travelgirls

9 Travel Stories To Inspire You To Book A Flight Ticket!

Those who travel are hands down the best storytellers. They’ve got some of the greatest stories about their experiences – Stories that make you laugh until you can’t breathe and the ones that make you sob like a baby. Girls Love Travel is one such community that has stored the most memorable travel experiences of girls around the world with a passion for travel. Here are my absolute favourites:

 

1. “Traveling to Cuba feels like you flew in on a time machine rather than a plane. Despite the vivid colours of the buildings, it feels like you’re watching a black and white movie. So surreal! Cuba is basically a living time capsule. The cars are classic, mostly 1950s Chevys which come in every colour of the rainbow. The buildings are old too—many are run down and need a paint job—but they all have a history and charm you won’t see anywhere else, and that’s what I love about this beautiful country and its beautiful people!”

 

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2. When no one else is willing to jump on a $250 roundtrip fare deal to Chile, what’s a girl to do? Go alone, of course! So two years ago, I went on my first real solo trip to Patagonia. I booked a tour that took me down the Serrano River, kayaking and camping through Torres del Paine and Bernardo O’Higgins National Parks with a guide. With freakishly perfect weather, I saw still waters and cloudless skies making for a perfect experience of the torres, the Milky Way and Magellanic Clouds, and some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Sometimes, you just have to take matters into your own hands if you’re planning on seeing the world.

#GLTwheretonextfinalist #39 @tippemorlan for #GLTwheretonext contest with @AirNZ 💕💕 ******************************************* "When no one else is willing to jump on a $250 roundtrip fare deal to Chile, what's a girl to do? Go alone, of course! So two years ago, I went on my first real solo trip to Patagonia. I booked a tour that took me down the Serrano River, kayaking and camping through Torres del Paine and Bernardo O'Higgins National Parks with a guide. With freakishly perfect weather, I saw still waters and cloudless skies making for a perfect experience of the torres, the Milky Way and Magellanic Clouds, and some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Sometimes, you just have to take matters into your own hands if you're planning on seeing the world 😊"

A photo posted by Female Travel #girlsLOVEtravel (@girlslovetravel) on

 

3. A few years ago my husband and I boarded a plane en route to NZ for the trip of a lifetime: A helicopter elopement on top of Mt. Roy in Wanaka, NZ. Each day of our trip was a new adventure on the South Island — bungee jumping, canyoning, swimming with wild dolphins, Milford Sound, caving, waterfalls, sea lions, sheep, knifemaking, luging and so much more! We made daily videos so that our friends & family could be part of our special wedding journey (little did I know this would later inspire me to start my YouTube travel channel). We soon realized this wouldn’t be a “once in a lifetime” trip after all. We had become travel addicts. We dream of exploring the North Island someday soon in a similar manner: a two week road trip hitting up all of the hot spots: Hobbiton, zorbing, wild dolphins, Lake Taupo, etc and then flying off to Australia for the second part of our trip down under.

#GLTwheretonextfinalist #35 @thegonegurl for #GLTwheretonext contest with @AirNZ 😊💗 ******************************************* "My entry to the @GirlsLoveTravel contest! ✈️ A few years ago my husband and I boarded a plane en route to NZ for the trip of a lifetime: A helicopter elopement on top of Mt. Roy in Wanaka, NZ. Each day of our trip was a new adventure on the South Island — bungee jumping, canyoning, swimming with wild dolphins, Milford Sound, caving, waterfalls, sea lions, sheep, knifemaking, luging and so much more! We made daily videos so that our friends & family could be part of our special wedding journey (little did I know this would later inspire me to start my YouTube travel channel). We soon realized this wouldn't be a "once in a lifetime" trip after all. We had become travel addicts. We dream of exploring the North Island someday soon in a similar manner: a two week road trip hitting up all of the hot spots: Hobbiton, zorbing, wild dolphins, Lake Taupo, etc and then flying off to Australia for the second part of our trip down under. Please help us make our wish become a reality @airnz!!"

