Latest Posts

Why I Quit My Job To Travel

Smiling faces

Last week, I took a wee trip to Rishikesh – the land of sadhus and of many people’s spiritual rebirth. I have a personal affection, some attachment to this place. This is where I once spent two months, practicing meditation and taking spiritual lessons.

But this time, my arrival was accompanied by a sense of unexpected realization. I wondered, as I grabbed myself walking along its frenzied, confused walkways, that how lucky I am to experience places like Rishikesh again and again. And yet, it is never the climax of my trip. It is always the beginning.

“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls” Anais Nin

It has been more than two years now, since I quit my job and started travelling, yet I never shared here why and how it all happened. It would be nice to say that I wanted to understand myself, and find my inner consciousness, but frankly speaking, it’s not true. The only part which is true is that I’ve had enough living the same boring 9 to 5 corporate life every day. I wanted to do more than that. I wanted to see the world. Meet new people. Learn better ideas. Find out what’s wrong with this system of corporate culture, that it never made anyone happy – no matter what they achieved in their life. Simply put, I wanted to educate myself in a way that no school, no job ever did before.

traveller

But one thing is saying that I want to do this and the other thing is realizing I am actually doing it.

Traveling is no less than a pursuit of happiness for me. Yet, throughout this time, I’ve often stumbled upon questions like “Why I quit my job to travel” or “How did I manage to make such a decision” or “What’s next” – with all this, what others actually wanted to ask me was why did I not go for a two-week calculated holiday (or a couple of month’s sabbatical, if I am being pretentiously brazen about it) to quench my thirst of travel, as an averagely sane person would otherwise do.

The truth is, there is no fun in that. I have taken enough of these recreational holidays – as people often term them – in my life. When I was working I found myself claiming the boundaries of my city almost every weekend, with a couple of friends, drinking a bunch of beers and coming back, but that was no solution. The minute you enter the premises of your office, the next day, it feels as if that sweet, sally trip, that in fact, went past in the blink of an eye, actually never happened. I wanted something more than that. Something bigger. Something permanent.

Discontentment Is Good

Discontentment is the very first step to a new beginning. My discontentment towards my job brought me into this. I’d always loved India, but I never loved my life in India. I loved my profession (of writing), but I never loved my job. It seemed I was just accepting things as they came, and as everyone says “this is life and you got to learn to deal with it.”

But I think I never managed to master that art. Though I tried to suppress my unsatisfied soul the traditional way, by changing jobs and running after money. But it was just not enough. My audacious, fertile mind – discontented and grumbling – kept pushing me until I shifted focus.

writing

The Journey That Changed It All

I took my first solo trip back in 2014 (you can read about it all here), while I was still working, to trek for a few days under the colossal Himalayas. It was a life changing experience. Though there was nothing extraordinarily great about the journey, the freedom in travelling solo was, in fact, quite addictive. And that was it. I spent the next few months, saving as much money possible from the job I was doing, having a very clear focus in my mind – to leave this lifestyle behind and travel the world.

“I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world” Mary Anne Radmacher

Though it may sound cool and easy how I managed to quit my job and get ahead with the mission See-The-World. But trust me, it wasn’t.

Two years Later

Though my journey as a solo traveller and as someone on a perpetually limited budget – particularly during the first year of travel-blogging – has had many highs and lows, when I look back and think of what travelling has given me during all this time, if there’s one thing that comes to my mind, it is: a mileage of a different kind.

I mean forget about the money I’ve made and the number of sponsored trips I’ve scored during all this period, the kind of self-transformation travelling have provided me with, compensates everything.

And speaking of what’s next, I think I’ll continue travelling for as long as my heart will desire, and if I ever wanted some stillness, or a periodic absence-of-movement in life, I can always go back and resume what I was (before 2016) doing. But this time, to only do it much better!

Respect my decision? Like my lifestyle? Then why not follow me on InstagramFacebook and Twitter, and be my inspiration?

You can also subscribe to my Youtube channel.

OR subscribe to my monthly newsletter (shared only once every month!) and get travel advice and free giveaways right in your inbox!

Exploring The Medieval Town Of Rothenburg: An Ideal Travel Guide

Somewhere beyond the usually marked trail, Germany harbours a secret. A place where the morning sun glitters like gold, where half-timbered houses dot a timeless valley.  A town that happens to be one of those rare upbringings of time, where the romantic flair of the Middle Ages and Renaissance still exist. A town, which, with its less than 10k local Germans take you back in time, while keeping a perfect harmony with the present.

I remember how when I was planning for my itinerary to spend about a week in Bavaria, Rothenburg was high on my list. And to honestly admit it, I had no idea about its history, the people who make it so beautiful or any fact about the town whatsoever. It was the colourful Google Images of Rothenburg that happened to be my original fascination — the old town square, the many high-timbered houses, the medieval cobblestone streets, all of which set a very fairytale-like image of the town in my head.

Of course, in an ideal world, Rothenburg is a kind of town where I would happily spend days, weeks, years or perhaps just get retired there and stay forever. But sometimes all we have is just a day. So here’s an ideal Rothenburg travel guide on how to make the most of your day in Rothenburg. It talks about places to see, where to stay and how to get to Rothenburg — all derived from my personal experiences and discoveries.

Rothenburg, My Favorite In Germany

Of all the countries I’ve been to, outside of India, Germany remains the most visited for me. In the previous 18 months, I’ve visited Germany thrice. And beyond just the usual Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich trail, I’ve even been to some of the most unheard of countryside towns. But out of all of Germany, Rothenburg remains my favourite highlight.

I think Rothenburg has some kind of charm in its air. As you walk along its few intermingled streets you are taken back in time (particularly during the early morning hours when there are no tourists).

Other than an impressively restored architecture, dating back hundreds of years, its original protective wall from the 12th century still surrounds the entire town — just like it did back in days. Rothenburg, no wonder, is truly a fairy-tale town that brings alike the medieval fantasies.

What To See & Do In Rothenburg: Top Tourist Highlights

Walk Along Its Streets: One of the best things to do in Rothenburg is to simply stroll along its streets and admire the views. The town is small and easy to stroll on your own. However, you have a lot of options if you’re looking for a bit more in-depth tour. You can take a group or private walk led by a guide from the Tourist Information office (Marktplatz 2), and/or go on the daily Night Watchman’s Tour. Early mornings and evenings are the best time to take a walk and avoid other tourists but note the hours of any sights you want to visit along your stroll.

Eat A Schneeball: Rothenburg’s signature pastry Schneeball (or a snowball in English) is certainly a must-try. Traditionally, they’re made of strips of dough that are formed into a ball and deep-fried, before dusted with confectioner’s sugar, hence the name Snowball. Snowballs were, moreover, traditionally cooked during the family gathering and community meetings.

And where to eat them? Well, they’re available pretty much in every bakery around the town. So just look for the nearest bakery to you and you shall find one.

Some bakeries even run group tours to show how to cook them.

Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas Store: Though it’s true that the most interesting time for anyone to be visiting Germany is Christmas, for Rothenburg, one doesn’t need to wait for it. Because at Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas Store, every evening is a Christmas evening.

Behind the store, lies the Christmas museum (not free but totally worth a few Euros) that walks you through tons of really interesting Christmas history.

