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The gorgeous temples of Bateshwar, Padavali, and Mitaoli in India

April 10, 2016

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Bateshwar, Padavali, and Mitaoli are a half day trip from Gwalior, in the state of Madhya Pradesh in India. It is very useful having a guide – the information in this post is mostly courtesy to the guide.

Bateshwar was the site of 200+ temples, from the 8th-10th century, that toppled in an earthquake. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is rebuilding each temple, literally stone by stone. Each stone is cataloged and its place found. It is like a life size 3D jigsaw puzzle. Hats off to the ASI.

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Beginning June, Dubai airport (DXB) will impose airport tax

March 30, 2016

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One of the world’s busiest airport for international passengers, Dubai International (DXB), will be introducing a tax on travelers to help finance expansion, as Gulf governments grapple with plummeting revenues.

The nation that does not have impose any income taxes will be charging a AED 35 (approx $9.50) fee applicable all passengers, either connecting, originating or transiting in Dubai, on all flights starting June 30, 2016.

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DealRay will send super cheap, “mistakes” fares to your phone

March 29, 2016

dealray

Spring and summer holiday season is almost here and while most of us look for deals on flights and hotels, there are a lot of websites that will send deals to you, but not the “mistakes” deals that show up on airline or hotel websites.

This is where DealRay steps in. Specializing in finding “mistake” flights, this flight booking site scrapes the deals when any airline posts a deal in their system, giving you, say, Los Angeles (LAX) to La Guardia, NYC (LGA) for $130 round-trip. Or simply any deal domestic or international.

This is how it works:

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India to give visa-on-arrival to 180 nations (Updated)

February 26, 2016

India Visa On ArrivalUpdate: February 26, 2016

Electronic tourist visas (e-TVs) will be extended to citizens of 37 more countries starting today, taking the total number to 150.

The new additions are Albania, Austria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Botswana, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cape Verde, Comoros, Cote d’Ivoire, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Eritrea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Iceland, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Moldova, Namibia, Romania, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa, Swaziland, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Trinidad & Tobago, Zambia and Zimbabwe.


Update: November 26, 2014

Tourists traveling to India from 43 countries will now be able to apply online and receive the approval within four working days, before getting their visa at an airport on arrival. Britain, India’s former colonial master, is not included on the new list.

Under the scheme, tourists will be able to pick up their visas from nine Indian airports. Tourists can apply twice a year for 30-day visas which cannot be extended. Tourists must also have a return ticket.

The 43 countries are – Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Cook Islands, Djibouti, Fiji, Finland, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Myanmar, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue Island, Norway, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russia, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Tonga, Tuvalu, UAE, Ukraine, USA, Vanuatu, Vietnam.


Originally published: February 5, 2014
Last year in August, India announced that it will expand the visa-on-arrival to 11 more countries. And now starting later this year, India will extend that facility to 180 countries in the world, except for Pakistan, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Somalia.

The visa will be valid for 30 days from arrival in India, and will be available at all the 26 major airports from where international airlines fly.

A new website would be set up where travelers will be required to apply through, prior to their arrival in India, along with the required fees. They would be granted an electronic version of the visa within three days.

The visa-on-arrival facility would save time and expenses of the foreign nationals as they would no longer need to visit Indian missions to get visas for touring India.

We will be posting more details as we get them.



How to take your travel photos to the next level

February 22, 2016

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Photos we take during holiday explorations can often fall far from the authentic mark: colors, shadows and textures in pictures may not look as half as intriguing as they do in real life; light sometimes can at times come across as either subdued or too bright; strangers’ faces do not always tell compelling stories; the list goes on. Creating visual masterpieces when travelling is tricky business – but that does not mean that you should leave your camera behind or settle for average-looking pics.

Here are a few tips that can help you take your travel photography to a whole new level and capture images fit for an exhibition.

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Lonely Planet launches app with FREE guides to 38 cities

January 29, 2016

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The largest publisher of travel guide books, Lonely Planet just released a brand new app called Guides, a free app that provides guides to 38 cities around the world (and more coming soon). The same content as their famous guide books, the app offers in-depth tips on attractions, dine & wine, accommodation, and party.

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Incredible no-tool, man-made cave art must be in your bucket list

January 25, 2016

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With no power tools or whatsoever, artist Ra Paulette has transformed the New Mexico cave system into one of a kind piece of art, working alone for 25 years.

He says that he has found his passion and it brings peace to him. This is amazing art and we wonder if the caves will be open to public – when and how much will it cost? The work has been relatively unnoticed until recently when the documentary about his never-ending endeavor got an Oscar nomination and people began recognizing his work.