A photo posted by Female Travel #girlsLOVEtravel (@girlslovetravel) on

 

4. He said, “The pyramids represent eternity and my love for you is eternal. I brought you all the way here to Egypt to ask you…will you marry me?” After days upon days of what felt like a waking dream exploring Cairo, taking a magical cruise from Luxor to Aswan along the Nile, seeing the mysterious tombs and temples of Pharaohs long gone, staying in a Nubian village and befriending the locals, hanging in Alexandria to see the Mediterranean Sea and doing a wild overnight safari in the white desert of the Bahariya Oasis – the love of my life proposed to me on Khufu Pyramid in Giza on the last day of our incredible 15-day trip.

Happy #GLTraveLoveThursday y'all! This is what travel dreams are made of…. Congratulations to the happy couple Girls LOVE Travel member @gotothelove and her fiancé @tommyljohnson!!! 📷 by: @yvettetw •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• He said, "The pyramids represent eternity and my love for you is eternal. I brought you all the way here to Egypt to ask you…will you marry me?" After days upon days of what felt like a waking dream exploring Cairo, taking a magical cruise from Luxor to Aswan along the Nile, seeing the mysterious tombs and temples of Pharaohs long gone, staying in a Nubian village and befriending the locals, hanging in Alexandria to see the Mediterranean Sea and doing a wild overnight safari in the white desert of the Bahariya Oasis – the love of my life proposed to me on Khufu Pyramid in Giza on the last day of our incredible 15-day trip. True love is eternal. Egypt is safe – get your travel on. •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Want to be featured on our IG? Follow the steps below! Be a member of Girls LOVE Travel on Facebook. If you're not a member, click the link in our bio to join our 47K community of girls from all over! Follow @GirlsLOVEtravel on Instagram & tag us in your photos or email us at GLTinstagramphotos@gmail.com. Be sure to include your IG name, location of photo and caption. Thanks ladies!! X🌎X🌍X🌏

A photo posted by Female Travel #girlsLOVEtravel (@girlslovetravel) on

 

5. “I know the view from up top is incredible, but don’t step too close to the edge at Huayna Picchu, it’s a long way down! (Kidding. I was standing on another ledge, but do be careful!) Visiting the world wonder that is Machu Picchu is definitely a place I highly recommend, how this place ever truly came to be I think will stump us all forever!”

…maybe sometimes it's riskier not to take a risk. Sometimes all you're guaranteeing is that things will stay the same. -Danny Wallace ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• "I know the view from up top is incredible, but don't step too close to the edge at Huayna Picchu, it's a long way down! 😳👇🏻😜 (Kidding. I was standing on another ledge, but do be careful!🚧👌🏻) Visiting the world wonder that is Machu Picchu is definitely a place I highly recommend, how this place ever truly came to be I think will stump us all forever!" Thanks to Girls LOVE Travel member @micaelashalane for tagging and sharing with us this awesome shot! ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Interested in sharing your photo? To be considered for a feature please follow the instructions below 😊⬇️😊⬇️ ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Be a member of Girls LOVE Travel on Facebook If you're not a member in the group, click the link in our bio to join the 42 thousand plus community of amazing girls from all over the world Follow @GirlsLOVEtravel on Instagram Tag us in all your high resolution photos or send an email to GLTinstagramphotos@gmail.com Include your IG name, location of photo and any info/blurb for photo ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Thanks ladies!! See ya there!! X🌎X🌍X🌏

A photo posted by Female Travel #girlsLOVEtravel (@girlslovetravel) on

 

6. He travels with me all over the US, and is the best travel buddy you could ask for! He has been on a cross country drive from FL to CA, multiple plane rides, road trips, and ferries! His favorite vacation spot is Catalina Island, where this picture was taken. Traveling with a dog is not easy, but so worth it. They get nervous at times, so it is very important to bring their favorite treats, and a portable water bowl. It’s also very important to know the rules, and do research before you take them anywhere as you don’t want to put your pup, or others at risk.