Medieval Crime Museum: One of rarest of its kind, the crime museum, as the name suggests, is all about the gutwrenching and bloody details of how crime/punishment was handled back in the Medieval days. It goes into serious detail about what went down and boasts an impressive collection of artefacts (torture instruments included). Certainly, a must-not-miss if you can handle a bit of grimness. But rest assured, the tour will not make you sad when you will exit the museum.

The Plönlein: With an adorable half-timbered house, sandwiched by tall towers and cobblestoned streets, The Plönlein makes it for the most iconic view in Rothenburg ob der Tauber. This is moreover the picture you will find on most of the postcards of Rothenburg.

Tower Trail of The Old Town Wall: One of the biggest draws of Rothenburg ob der Tauber is its well-preserved walls where you can climb and walk around the city in a circle catching best views of the town inside and the countryside outside of the walls.

The town wall’s many awesome towers and gates are moreover a great highlight to explore, most of which, you will automatically stumble upon as you walk through the city.

Remember, this 1.5-mile stroll atop the wall is at its most medieval before breakfast or at sunset.

Getting To Rothenburg

The simplest way is to visit Rothenburg ob der Tauber is of course with a group tour who takes care of all the transportation, but I won’t suggest a day tour, as I highly recommend staying at least one night in the town. Still, if you’re short with time and have already booked your stay at someplace else, day tours from Munich and Frankfurt are quite possible and there are a lot of tour agencies running day tours to Rothenburg.

BY CAR: From the Rothenburg ob der Tauber tourism website: “Take Highway A7 Würzburg – Ulm to Rothenburg. Take exit 108 “Rothenburg / Tauber” and follow the signposts for the town centre. Those driving to Rothenburg will be happy to know that it’s allowed to drive anywhere inside the old town of Rothenburg, as long as your car fits in the road, though parking isn’t too easy to come by in the old town as the streets are quite narrow, and mostly bustling with day-trippers.

BY TRAIN: I visited Rothenburg in a train (from Munich to Rothenburg ob der Tauber train station). The station is located very close to the Old Town, so you can get there by foot in less than 10 minutes. Use the Deutsche Bahn website to plan your journey. The train journey takes 3-4 hours depending on which train you catch (from Munich as well as from Frankfurt).

Stay At Least One Night

During my one stay in Rothenburg, I saw waves upon waves of tourists flocking to the town but sadly for just a few hours. They would come in a group of 30 in a big tourist bus, quickly scan a few streets, a couple of attractions, and return to wherever they came from. Rothenburg, in all its charming glory, is quite popular among day trippers. But that’s now how Rothenburg is supposed to be explored. The original charm of Rothenburg is in staying for at least one night and slowly absorbing its beauty.

The experience of walking the streets, or sitting in 150 years old cafe, after all the crowds have gone home is just unbeatable. Rothenburg is a kind of town that takes you back in time, and you need time to actually go back in time.

So plan at least one night, especially when there are a lot of inexpensive and cosy guesthouses to choose from in Rothenburg.

Where To Stay In Rothenburg

There are lots of adorable little hotels in Rothenburg. I stayed at Hotel Schranne, which is a converted 16th-century mansion with gorgeous decor. This is a great location that feels fancy but is well priced. I also recommend dining here. It’s classic German food with an intimate and delicate flair. They serve dishes made with ingredients from local farmers and beef.

Have you been to Rothenburg? What did you like about the city the most? Spill in comments below!

An Ideal 3-Day Travel Itinerary For Munich

While it is true that Berlin – the capital city of Germany – is often considered as the most favorable destination for young travellers to visit in Germany, and is hyped all around the globe as a party town, the hipster hotspot and the place to be right now, Munich is no less a secret haven for backpackers and young travellers alike.

I found Munich a more original destination, needless to say, a place that is more than the typical German clichés. So if you’re going to be spending some time in Germany, Munich is a must-see and a fantastically convenient hub from which to easily explore different attractions and sights in the greater Bavaria region and even the neighbouring Austria.

And to tell you honestly, you need a week or more to really see Munich, but I understand it’s not possible for everyone. So if you’re short with time, this guide will give you enough ideas to whet your appetite and leave Munich with many unforgettable memories. This is not just any other Munich City guide but an actual layout based on my personal experiences in the city. I tried a lot of other things beyond what’s mentioned (and of course in a completely different order) but out of all of them, if you cover the experiences and places mentioned below and in an exact order mentioned, I promise, you will make the most of your wee-trip to Munich.

A 3-Day Travel Itinerary For Munich And Around

Day 1 In Munich

Take The Morning Guided Bike Tour

During my four-day stay in Munich, I tried a guided bike tour (with MikeBike Tours) and a Vespa tour (with MunichByVespa) and found both of them an ideal way to cover all major highlights in the town on a fast-track. Though public transportation is also very effective in Munich, these two options were quicker, convenient and much hassle-free for the first time travellers.

There are a few bike tour operators in Munich but I suggest you go for the Superior Bike Tour with MikeBikeTours at 9:30 in the morning which costs €39 for adults and covers most of the architectural highlights of central Munich. In just about 5 hours, you visit the impressive Königsplatz, the nearby site of the NSDAP Headquarters (Führerbau) where the Munich Agreement was signed in 1938, Max Joseph-Platz where you can find glimpses of Munich residence and national theatre, Ludwig Maximillians University, the heart of Munich and the central square of Marienplatz, and of course, Munich’s most popular beer garden (the English Garden) for lunch and a mug of beer.

There are over 15 stops during the tour with guided commentary and in just 5 hours, you get to learn a great deal about the history of the city, a bit about the Nazi Occupation and some pretty great stories about the people that lived in and built up Munich. I’ve personally learned that a guided tour on the first day itself is the single best way to acquaint yourself with a new city and when it comes to a town like Munich, where there’s so much to see and do, a guided tour becomes even crucial.

A guided walking tour also serves the same purpose (as a bike tour does) and covers pretty much the same highlights but when you’re bounded with time, a bit of speed may be the alibi you need.

Drink Your Second Beer At Viktualienmarkt

Your bike tour should end back at Marienplatz just in time to grab a bite and a mug of beer (again!) and there can’t be a better place than Viktualienmarkt now that you’re already there.

Located in Marienplatz, Viktualienmarkt is a daily food market and an ideal stop to try some typical delicacies from Bavaria, but also international products from all over the world.

Climb The St. Peter’s Church

Once ready with a happy stomach, head to the St Peter’s Church in Marienplatz to climb its tower (of about 300 steps) and catch the panoramic view of Munich’s old town centre. If lucky, you can also catch the glimpses of the alps in the distance (I, unfortunately, wasn’t!).

Tip: If you’re not very hungry after the bike tour, you can also do the St Peter’s Church before heading to Virtua, as both the places are right next to each other are already in Marienplatz. This will save you some walking. 

Eat At A Kebab Takeaway

It is well noticing and appreciating the fact that Munich, or Germany at large, has a big Turkish community living there with a strong influence of Turkish cuisine. At every 200m, you will see a Turkish food joint selling Doner Kebabs or something equally amazing.

So while you’re in Munich, don’t miss a chance to eat a real Turkish Doner Kebab, or even better, a Doner box!

Day 2 In Munich

Rent a Vespa And Look All Trendy & Stylish

Stylish, practical, innovative, classic… descriptions of the Vespa, the iconic Italian scooter, are endless. These vehicles aren’t just nice to look at, they’re also a very unique way to explore many towns in Europe, and Munich just happens to be one of them. During my travels in Munich, I rented a Vespa for a couple of days and explored the town in a beguiling fashion.