Continue to watch the incredible video!

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Tips for Mastering a Family Road Trip

January 14, 2016

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Family road trips are always a nice way to get together and spend some quality time. However, the ultimate question “Are we there yet?” and screaming and arguing are inevitable if you do not know how to keep your kids occupied. Be prepared for everything they may need for a long drive.

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Try ‘trip in vain’ rule if your missed flight makes your trip useless

December 11, 2015

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You’re flying to a destination for a purpose such as family gathering or a business meeting, and even though you made to the airport on time, the flight was delayed because of reasons in-hand of the airline and you will not be able to attend that event. This is when you must call out “Trip in vain”.

There is no official policy outlined by any authority, but most airlines will honor this if you ask. Airlines have their own policies to compensate you, but seeing from examples like…

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This tool will list destinations you can travel to with your FF award points

December 10, 2015

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After earning a bunch of miles in your frequent flyer account, you would want to know where in the world will those miles take you. A site that compares flight prices in terms of your travel rewards points, AwardAce, has come up with a new tool called “Discover” that suggests destinations based on the points or miles you have in your frequent flyer program.

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Tips for backpacking West Africa

November 30, 2015

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The famous violinist, Eugene Fodor, once said that “you do not have to be rich to travel well” and backpacking is the truest reflection of those words. Combine backpacking with Africa, and you will get an incredible journey that will not require a lot of money, but will make you richer with experiences. The main excitement about traveling to Africa is the fact that no matter how much we know of this continent, there is still so much to explore and discover.

Here are some tips on how to make that experience even better:

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Tourist Visa application form & details for Swaziland

November 16, 2015

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If you are visiting the Kingdom of Swaziland, which borders Mozambique and South Africa, and if you are required to apply for a tourist visa, then there are limited resources online that give you information on how to apply, where to apply, visa fees, and application forms.

After going through the government website or their tourist website, we could not find specific and concrete details on how to apply for a tourist visa and other details.

So after calling the Embassy of Swaziland in Washington D.C. multiple times with no response, we were finally able to get hold of someone and upon request, they sent the visa application form with all the requirements.

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Now access Google Maps in offline mode

November 11, 2015

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Getting lost in a city or town is fun, but if you find yourself using online maps to get your way around, then Google Maps is the best app out there. Starting today, Google has made its most used app awesomer by adding an offline mode.

Still rolling out to all the users (Android first, with iOS coming soon), the updated version of the Maps app that gives you almost full access to the maps without an internet connection.

Up until now there was a way to access Google Maps in offline mode, but that just meant pre-loading or caching the map before you get started on your route. Now it lets you search for addresses, pull up information on businesses (including reviews, contact info and hours of operation) and even get turn-by-turn driving directions.

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Hostel Review: Pousada Magia Verde, Paraty, Brazil

November 10, 2015
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Value
Location
Cleanliness
Rooms
Service

Breakfast included: Yes
Wifi: Free, good network everywhere

Address: Rua 5 final, Bairro Portal de Paraty, Paraty 23970, Brazil
Phone: +55-24-9986-40661
Email: magiaverde@paratyweb.com.br
Website: www.pousadamagiaverde.com.br

Location
This is the biggest drawback of this inn. Located at the end of the town, the only way to reach the center is either drive (for 10 minutes) or walk (for 30 minutes). The inn doesn’t have any grocery stores or any other facility areas nearby and the roads can get dark and lonely in the night.

Rooms
Most rooms are much like cottages on their own. I got a double bed room with TV, air conditioning, and private bathroom. The beds have mosquito nets in them, and each room comes with a hammock outside the door.

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Hotel review: Sombra Palace Hotel, Manaus, Brazil

November 10, 2015
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Value
Location
Cleanliness
Rooms
Service

Breakfast included: No
Wifi: Free, included in price, good network across the hotel

Address: Av. 07 de Setembro 1325, Centro, 69000 Manaus, Brazil
Phone: +57-92-3234-8777
Email: contato@hotelsombra.com.br
Website: www.hotelsombra.com.br

Location
Located in the center of Manaus, just walking distance from the Teatro Amazonas, you can walk up to the local markets, center of the city and other hostels from this hotel.

Rooms
After arriving at the hotel, I was given room 304, which is a one double bed room with air-conditioning, fridge and a private bathroom. The AC in the room was located in a corner and after turning it on for 2 hours, there was barely any cooling in the room. Although this room faced the main road and had huge windows, considering the hot and humid weather of Manaus, one would need air conditioning! At the cost of R$106 (approx $27) a night, this was a huge room for one person.

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