Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of ouir 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 ail ones lifetime.
As a six year old in the 1970s, I was trying to get my head around the concept of ‘foreign’ country, when I saw Amitabh Bachchan in The Great Gambler. One song – ‘Do Lafzo Ki Hai Dil Ki Kahani’ – particularly held me spellbound as I watched my hero romancing with Zeenat in a Gondola in Venice. Even the Gondolier’s singing seemed beautiful, although I didn’t understand anything he sang… heck, I don’t even now! That image of Venice remained and I promised to visit it.
Photo Gallery India Travel Organizer Recap Prologue
India Travel Organizer Recap Prologue Images
I finally kept that promise to myself when we visited Venice some years back. Visiting Venice is not a notable feat, I agree – millions of tourists go there every year, and many of them are from India. But then, you also think that these people can afford to travel there since they are loaded, implying that travel, especially international travel is the preserve of the affluent class only. We went to Venice on a 18-day trip to Turkey, Greece and Italy. All by ourselves. In less than Rs. Three Lakhs! This amount assumes significance in the light of the fact that a similar trip for our family by a leading tour operator would have set us back by Rs. Nine Lakhs. (I have written a post on DIY Travel at http://tripwiz. In/diy-travel-vs-travel-agents) The point of this book is not to tell you how to travel to places you dream of – it is to enable you to discover the path to travelling with much less money and stress.
Outbound tourism from India has risen over the years. But, considering the sheer numbers of us Indians, we still have some catching up to do. As per United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), international tourist arrivals grew 5% in 2013 – an additional 52 million tourists, reaching a record 1,087 million arrivals despite global economic challenges. For 2014, UNWTO forecasts 4% to 4.5% growth. In spite of the weakening Rupee and the economic conditions, India is the world leader for outbound tourists in percentage terms – second only to China which leads in terms of number of tourists. The UNWTO predicts that India will account for 50 million outbound tourists by 2020. As of 2014, the number Indian travelers going abroad will exceed 15 million, spending more than US$ 300 million or nearly Rs. 1800 Crores! Dubai and Singapore are the top favourites for the Indian tourists. And which state leads the pack among outbound tourists? – Apno Gujarat, of course, closely followed by Maharashtra.
It is, therefore, hardly surprising when tourism boards and departments of many destinations are rolling out the red carpet for the Indian traveller. Yeah, we like going abroad – a wish that is second only to owning our own home (a survey conducted by IMRB confirmed that). But, does travelling abroad have to be expensive? Especially, for us in India where we are so ‘value conscious’ sometimes these prices prove to be a downer. But it doesn’t have to be this way. If you know how and where to look for the deals.
I would stick my neck out by saying that, if you plan and implement what I reveal in this book, you will be able to travel abroad at much lesser expense – in fact sometimes, even lesser than domestic travelling! I am saying this from experience – in 2011, we were planning our summer vacation to a tourist place in the North – you know researching various destinations, and experiencing disappointment that all the good hotels were either sold out or way over the budget. Then suddenly out of whim, I said why not try some nearby destination abroad. We had already been to South East Asian places. So why not try Dubai? To cut the story short, we enjoyed a 10-day vacation in Dubai for less than what it would have cost us in the hill-station How did I do that? That is what I will tell you now and this is called Travel Hacking.
Now, when most people hear the words hacking or hacker, they relate it to computers and the Internet. Yes, these terms were popularized by IT, but the origins are much older. To hack (colloquially) means to ‘cut through’. So when you hack travel, you essentially cut through the various ‘not-so-well-known’ ways and means of travelling in style with much less money. And like you need a tool to cut through, say the forest, you need several tools for travel hacking which this eBook tells you. While this guide deals mostly with aspects related to travel to foreign destinations, it is equally applicable to domestic travel as well, because the strategy and tactics are the same for both categories of travel.