Though it’s fairly easy to explore Munich in public transport (as I said before) or by renting out a car, a Vespa is just as quick and much handy, as you can park your Vespa on any pedestrian path, just like a bike, without worrying about getting a ticket or every buying a parking ticket at all.

Start Your Day With Some Sausages & Potato Salad

So start your Vespa and head to a Bavarians love sausages and their staple breakfast is Weisswurst. So eat a Weisswurst if you can handle something heavy if not, any sausage and a bit of potato salad can let you kickstart your day like a real Bavarian.

And if it’s not too early for you, a beer to settle it all down. There are going to be several street cafes to grab a quick sausage and potato salad, but if you still get a hard time finding one, I can recommend Königlicher Hirschgarten located somewhere in between your way from Vespa Munich to Nymphenburg Palace. They offer simple regional food & a wide range of beer.

Once done, head to the most visited place in Munich and an important place in the history of Bavaria: the Nymphenburg summer palace.

Visiting The Nymphenburg Summer Palace

The home to the former Royal family of Bavaria, the Nymphenburg Summer Palace is a must-see in Munich. And since it’s one of the frequented places in town, you would want to arrive at the palace right when it opens to have the place almost to yourself having beaten the tour buses.

I recommend buying the ticket that gives you access to everything on offer, however, if your budget is tight or you are short on time, I recommend you still not to miss the main museum exhibition and the stable. No matter which ticket you buy, head straight into the main museum to get a good head start on the crowds. The gardens can be visited without a ticket and are worth a stroll.

It is quite likely that you will end up spending a good share of your day at Nymphenburg Palace. Though an ideal visit can take an entire day, for those for whom the idea is to thoroughly absorb the place, since we are short in time we will not spend more than half a day there and head to our next highlight, which is…

Lunch At Hofbräuhaus

I suggest heading to the Hofbräuhaus for late-afternoon munchies, that is one of the oldest beer gardens in the world. Serving typical litre-beer steins of their own brew, Hofbräuhaus is all about the atmosphere as lederhosen-clad staff sling beer steins across tables, spotting sweet smiling ladies carry around baskets of freshly baked pretzels and joining a few dozen guests busy with a mug of beer.

I loved the ambience in Hofbräuhaus than in any other beer garden in Munich.

Pick A Tour And Explore The Streets On Your Vespa

Unlike the many big cities around the world, Munich, despite being a bustling city has some sort of charm in driving around its streets. Perhaps that’s why it has some of the most beautiful and expensive cars than anywhere else in Europe – call it the another Dubai. And one of the things I loved the most (more than exploring the tourist highlights) is riding the Vespa around the city.

Just pick one of the many routes in the GPS provided with your Vespa or simply choose the streets that catch your fancy. I particularly loved the area around Olympiapark and Luitpoldpark for their comparatively broader and less crowded streets.

Day 3 Escaping Munich

One of the best things about Munich is that it is strategic placement in South Germany, that leaves yours with many options for a day trip. The only downside is that you can’t combine them all in one day.

During my recent trip to Munich and Bavaria region, I explored a few towns around Munich that were all ideal for day trips. Other than the towns, I also tried skydiving for a day which can also be an ideal day-trip for adventure buffs. So on day three, here are a couple of suggestions:

For Adventure Buffs: Skydiving In Günzburg

Located in Günzburg, in the Swabia region of Bavaria (about 2 hours train ride from Munich, towards Stuttgart) is the airfield for adventure sports like adrenaline aircraft ride and skydiving. And if you’re into adventure sports, a day trip to try tandem skydiving can just be the most memorable thing to do during your Germany Holiday.

I skydived with a company called Fallschirmsport Airtime that, for a price of EUR 200, gives you a 60 sec of adrenaline rush (or a 60 sec of free fall). To get there, you can take a train from Munich to Günzburg (which takes 1.5 hours and about 20 EUR for a single journey). A 20 minutes walk to the airfield and you’re ready to try one of the most extreme adventure sports in the world. The entire skydiving experience (from training to jump and getting your skydive certificate) can take 4-5 hours. With 4 hours of travel from Munich, it makes it for an entire day-trip.

Here, for further reading about my first Skydiving Experience.

For History/Nature Lovers: Hohenschwangau & Neuschwanstein Castle, And The Alps

Just 1.5 hours from Munich you can find yourself at the foothills of the Alps, wandering the tiny Bavarian village of Füssen with a pretzel in hand. Where the town itself is a highlight and worth exploring, the main draw to this area are the castles of Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein, related to King Ludwig II.

Both the castle is quite a spectacular to explore. Set in a mountain setting, it’s hard to visit them without conjuring up thoughts of fairy tales and royal musings.

There are two ways to get there. One, you take the bus from Munich (or a train to Füssen followed by a bus to Hohenschwangau) on your own and it drops you in Hohenschwangau, from where you can get your tickets to the castles and then walk up the hill. The convenient way, however, is booking a guided day-tour that includes a ticket to visit the castles and your transportation from Munich.

Read More: Day Trip To Fussen & The Castles Of Hohenschwangau & Neuschwanstein.

The Budget To Do It All

Though it’s true that Munich can be a little brutal on your pocket for it is one of the most expensive cities in Germany, you need not turn your money wallets inside out to have a good time. Moreover, Munich is one of those rare towns in the world, that, may jut be a little pricey, but offer everything of top-class: from your hotel room to the subway everything in Munich is going to be neat and clean.

Here’s a rough money classification:

Day1: €39 for the bike tour + €10 for a beer and light snacks in English Garden during the bike tour + €15 for lunch and beer in Viktualienmarkt + €3 to climb St. Peter’s tower + €10 for dinner in a Kebab shop [Roughly €67 plus accommodation + breakfast]

Day2:  €59 for renting the Vespa + €7 for the traditional sausage breakfast + €9 for a full tour at Nymphenburg Summer Palace + €15 for the lunch and a beet at Hofbräuhaus [Roughly €90 plus accommodation + dinner]

Day3: €209 for skydiving + €40 for the transportation to Günzburg [Roughly €249 plus accommodation + all meals] OR for a guided tour to the castles of castles Of Hohenschwangau & Neuschwanstein from Munich, roughly €60 plus accommodation + all meals.

Where To Stay In Munich

Munich is one of the central and most visited destinations in Germany. Having said that, there’s no dearth of places to sleep in the city. From budget backpackers to luxury seven stars, Munich has something for everyone. However, I can recommend Bold Hotels where I ended up staying throughout my stay in Munich and loved them for every detail. For a price of EUR 70 I got my own room, a balcony a small kitchen and a bathroom (with underfloor heating) with every detail matching the Germany standards.

Their buffet breakfast was moreover a daily treat!

Further reading, for those who have more time in Munich and want to cover a few more highlights: Top Tourist Attractions In Munich

Top Tourist Attractions In Munich Not To Miss

Visiting Munich? Don’t miss these top tourist attractions!

Munich was in my bucket-list for long for all the good things I had heard about it from fellow travellers. Though it was true that most people who adored Munich adored it for its annual beer festival, I found there’s still a lot more to the city of Munich than the drinking steins of beers and going crazy among Octoberfest’s huge drunk crowds.

Munich is host to a beautiful historic city centre, many serene public-parks (where one can even surf) vibrant beer gardens and some hearty German food — no wonder, being the third largest town in Germany and the largest in South Germany, Munich has a lot to offer. And what makes it better than any other town (even better than Berlin — the rebel free-city of Germany, so to speak) is its posher, cleaner and more well-behaving look.