We hope you had a great #NationalDogDay! Meet another traveling pup via #girlslovetravel member @christy_travelinglovebug 🐶❤️🌏 . "Meet Tucker! 💛 He travels with me all over the US, and is the best travel buddy you could ask for! He has been on a cross country drive from FL to CA, multiple plane rides, road trips, and ferries! His favorite vacation spot is Catalina Island, where this picture was taken. Traveling with a dog is not easy, but so worth it. They get nervous at times, so it is very important to bring their favorite treats, and a portable water bowl. It's also very important to know the rules, and do research before you take them anywhere as you don't want to put your pup, or others at risk. 😍" . #openmyworld #goplayoutside #greatnorthcollective #wildernessculture #letsgosomewhere #ourplanetdaily #wildlifeplanet #keepitwild #stayandwander #campvibes #lonelyplanet #passionpassport #themountainiscalling #theoutbound #mindthemountains #explorewildly #weeklyfluff #delight_pets #dogsofinstagram #funpetloveclub #dogscorner #dogdailyfeaturesss #inspiredbypets #sheisnotlost #dametraveler #girlswhotravel #wearetravelgirls

A photo posted by Female Travel #girlsLOVEtravel (@girlslovetravel) on

 

7. “A magical summer in Hawaii let me hike high into the mountains amongst the misty clouds, or dive below the surface of the ocean in some of the clearest water I’ve ever seen. On a lucky day, we’d be swimming amongst pods of dolphins in this very same spot!”

 

8. “Sometimes you see a photo of a place, and it grabs you. It becomes the impetus of a sudden need to visit a place you had never considered before. A photo of Trolltunga had that effect on me. I saw this place and thought, “I have to stand there one day, and that day needs to be soon.” A cheap flight, some time off of work, and a brief 22 km hike later, there I was. And as sore as my body was later, it was damn worth it to witness in person that awe inspiring view!”

 

9. “Almost 2 years ago I quit my job in London to work full-time on the go as a travel blogger and travel writer. It’s been an endlessly fulfilling journey and the novelty of working around the world just doesn’t cease. This is a photo of my ‘office’ this morning at Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

 

What’s your travel story? Share your experiences with me here!

 

 

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How To Find Cheap Flights & Airfare Deals – 14 Tips & Best Kept Secrets

We all want to take a couple of weeks off from our daily schedule and head to a dreamy destination. Be it to the beaches, the mountains or the pretty cities. But let’s face it, travelling is getting more expensive by the hour and airfare makes up for the biggest part of our trip expenses. The good news is, cheap flights ARE out there if you know how to find them. So here I’m, dishing out secrets to get the best deal and save tons of moolah!

  1. Clear your cookies: Airlines can track your behaviour online, and even track IP addresses. There is a possibility that the prices could go up for flights that are searched frequently.
  1. Fly on your birthday: Yes, you might get upgraded to first class. Before you check-in, politely mention it’s your birthday. If the airline has empty seats, chances are they’ll bump you to the first class. (Or at the very least, treat you to a glass of champagne!)
  1. Be spontaneous (Especially on an upcoming weekend): Airlines, eighty percent of the time, cut prices when they can’t fill the flight. Be on a lookout for flights right before the long weekends and national holidays.

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  1. Get on Kayak.com! If you have no particular destination in mind and just a budget, this is for you! This website helps you look for places under your It is most helpful when you’re searching for multiple airline fares at a time.
  1. Look for coupons and offers: Repeat with me – Google is your best friend. Before you book a ticket, search for offers the airline company or a third party website is providing. Searching for something as simple as “Jet Airways promo code Sepember-2016” before you pay for your tickets can save you big bucks!
  1. Book refundable tickets: Unless you’re getting non-refundable tickets at a dirt-cheap price, ALWAYS book refundable tickets. The advantage is that, if by any chance your airline fare drops, you can cancel your existing ticket and book a cheaper flight.
  1. Search for tickets one trip at a time: Airlines make round trips relatively expensive. You can save tons of money by booking your trips on different airlines. Also, booking connecting flights can save a significant amount of money – as much as Rs 5000 on international flights!
  1. Don’t book too early: You have often heard people say, “book as quickly as you can, otherwise the prices will shoot up.” This is definitely a myth you need to stop believing! If you’re booking too early or too late, chances are that you’re paying a higher price. The ideal time to book your flights is 6-8 weeks before your holiday.
  1. Don’t fear the layover: If a layover can save you even twenty-five percent of the airfare, go for it! This is definitely one of the lifesavers for a budget traveller.
  1. Don’t ignore the airlines’ website. The best deals I’ve ever got were not through Yatra or Expedia or Make My Trip, but through private sales on the airlines’ website.
  1. Miles, miles, miles: Believe it or not, miles CAN help you travel even for FREE! Sign up for a Frequent Flyer Program. I’m signed up for the Etihad Miles Program and the benefits are not too bad. From renting a car to booking a hotel, I pay for these services and receive miles in return. This eventually adds up and these miles can get me an upgrade me to first class or help me get a free one-way international ticket.
  1. Skyscanner.net and Airfarewatchdog.com are your best mates – These websites will ping you when there is even a slightest drop in prices. It’s best if you subscribe to their notifications.
  1. Sign up for a credit card that is miles friendly: Every time you shop, eat, or party, you’re receiving miles in your wallet. What more do you want? Citibank PremierMiles Card has some really great offers!
  1. Psst… Book your flight on a Wednesday at 12.30 am IST. Don’t ask me why, but flights are the cheapest!

