask our friends and colleagues who had previously gone on how to obtain a Schengen Visa for Indian Passport holders. I have written this post on Detailed guide to applying Schengen Visa for Indian Passport Holders from Switzerland, based on our experiences, collating all the information as well as practical issues faced (and how we resolved them). Read on:

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Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Things to do in Lucerne (Luzern) Switzerland | Day visit travel guide to Lucern in SWitzerland

Lucerne (or Luzern) is one of major cities in central Switzerland, popular with tourists all year round due to its charming landscape and heritage. We visited Lucerne on a day trip from Basel (Switzerland) on our 8 day self-planned trip to Switzerland. The pretty city with its beautiful lake, interesting heritage and friendly people made for an enjoyable day spent. Sharing my list of things to do in Lucerne, Switzerland :

[caption id="attachment_5699" align="aligncenter" width="688"] Lake Lucerne, Switzerland on a beautiful sunny day[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Golden Round Trip to Mount Pilatus from Lucerne | Travel guide to doing the Golden Round-trip Mount Pilatus in Switzerland

Mount Pilatus or Pilatus Massif is a group of mountain peaks in central Switzerland, overlooking the pretty & popular canton of Lucerne. One of the top attractions for visitors to Lucerne is the ‘Golden Round Trip’ to Mount Pilatus from Lucerne and back. As the name suggests, the ‘Golden round trip to Mount Pilatus’ is a round trip which takes travellers through some of the most charming swiss alpine landscapes via boat, cogwheel railway, aerial cableway and Panorama Gondolas to the main peak of Mount Pilatus (which is Pilatus Kulm) and back.  On our 8 day self-planned trip through Switzerland, we planned to visit Lucerne and do the golden round trip along with the main attractions of the city. The Golden round trip to Mount Pilatus was definitely the highlight of our Lucerne visit and am sharing our experience as well as pro-tips here:

[caption id="attachment_5666" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Travellers on the boat ride to Alpnachstad on the Golden Round Trip to Mount Pilatus[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Family Road Trips in India – A Guide | Essential Tips, Hacks & Frequently asked Questions for Driving Holidays in India with kids & family

As a traveller and travelling couple for many years, we encountered a ‘major travel life moment’ after having our baby four years back. Happy as we were being parents, we wanted to experience the happiness and joy of travel & experiencing India with our baby. So we dived headlong into the adventure in the best possible way we thought it can be done – Taking Family Road Trips with our infant who’s now an experienced road tripper toddler of 4.5 years. As we shared our travel stories, we got many curious and incredulous reactions & queries. We realised that what we were doing was something people thought of, but didn’t try out due to many reasons, some of them genuine and some of them only mere mind blocks. As I answered many queries separately over the years to various friends & colleagues and also in various travel forums as an Indian Travel Blogger, I realised I needed to write a comprehensive guide covering all the Essential Tips, Hacks & Frequently asked Questions for Driving Holidays in India with kids & family’. Here is my guide to taking family road Trips in India in Question & Answer Format:

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Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

How Uzbekistan transformed the way I travel | Travel Musings

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”  ― Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It

As a kid, I was a fan of author Mark Twain and also geography subject. I would read both with equal enthusiasm; while Mark Twain’s accounts of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn in the far back region of Mississippi would evoke a sense of adventure & also empathy for my fellow kids in less fortunate circumstances, reading about all the fascinating regions & countries in my geography textbooks would fire my imagination as well as wanderlust. I so longed to visit the majestic ruins of Petra in Jordan, the brilliant cities of Samarkand & Bukhara on the great silk road, the seemingly unreal cold Gobi Desert in Mongolia and ofcourse the  charming Gol Gumbaz in Bijapur in south India, among many destinations.

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Sushmita Sarkar

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