Also Read: Berlin Travel Guide

So if I were to suggest that one big German city (please note that I am still not comparing it with the cuter small towns like Rothenburg or Fussen) that every traveller must visit Munich is going to top the list. And speaking of the top tourist highlights in Munich, here are some suggestions:

Top Tourist Attractions In Munich

Marienplatz (Mary’s Square)

The heart and central square of Munich, Marienplatz is home to one of the favourite things about Germany and that is its Christmas markets. But if you visit is outside of December (as I happened to visit) you will still find it as one of the centre attractions in Munich. Have a look at the Old and New Town Hall, Mary’s Column in the middle and St. Peter’s Church, the oldest church of Munich.

It is even possible to get a panoramic view of much of the town by climbing either the tower of the New Town Hall (elevator) or the tower of St. Peter (stairs only).

For a more real and old-school European charm, however, climb the tower of St. Peter’s (nearly 300 steps) which costs just 3EUR for adults.

Viktualienmarkt

Right behind St. Peter’s Church, you can find the Viktualienmarkt, a daily food market offering typical delicacies from Bavaria, but also international products from all over the world.

Try some real pork sausages, sauerkraut, and potato salad, with Munich’s favourite Augustiner Helles Lager Hell in Viktualienmarkt’s beer garden. Though you may find it a bit crowded at all times, it’s still worth a beer and some quick munchies.

Odeonsplatz

Another public square full of sights, Odeonplatz is popular primarily for its  Field Marshalls’ Hall, the Munich Residence which used to be the main palace for the Wittelsbach dynasty reigning in Munich and Bavaria until 1918 and the Theatiner Church (a bright yellow-coloured church on the west side of the square).

Exploring all the highlights can take at least half a day, so if short with time, a quick stroll around the square and a quick exploring Wittelsbach can complete your Odeonsplatz visit (just like I did).

Deutsches Museum

If you’re a museum person, Located on an island in the Isar River, Deutsches museum is a real treat for museum lovers with displays of everything (from history to culture to technology to science, that is related to Germany). In case you visit this museum, make sure to select some departments beforehand, otherwise, your visit would take the entire day.

English Garden

English Garden is the green lung of Munich and one of the biggest city parks in the world. Enjoy walking align the various trails, have a stop at one of its beer gardens or pay a visit to the surfers entertaining their audience with their tricks at an artificial surfing wave at the Eisbachwelle (a small creek).

If, however, you want to see local surfers and experience the comparatively more laid-back atmosphere, visit the surfing site of Flosslaende. Also, if you are visiting during the summer months of the year, do not forget to carry your swim shorts and take a short swim in Eisbach River. It’s possible to swim across its length in English Garden, take a tram (with your wet swimsuit and naked chest) and get back to where you started from.

Olympic Park

Established for the Summer Games in 1972, this park still belongs to the most iconic places in Munich, not only because of its unique tent roof architecture. Visit the Olympic Stadium or the Olympic Tower, the tallest tower in the city or just enjoy walking across the park.

BMW World & BMW Museum

Right next to Olympic Park, car enthusiasts can have an insight into the history, but also into the future of one of Munich’s biggest employers, BMW. If you have already been to other car museums in Germany, say Porche or Mercedes Benz Museum, you may find some similarities, but more than that, a museum that is by far more impressive.

It’s possible to lose the track of time in the BMW world and the museum if you haven’t already planned the number of hours you want to dedicate in the BMW world and the museum, so be careful. An ideal tour can, however, take between 2-4 hours. Please note that BMW world is free to visit, which caters mainly to the tourists, displaying some of their top of the line cars like the M6. They even had a section for Rolls Royce which was unexpected. BMW Museum, on the other hand, costs EUR9 for adults and shows a detailed history of the company right from its inception until today.

Nymphenburg Palace

About half an hour away from the centre, lies the most popular sights of the city and an important place in the history of Bavaria: the Nymphenburg summer palace, which used to be the home to the former Royal family of Bavaria.

The palace consists of many buildings, pavilions, museums and an extensive outdoor garden and one requires an entire half day to see it all.

I recommend buying the ticket that gives you access to everything on offer, although if your budget is tight or you are short on time, then I wouldn’t miss the main museum exhibits and the stable.


These are the few highlights that I covered during my 4-day stay in Munich and were moreover recommended to me by Munich Tourism. Though I know is a lot more to see and do there, covering these, as I personally found, can more or less complete your holiday in Munich.

Also Read: A 3-Day Travel Itinerary For Munich 

My First Skydiving Experience, And No, It Wasn’t Scary!

Planning for a Skydive but can’t gather the courage to do it? Remember, Skydiving Isn’t Scary!

It has been almost 3 hours now since I’ve landed (Safely back on earth) after my first ever skydive. A 1-minute of freefall from over 4000m height and I fairly remember how crazy and wild I behaved as I touched the ground. I couldn’t stop myself from laughing and yelling and hugging my tandem instructor Steffen. The energy in me was boundless. And I think that’s the thing with all adventure activities. Once you win over your fear and come out of it alive, you feel as if you’ve conquered your weaker self.

I mean I remember how scared I felt before the dive. I did over a dozen stories on my Instagram page telling people that I’ve been feeling so scared that I’m considering to back-out. Reacting to the stories, many people shared reassurance with one of them sharing the most useful set of words “Skydiving is not a rollercoaster ride” and now that I’ve done it and know how it feels, I can evaluate how apt her words were.

Skydiving Isn’t A Rollercoaster Ride

For someone like me who has never experienced any thrill ride since the previous 12-years because he had a scary episode in an adventure park at the age of 15, skydiving was a big deal. To further clarify the gravity of the situation, I am one of those people who feel a bit of uneasiness in their stomach every time there’s a sudden downhill jump on a highway. In a nutshell, sudden falls make me go nervous!

But the thing with skydiving is that it’s not as scary as it sounds. If there are millions of successful skydivers and thousands of skydiving companies in the world, it’s for a reason! It may be your very first free-fall experience, but there are hundreds and thousands of people who have done it before, including people like me.

The only part about skydiving that’s scary is the journey from your home to the moment you’ve actually jumped from the aircraft. Or worse, watching people landing back on earth before you’ve actually done it yourself.

Skydiving Isn’t Scary

Psychologically speaking, jumping from an aircraft some 4kms above earth is a scary idea and our inner fight mechanism makes us respond to it (the danger) by making us feel scared. I mean moving towards the open door of an aircraft is indeed scary, and there’s no doubt about it.

But the reality is that as soon as you leave the aircraft, you are no longer scared. It’s kind of ironic, but that’s the truth. And why is that? Well, the answer lies in physics. As soon as you leave the aircraft, you enter a state known as terminal velocity which doesn’t make you feel like you’re falling (very different to how you feel when bungee jumping) and it happens because of the kind of posture you have while sky-diving (almost like riding on air molecules rather than struggling against them). And this terminal velocity allows for the complete enjoyment of the experience because you feel in control as opposed to wildly falling to earth.

So, is skydiving scary? No, it is not. Is walking towards the open door of an aircraft scary? Yes. Very much.