What are you waiting for? Leave on a jet plane already!

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Of High Slits & Deep Necks | Playground Edition

“Meet me at the playground, come with me, fool around…”

Remember those bruises from falling around, those flip-flops, which got lost in the sand, the see-saws and the slides?

Those ups and downs in the playground eventually shaped those little kids with dreams to become women with power.

Here I am, cherishing those memories… ❤️

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Double knot top: Koovs

Drop necklace: Koovs

Trousers: Zara

Shoes: Topshop

 

xx

Gopika

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What Really Happens When A Solo Indian Female Traveller Travels The World

Mark Twain once said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

I listened.

It sounds easy, dreamy, almost like a fairytale, isn’t it? Well that’s what it sounded like to me. So as a gullible, naïve 19-year-old teenager, who believed anything and everything is possible, from New Delhi, bewitched by Mr. Twain, with parents as cautious as me cracking a semantic joke in the 21-st century without ruffling anyone’s feathers, I set out to explore, dream, discover. Travelling alone in India is still considered a risky, foolish pursuit for women but I promised my parents that I wouldn’t wander off to strange corners, always have pepper spray on me and keep them aware of my whereabouts. The first place I set my foot was New York for my summer school. I got off the plane, without any familiar faces to look into and head straight to the cab station.

“You must be Indian”, the cabbie remarked.

“I sure am” I gleamed as a proud national. I didn’t sense that little sprinkle of racism until I begun to completely immerse myself in the Empire State. While I did totally love being the easily recognisable brown girl, what I was not okay with was ONLY being that girl. Don’t get me wrong, I did have magical experiences, shared many glasses of Caprioska with a bunch of impressive strangers and oh those foodgasms! I was in love with the city and dreamed to make it my home someday.

Fast forward six months, I was alone in Krabi, Thailand after a bunch of my girlfriends cancelled on me. As an enthu-cutlet that I’m, I couldn’t wait to see what the town had to offer. I hopped to the cute little stores, which hung beautiful embroidered bags and crochet shorts. I picked up a few and as I proceeded to pay, the mid-60s Thai woman casually asked me where I was from. “India!” I said. She seemed a bit taken aback. As I tried to enquire about her expression, she exclaimed, “ Indians are rude. They no pay. You are sweet. I didn’t think you were from India”. While I did take a part of that remark as a compliment, the other part got me to think. It was a complisult, I figured. But all I did that moment was walk away.

SATC, the Burberry Ads and other works of fiction made me believe it was rather easy to meet people, get along and have a great time. For most part of it, it’s true. But not always, especially when seemingly casual conversations turn uncomfortable with subtle insertions of racism.

“How is your English so good?” (Believe it or not, I did have the “privilege” of attending a school. Just like you.”)

“You’re so gorgeous, especially for an Indian!” (Thanks, but no thanks!)

“Does India look like Slumdog Millionaire, a third world country?” (No, it’s a blend of amazing cultures & beautiful languages, a throbbing business hub, and a place of a lifetime!)

“Do you speak Indian?” (If it were a language, I would’ve!)

“You have Zara in India? OMG!”

“Did you ride the elephants to school?” (That would be damn cool now, wouldn’t it?)

I failed to understand how a person’s nationality and country defined them by such a great extent. At the TedGlobal 2014 Talk, Taiye Selasi said “To me, a country — this thing that could be born, die, expand, contract — hardly seemed the basis for understanding a human being.” I concur. Doesn’t a person’s experiences, stories, attitudes define a person more than just the place she was born in? Taiye Selasi further added “The myth of national identity and the vocabulary of coming from confuses us into placing ourselves into mutually exclusive categories. In fact, all of us are multi — multi-local, multi-layered. To begin our conversations with an acknowledgement of this complexity brings us closer together, I think, not further apart.”

It unfortunately did bring us further apart. Don’t get me wrong here. I’m only referring to about 35% of people I met along my journey. And they’re definitely not keeping me from going even further. What made me further upset was as I travelled through Europe & America among other continents, the few “well travelled” people I met along the way were in fact the most ignorant ones or that they chose to be.

But here it is – People will reduce you on the basis of things you have no control over. But you must still keep going. The journey is beautiful, and even the most gorgeous roses have thorns. Tell those people that it’s impossible to understand a country’s cultural theme from the outside, show them the reality of where you belong, be patient, teach them what they don’t understand. The world is not just a place to learn, but a place to teach as well. Communicate, inform, advise. And for every person you educate, there is one fewer person who doesn’t think of Indian as a language but as a diverse nation that is multilingual, multicultural and oh-so-gorgeous!

It’s been 4 years since I travelled solo for the very first time. I’ve visited 25 countries since. I most definitely fell in love with the journey the way “Prometheus fell in love with humans.” It has been ecstatic, amusing, breathtaking, educational, surprising, uncomfortable, too comfortable, thrilling, scary, offbeat and so much more… I will never forget watching the sunset at Oia, Santorini, enjoying the fourth of July fireworks in New York, kayaking in Koh Hong, skinny dipping in Paris, sipping martinis at the infinity pool in Singapore, falling asleep with strangers by the river… these are the stories that define me, the adventures and the people I’ve met along the way have built my personality, brick by brick.

To me, to judge an individual by the colour of their skin or their country of origin is purely wrong because, hey, there is so much more!

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x

Gopika E.M.

 

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11 Offbeat Dishes To Try In New Delhi

“I’ll order what I ate last time I was here…” – We’ve all been there, done that. Ordered the same Big Chill pasta, the usual pepperoni pizza or the exact same thai curry! Don’t you disagree to that! *wink*

It’s about time we break the cycle, cleanse our palates and dive into something more *offbeat*, something you don’t try every other day. Say yes?

1. Cinnamon crepes stuffed & served with ricotta, wilted spinach, roasted pine nuts, do piaza gravy, curry leaf & parmesan masala at Eau De Monsoon – Le Meridien

 

2. Spinach gnocchi with beans purée & butter garlic sauce at Perch Wine & Coffee Bar, Vasant Vihar

 

3.(Left) Chenna & passion fruit brûlée with chocolate rasmalai terrine. (Right.) Gulab jamun malai cheesecake with rose ice cream and red fruit compote at Le Meridien.

 

4.Nepali Platter at Yeti, G.K 2

Tibetan dinners on Friday nights

A photo posted by GopikaEM.com (@gopikaem) on

 

5.Rasberry Delice at Yauatcha

Sunday night cravings.

A photo posted by GopikaEM.com (@gopikaem) on

 

6.Dal Chawal Aranchini at Farzi Cafe, DLF Cyber Hub

Who knew dal-chawal could look this fancy?!

A photo posted by GopikaEM.com (@gopikaem) on

 

7.Khao Tang Gai Yang – rice crackers topped with tofu and chilly at Ziu, Sangam Courtyard

Thai Thursdays (above.) Khao Tang Gai Yang – rice crackers topped with tofu and chilly.

A photo posted by GopikaEM.com (@gopikaem) on

 

8.Jalapeno Mac n Cheese with Parmesan Crust at Social Offline, Hauz Khas

 

9.Pumpkin Manti & Mushroom Manti at Lavaash By Saby

 

10.Parle-G Cheesecake at Farzi Cafe, C.P

Nostalgic feels #ParleG! Sneak peak at @farzicafe #Delhi #BeforeAnyoneElse

A photo posted by GopikaEM.com (@gopikaem) on

 

11.Our Quinoa Salad at Coast Cafe, Hauz Khas Village

Wholesome goodness – Quinoa, shredded arugula, olives, feta, cherry tomatoes and pomegranates ✨

A photo posted by GopikaEM.com (@gopikaem) on

 

Have I missed out anything? Write to me & let me know here so I can try your yummazing suggestions!

Till then, enjoy the food coma…😀