My First Skydiving Experience

I’d always wanted to skydive since I tried paragliding in Selangor, Malaysia. Paragliding was kind of an experience that made me feel awestruck as a kid does the first time he experiences something new. And since then, I always wondered how amazing it would be to skydive from much higher above. So this time, as I planned a week-long travel around the Bavaria region in Germany, I decided to spare a day for skydiving, and skydiving alone.

Jumped On: 30 June 2018 @ 2:30pm
Jumped With: Fallschirmsport Airtime
Location: Günzburg in Swabia, Bavaria, Germany (about 2 hours train ride from Munich, towards Stuttgart)
Altitude: 4,000 m
Freefall: 60 seconds
Cost: Eur 209 for the tandem jump and Eur 115 for videography and photos

As I checked-in at the reception, I was given with a waiver form which basically asked me to sign my life away and waive the Tandem of any liability in the event of a mishap (injury or death). But it was kind of expected. Once done, my tandem instructor Steffen gave me one on one instructions on what was needed to be done before and during the flight. It basically included four things: 1) not feeling scared and smiling for the camera, 2) jumping together and taking the banana posture right after the jump, 3) the posture to attain while landing.

After the instruction and meeting the video guy (who provided me with the precious memories of the entire experience), I was helped to suit-up and be ready for the big moment.

It felt like an eternity sitting in the aircraft and about to jump for the first time. The moment the aircraft took the flight and until it hit the 4,000m height mark (the height we were supposed to jump from) every second felt like a lifetime. I remember being the only first tandem jumper in the entire lot. Everyone else was much experienced and seemed worry-less.

As the time to jump approached, I chicken-walked to the door of the aircraft and stared down. What a rush! I’m not sure, but maybe we counted to three or just sort of fell out of the aircraft. The first few seconds were a total blackout and I don’t remember anything about it either. But as I caught hold of me and started freefalling face-down, I realised that I completely forgot what form I was supposed to take during freefall, but Steffen forced me into the correct position. (watching this happen on the video was pretty hilarious, I look sheepishly scared coming out of the aircraft!)

The entire freefall felt more like flying straight across the sky instead of falling at about 150kmph. 60 seconds later, Steffen launched the parachute and I found myself peacefully floating towards the drop zone. I hear Steffen’s voice in my ear as he unfastened the harness and asked if I’m alright. Nodding unceasingly with all the life in me, I spat a weak Yes. Steffen then asked me if I wanted some spins on Parachute, and I said Hell yeah! Then he spun our parachute 3-4 times to left and right and it was fun.

Wow, the entire experience was nothing like I had imagined.

It was the best moment of my life which I couldn’t express in words — all I can say is that Skydiving is intoxicating more than any drug on this planet, it’s enough to mess with your head!

And here’s a quick video of the entire experience:

Also Read: My First Bungy Jumping Experience

Review Nissan Sunny: A Perfect Sedan For Family Road-Trips

When you’ve been driving your own car for long it’s hard to instantly feel comfortable behind the wheel of an unfamiliar vehicle, and so was the case with me as I received the Nissan Sunny to test-drive and review it during a few days long family road trip in the Himalayas. I mean, I am one of those people who have to do a lot of finagling and manoeuvring of buttons, seats, not to mention adjusting a few things that are fairly critical, such as side rear-view mirrors and the programmed radio station selection. But with the kind of technology that Nissan Sunny offered (from its automatic CVT transmission to electrically adjustable mirrors), things become a lot easier right from the beginning.

My First Impression Of Nissan Sunny

A road trip really allows you to get to know a vehicle. You get to know the drivability and the comfort level of a vehicle when you spend hours in it. Does it have plenty of cupholders? Are the seats comfortable? Do you have plenty of room to stretch your legs? Can you fit an extra suitcase in the boot? In this instance, it was a yes, yes and yes!

I particularly loved the comfort that Nissan Sunny offered. During the first day of the road-trip itself, we drove over 500km (with 300+km being done in the Himalayas) but it still didn’t feel tiring. With a CVT automatic transmission, the gearshift was effortless, and in fact, so smooth that most of the time didn’t feel any upshift or downshift.

Other things like push start button, a rearview camera with park assist, steering wheel mounted controls, an electronic smart braking system made the entire driving experience more relaxing. And if anything was left, its spacious interiors made it up to us. With the premium first-class seats, Nissan Sunny felt like a warm, welcoming home for the entire family!

Also Read: A 5Day Road Trip To Manali From Delhi

Next Up: A Good Gas Mileage

The Nissan Sunny surprised me with its excellent gas mileage (even impressing my father) and for a road trip this always a win/win, especially now that petrol prices are its all-time high.

The Sunny’s 1.5L XV (petrol) that comes with a 5-speed CVT transmission comes with a 76 kW horsepower, 134 Nm torque, and fuel efficiency of 17kmpl (with 20kmpl on highways). Translation? If you are driving typically good highway conditions, you can be on the road for more than 500 km before needing to fill up again. And for someone like me, who is more of a “let’s drive between 50 and 60 km per hour and get a good mileage” kind of person, doing over 500 km on a full tank and still being left with enough petrol for another 100 km or, was easier.

And hey, did I tell you that Nissan Sunny has a drive computer that keeps you in the know with important information such as your current average km/L, and more importantly, your distance to an empty fuel tank?

A High-Class Limousine-Like Design

Every nook and cranny of the Nissan Sunny speaks of nothing but style and elegance. Even though the basic model starts at nearly 7Lakh Rupees, it well beats Sedans ranging over 9 or 10 Lakh.

I particularly loved its Chrome Grill in the front creating a beautiful frame for the Nissan badge (something that reminded me of a 20L Rupees Mercedes).

Inside, the piano black finish on its centre console, a sporty steering wheel and other premium amenities like leather seating, rear cupholders add to the experience.

The storage compartment between the two front seats was moreover cavernous (seriously I think you could put a small toy dog in there (just like you do in SUVs). The glove compartment was spacious enough to hold a tablet device and a water bottle.

Great Handling

Just like other Sedans, Nissan Sunny is also meant for in-city driving. But I found it equally impressive on highways and mountains too. Its 165mm ground clearance was just perfect to avoid any scape-offs during bad road-conditions and enjoy sharp turns at a good speed at the same time.

I took the car from Delhi to Manali (and further for a 15km offroading to Sethan), with a 250km of a straight highway and nearly 300km of high mountain roads and I was pleased with how it handled on curvy roads, steep inclines and rapid declines. Its ABS turned out to be my perfect partner — more than my father’s “watch it”, “drive carefully” and “slow down” yells.

Hotness Factor

I’m not gonna lie. I love a car that I look good driving and Nissan Sunny was gorgeous little thing that was certainly eye-catching.

Though I would like to well discriminate about the colour of the car I was provided with (yes I am talking about the Plain White) which looked a bit too simple to adore. I honestly think that Nissan Sunny looks better in Sandstone Brown.

Cargo Space

Another thing that you need the most when on a road trip with your family is plenty of space for everyone’s luggage and gear for the weekend. And boom, Nissan Sunny amazed me with what all it let us carry.

It offered a whopping 490L boot space, in addition to all those cup holders and glove compartments.

Bells And Whistles

One of the most interesting thing that Nissan cars are equipped with is NissanConnect, which, with the help of a mobile application, lets you track your track in real time as well as receive notification(s) in case of an emergency or accident. Though kids won’t be liking their parents tracking their movement, I think it’s definitely a step forward when it comes to safety.

The final verdict? I loved the Nissan Sunny so much that I’m actually considering it for our next family vehicle.

Disclaimer: I was on a blog trip with Nissan India who provided me with a car. Though my trip was partly covered by them, all experiences, suggestions and endorsements are solely personal. I only recommend what I personally experience and find worth appreciating.

A 5-Day Family Road Trip Around Manali, From Delhi

“Watch it” “Slow down” and “Careful”, as I vaguely remember, are the three phrases my father repeatedly spat on me during our recent 5-day family road trip to Manali from Delhi, the idea of which germinated in my mind when Nissan India asked if I wanted to test drive one of their cars on a road trip to the Himalayas somewhere.

Read: Nissan Sunny Review

A family road trip, as I experienced myself, can be just as wonderful an experience as with friends. Though of course, a road trip with friends has its own perks — with the biggest benefit being the fact that you don’t feel a need to pre-plan your journey while travelling with friends, whereas when with the family, you need to pre-plan and pre-plan a lot. Because if you already know where you’re going and if the places you’re visiting are peaceful enough for spending some family time together, then you’re in store for some amazing lifetime memories.

So if you too are planning a few days long road-trip in the Himalayas with the family, I can recommend Manali. Here, a 5-day road trip around Manali from Delhi:

Where Did I Go In Manali

Well, to honestly admit, I didn’t visit Manali at all but a couple of other offbeat places close to Manali. I mean we only had three days to explore the region (with other two days dedicated to a full-day drive to and from Delhi) and I didn’t want to waste them in Manali’s brutal traffic congestion. [Tip:  Because of the road construction between Chandigarh and Manali, road traffic in Manali has worsened this year, and may even stay that way for the next few seasons].

So cutting Manali off our travel list but yet not totally avoiding the beauty of the surrounding Kullu Valley, I carefully chose Hallan Valley and my personal favourite — in the entire Himachal Pradesh – the town of ‘Sethan’.

Understanding Basics: The Route Map

If you’re driving and visiting the Hallan Valley & Sethan (located in Hamta Valley), note that you’re not required to go to Manali. Both the places are located before Manali. For Hallan Valley, catch the old-Kullu Manali highway from Kullu (towards Manali) and then follow the Hallan Road on your right, as you bypass the town of Naggar. The Hallan Road is pretty good in shape and can be visited in a small family car as well as a Traveller. Government buses also run on this route.

For Sethan, however, reach the town of Prini (located 3 km before Manali) and then take the road to Hamta. Sethan is located at the 35th curve and about 9km from Prini. The road to Sethan is a little bad in shape and is a pretty steep climb.

There are no government buses running on Prini-Sethan route and is only accessible by a 12-seater traveller, hired jeeps and private taxis/cars.

Hallan Valley: The First Stop

Hallan Valley is a tiny unheard of valley consisting of nearly a dozen villages — most of which have no guest houses or any tourist facility for those wanting to spend a night. I ended up exploring Hallan Valley the first time while returning from my solo motorbiking trip to Spiti Valley in 2016 and luckily finding a homestay to explore Hallan Valley for a few days. Since then, I’ve been to the same place about half a dozen times.

It is an ideal place for those who want to experience a village setting and explore local Himachali lifestyle.

We spent a day and a half in Hallan relaxing in the town of Charanag, with nothing much on our to-do-list but simply soaking in its laid-back life.

Next Up: The Town Of Sethan

Despite being offbeat, Sethan and Hallan are two very different places. Where Hallan Valley has a more traditional Hindu Himachali influence (from the architecture to the lifestyle of locals) Sethan is more Tibetan in its appearance, as people in Sethan are the original immigrants of Spiti Valley and the adjoining valleys of Tibet.

Located approximately 800m higher than Manali, Sethan, with its 2800m elevation from the sea level, is a place for slow travellers. From Sethan, one can see the towering Dhauladhar ranges surrounding the village, and the river Beas flowing right next to it – perhaps a few thousand feet down.

Sethan

We spent two full days in Sethan, as I took my mom and with a few other guests (I also run a permanent camping site in Sethan) for hikes on both days. When I wasn’t (or sleeping late until the afternoon) my parents took their time befriending locals in the village, more than I ever did myself.

With two days bein totally dedicated to driving, and the rest of the three days devoted to lazy explorations of Hallan Valley and Sethan, the 5-day road trip from Delhi felt just as relaxing as a holiday in the Himalayas is supposed to be!

Disclaimer: I was on a blog trip with Nissan India who provided me with a car. Though my trip was partly covered by them, all experiences, suggestions and endorsements are solely personal. I only recommend what I personally experience and find worth appreciating.

What To Do In Brisbane: Tips For First Time Travellers

I can fairly remember how when an invitation from the Queensland Tourism to explore the region of Gold Coast landed in my inbox, I humbly requested for an overstay in the country after the completion of our blog-tip, to experience a bit of Brisbane as well.

Though I had to travel Brisbane on my own, without any support from the Queensland Tourism, it still made sense to stay back and not miss the chance of exploring Brisbane now that I was already in Queensland. I mean Brisbane is, after all, considered as one of the friendliest travel destinations in the world and has been topping Tripadvisor’s ranking in the South Pacific region since years.

So yea, my love for Brisbane started before I even visited Brisbane. And when I actually ended up there, my love only intensified.

What To Do In Brisbane

Exploring The Seaside Town Of Sandgate 

…and learning Paddleboarding!

Jump into a train and your next destination is Sandgate — a vibrant and historic seaside town, laden with cute cafes, even more relaxing vibe, and some seaside fun. Because its way is obstructed by Moreton island towards the Pacific sea, the beaches in and Sandgate remain unbelievably calm, making them an ideal spot for watersports like kitesurfing and stand-up-paddling, among others.

I tried a few lessons of Paddleboarding at Seagate during one of the mornings and totally loved it. If you’re a big group, the activity is even fun. What makes it even better is that unlike surfing, in stand-up-paddling you are not required to get into the water (consider it as a canoe with no edges just a flat board) making it ideal for those who don’t like to get wet still appreciate the idea of exploring the sea.

A few hours of early morning Paddleboarding before you eat the local fish and chips at one of the cafes and head towards the Shorncliffe Pier — the most popular tourist attraction in Sandgate – can be a good idea.  I tried PAddleboarding with a tour company called SurfConnect.

Going For A Night Segway Tour

For any town, as big and overwhelming as Brisbane, a quick Segway tour can be ideal to quickly get hold of the city — and when speaking of Brisbane a night Segway tour makes just a perfect sense.

Though I am sure a day tour has its own charm, I found the night Segway tour in Brisbane comparatively better and unimaginably pleasing, because if anything, Brisbane is a city to explore in the night.

Seeing the city light up as you make your way along the riverside is quite an experience. A Segway tour will moreover take you to all the prominent highlights in Brisbane, including Botanical Garden, boardwalk and Roma street parklands, and more.

Going Slow. Experiencing The Relaxing Vibe

There are very few towns in the world where life runs at a lightning pace thanks to a burgeoning financial district, yet when you travel there, you find a different flair to its life — i.e. relaxing and laid back, and Brisbane is no different.

Despite being the capital city of Queensland, with the highest GDP in the region, and a skyline touching the horizon, when you walk along the riverside or visit one of the many cafes or eateries around Brisbane, you don’t feel any hurriedness in its air. Brisbane is one of those remarkable places in the southern hemisphere with a metropolitan, yet a relaxing flair.

Chowing Down A Grub At South Bank

Brisbane’s South Bank is a beautiful pedestrian area right along the Brisbane River where locals come to hang out, do some workout, or simply enjoy the evening at one of the restaurants.

Though a bit pricey (with 12 dollarsOystersyesters and another 10 dollars for a glass of wine, the entire charm of grabbing a bit at the South Bank is unparalleled.

Take A Free Ferry Ride Along The Brisbane River 

Though there are plenty of boat tours and ferries to help you get around and enjoy the idea of sailing in Brisbane River, a free tour in the ‘Cityhopper’ is recommended.

It takes you through various Brisbane hot spots in Brisbane, including Eagle Street and the South Bank, along with the inner city stretch of the Brisbane River, and runs from 6 am until midnight.

Where To Stay In Brisbane

About 300m from Roma Street Station, there are plenty of great hotels and hostels for a budget traveller — including the one where I stayed during my time in Brisbane, and even recommend you to do so for its friendly atmosphere and cheap dorms. At City Backpackers HQ, I got my bed in a 4-bed shared dorm for less than 30 dollars a night.

Also Read: Gold Coast Travel Itinerary

Exploring Brisbane On Segway

Want to explore Brisbane on a fast-track? Go for a Segway tour in Brisbane!

I remember the last time I tried Segway I was on a different continent and some 15,000km away — exploring the city of Rome. And the idea of a Segway tour in Rome germinated in my mind because I was short on time and Rome was massive and overwhelming — a quick Segway tour around the city felt like a perfect idea to get familiar and explore all its highlights in no time. Though of course, the charm of walking around the romantic Roman streets was unbeatable by any means, since I was short on time, what could be my best shot?

And this time again, as I landed in Brisbane with no more than three nights to spare, the idea of opting for a quick segway tour on the first night itself made a perfect sense. I wanted to get hold of Brisbane and become familiar with its popular highlights without wasting any time and so that I know where to go over my next few days in Brisbane and be able to soak-in its beauty at my own pace.

Segwaying In Brisbane

Though there are a few day tours available as well, I opted for a 2-hour and 15-minute night Segway tour of Brisbane with a tour company called Kangaroo Segway Tours covering highlights such as South Bank, Botanical Garden, boardwalk and Roma street parklands, with enough opportunities to actually hop-off the Segway and click pictures.

The tour cost AUD 99 (certainly a bit pricey than how much I paid for it Rome, but then again, in Australia everything is expensive) including a brief introductory session where you’re taught how to ride a Segway, because of course, a certain degree of apprehension is required among the first-time Segway riders.

Lean slightly forward to advance. Lean on your heels to reverse. Pull back slightly to slow down. Rest the Segway against a stable structure to get on and off the platform — the instructions were simple and quick to learn. And since I had already done it before, it was even easier for me.

Why I Recommend A Night Segway Tour

Though I am sure a day tour has its own charm, I found the night Segway tour in Brisbane comparatively better and unimaginably pleasing, because if anything, Brisbane is a city to explore in the night. Seeing the city light up as you make your way along the riverside is quite an experience.

And if it’s a Friday night, as it happened to be the night I Segwayed in Brisbane, you’ll hear music thumping from the bars along the waterfront and party boats passing by.

We also made our way to the famous Storey Bridge. On this night it was illuminated in Red and yellow. It varies depending on what is going on in current events. Typically each lighting display on the bridge is to commemorate a special day in history, raise awareness for charities and showcase upcoming events etc. You can actually check scheduled light-ups around Brisbane City here.

Next was the Botanical Gardens and Roma Street Parklands, which were equally beautiful.

With the elegant Brisbane skyline being either on our left or the right for pretty much the entire time, the landscape, during our night Segway tour never felt disappointing — an only 2+ hour tour during my first night in Brisbane, and I explored its beauty so thoroughly that even not many locals might have done.

Things To Note Before Your Segway Tour In Brisbane

  • Helmets are provided before the tour and are moreover mandatory to wear at all times.
  • No thongs, flip-flops, open-toe sandals, or high heels are allowed while Segwaying.
  • Minimum age to ride a Segway is 12 years.
  • You must not weigh over 120kg.
  • You must be physically fit, not pregnant, and be able to easily and quickly step on and off the Segway without assistance.
  • I booked the tour with Kangaroo Segway Tours, that offers a number of Segway tours in Brisbane, and I can recommend them for a similar experience.

Why I Suggest Flying From India To Gold Coast With FlyScoot Airlines

Flying from India to the Gold Coast in Australia? I suggest you check for FlyScoot Airlines!

You know what is that one thing that has always curbed me (and I think most people reading this article fall into the same category) from travelling abroad? It’s MONEY! The money that was required to invest in hefty airfares. I mean you plan a one-week holiday to Australia and you end up losing just as much cash in just flying from India to Australia, as in everything else put together.

I remember how last year when I planned a one-month backpacking trip in and around Perth in Western Australia (and I planned Perth because flights to Perth were the cheapest from India) I couldn’t visit Sydney and Melbourne because flights to both the cities would have cost me a fortune. So, expensive airfares have curbed me much from travelling in life.

And unlike with Europe, where you always find a cheap deal, with Australia it’s not so the reality, especially if you’re planning for the eastern coast of Australia. Flights from India to the eastern Australian states like Queensland have always been unbearably expensive — but not so anymore!

Cheap Flights From India to The Gold Coast

Considering the long journey of over 4 hours from Hyderabad to Singapore and around 7 to 8 hours from Singapore to Gold Coast, a return flight with FlyScoot of around 30,000 Rupees from Hyderabad in India to the Gold Coast (yes, that’s correct if you book about 40 days in advance) is a real bargain. Though my ticket cost a bit more, for it was booked only a week in advance and one leg of the journey was booked in the Business Class, the total journey still cost much less than what other full-service airlines were charging for the same days.

For a more valid comparison, I also researched about Air Asia prices (which is another budget carrier flying to Australia) and found that their prices were slightly expensive than FlyScoot. Air Asia, moreover, was flying from Singapore to Brisbane and not to the Gold Coast, helping me save another 50 dollars that I would have otherwise spent in airport transfers had I landed in Brisbane.

So yea, if the idea is to travel from India to the Gold Coast, in Australia, on the cheapest fare possible, Scoot Airlines is the best bet. The savings mount up even more when you’re buying tickets for the whole family.

About Scoot Airlines

Before anything, let me tell you that Scoot Airlines is a no-frills airline, meaning you have to pay for any extra service you ask for while flying with them — from extra baggage (other than the cabin baggage) to food to in-flight entertainment, and even a pillow. And when I say no-frills be rest assured that it has no glamorous waiting-rooms or dazzling flight interiors. But for the price it allows you to travel to such long distance(s), it offers the best value for money in its class. And to build a sudden assurance, let me tell you that Scoot Airlines is owned by the renowned Singapore Airlines — known for their trust and a loyal customer base.

In India, FlyScoot operates from  6 cities including Hyderabad, Bangaluru, Chennai, Kochi, Trichy Amritsar and Lucknow.

Stopover At Singapore

On a long-haul flight, airports like Singapore can really make your layover a bit more entertaining, and that’s exactly what’s going to happen when you will be flying with FlyScoot, as all their flights from India to the Gold Coast have a stopover at Singapore’s Changi Airport. But as I said, it’s something to feel happy about than to be worried. From food to entertainment to wandering around little India and picking up a sensational curry, at Changi Airport options are endless.

If you’re a little tired and don’t mind spending a few extra dollars, you can always choose one of the transit hotels to spend your stopover, just like I did, and still keep a track on your aircraft from the window (not really!).

You can even join a free Singapore Tour from the airport if your stopover is six to eight hours and see the sights with no effort or cost — now that’s what I call covering one more country, without having to pay for anything.

Had I not told you that FlyScoot is going to look after your expenses?

My Experience With FlyScoot

I tried both the economy and the business class with FlyScoot and enjoyed both for what they offered for a different price, and that is value for money!

If your personal comfort is more important than the price then choose FlyScoot business class, which is not going to cost you more than for an economy seat on a full-service airline. You may still have to pay extra for things like food, drinks, blankets and eye masks but you will get a business class-sized seat with a reasonable recline and a footrest to actually feel comfortable and even get some sleep. Business class passengers also enjoy complimentary perks such as welcome drinks, ScootTV, an in-seat power plugs to charge their gadgets and a check-in baggage.

In economy class, the leg space was (naturally) a little limited, but still enough. And if you want more space, you can always upgrade for front rows and the ones near the Emergency Exit for a little price. The economy class in the Dreamliner can be expected to be a bit more spacious than in an Airbus. The seats, on both the panes, were still cushioned and comfortable enough.

Please note that FlyScoot’s Airbus has no business class. I travelled in business class in FlyScoot’s Dreamliner!

Speaking of the in-flight entertainment, they have no screens installed on their seats but you can download their FlyScoot App (on Android as well on an iPhone) and enjoy watching movies and TV series. Those wanting to stay away from the digital screens can read its in-flight magazine. They also have some in-flight shopping to feel excited about – again on competitive prices than one can imagine.

Verdict: Would I like to fly with FlyScoot again? ‘Hell Yes!’

Disclaimer: I was on a blog-trip to the Gold Coast with FlyScoot. Though my trip was sponsored, all experiences and recommendations are solely mine. I only recommend what I personally experience and find worth appreciating.

9 Reasons To Travel To The Gold Coast On Your Next Australia Adventure

The Gold Coast region in the Queensland region of Australia turned out to be my personal favourite among all the places I’ve been to in the country so far. Though it’s true that I still have a significantly larger portion of Australia to discover, out of whatever little of it I’ve seen so far, the Gold Coast remains a particular highlight, and there are many reasons for it.

Gold Coast is the epitome of the Australian dream: from exploring picturesque surfing beaches to experiencing laid-back cafes to trying adventure sports of different kinds. In just a 60km of a stretch, you get to do so much that you otherwise don’t in most of the other tourist places in the world. I remember how before arriving on the Gold Coast, I underestimated it as just another upcoming beach towns in Australia, laden with nothing beyond surfing experiences and a laid-back life, but I was wrong. Gold Coast has much more to see and do than one can imagine.

Also Read: A 5 Day Action-Packed Travel Itinerary For Gold Coast

So if you’re planning a trip to Australia and are looking for something beyond than just the usual Sydney-Melbourne trail here is my…

9 Reasons To Visit The Gold Coast In Australia

Beaches That Are Out Of The World

If white sand beaches and turquoise water is something why you’re planning to visit Australia at first place, then the Gold Coast is going to be a real treat for you. The coastline of the Gold Coast (that stretches for 57km) allows you to choose from 20 different beaches all of which are perfect for surfing and swimming throughout the year. Though the Surfers Paradise is the most well-known of them all and you will be hearing quite a few recommendations for it during your stay in the Gold Coast, I will advise checking out the Snappers Rock and Coolangatta if you want something quiet and old-school beaches in Gold Coast.

Learning Surfing

Australia is known for surfing, and the Gold Coast offers a number of surfing schools to choose from. With lessons starting for as low as 55 dollars (with a stand-up guarantee in just a few hours) or a surfboard hire for just 20 dollars for a day, the Gold Coast is a real surfers paradise, not just that it has a place with that name.

Tip: For learning surfing, I can recommend a tour company called Get Wet Surf located at the Main Beach in Surfers Paradise. Sign-up for a 2-hour introductory surfing lesson to learn the basics and then hire a surfboard and master the art by yourself. Surfing is totally fun and a very safe adventure activity to learn.

Vibrant Markets

From arts and crafts to open farmers and food markets, you have got enough choices to choose from when in the Gold Coast. Hosted in the Hinterland, along with the beaches and in the suburbs, you’re sure to pass at least one as you’re wandering around. A few must-see markets when in the Gold Coast as I personally explored and found worth appreciating are: Broadbeach Markets on the first and third Sunday of every month for interesting arts and crafts; Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets, every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, that, in fact, is also one of the biggest on the Gold Coast; and last but not the last, the NighQuarter a weekend night market for food, local arts and craft and live performances.

They all are a real treat for avid street-photographers.

Theme Parks

Though theme parks are one of the reasons why many tourists (particularly the Indian and Chinese tourists) visit the Gold Coast at first place, they still make for a good excuse for you to be planning a holiday in the Gold Coast – particularly if you’ve kids. Visit the largest theme park of Dreamland, that, from Kangaroo feeding to adult-thrill rides to a Madagascar movie-themed park for kids, has something for everyone. Other than this, you have water parks as well as the movie world based on Warner Bros movie-themes.

National Parks & Wildlife Centuries

One thing many visitors do not expect from the Gold Coast as a beach-town is having a few national parks too with rich wildlife to spot. Currumbin wildlife century, for example, is a lovely place that can make your holiday to the Gold Coast much more memorable, because for anyone one of the prime experiences to be travelling to Australia, no matter what part of the country they travel to, is spotting a Kangaroo and Koala – at Currumbin wildlife century, however, you get to feed one and hug the other, and click many pictures during the process.

If not satisfied, you can also try holding a python.

Other than Currumbin wildlife century another highlight is the Springbrook National Park and all is wilderness to find hidden waterfalls, lookouts and wildlife. Just like Currumbin wildlife century, the Springbrook National Park can also be visited on a half-day trip, but if you have a little more time in hand, consider renting a cottage or a cabin in the park to get a real taste of living out in a rainforest jungle.

Nightlife

If the idea of holidaying in Australia was enjoying the nightlife then look no further than Surfers Paradise. Considered as the heart of the Gold Coast, at Surfers Paradise, you will find bars, nightclubs, pubs, and a vibrant young crowd to befriend with. Check out the Island Rooftop ‘the bar with a view’ for some quirky cocktails and live performances. At Surfers Paradise, there’s either a nightclub or a pub or a bar at every corner.

Great Food

If there’s one word that sums up the Gold Coast, besides FUN, it is options – particularly when it comes to food. There are literally hundreds of restaurants, cafes, clubs and bars with a dish and a price point for everyone. One moment you will be barefoot in your swimming shorts sitting on plastic chairs in an outdoor cafe, while at the next minute you will be in a fine dining hotel with your bow-tie, listening to live jazz music. During my 8-day stay in the town, I ate at a variety of places for breakfast, lunch and dinner with most of the place being casual and family friendly.

But out of the lot, if I were to recommend a few places to eat on the Gold Coast, they will be:

Bazaar, at QT Hotel for dinner, Cafe D’bar at Snapper Rocks for the morning breakfast, NighQuarter for an open food-market experience (every weekend) and Greenhouse Canteen and Bar for Vegan lovers.

Snorkelling In The Great Barrier Reef

No trip to Australia (particularly the ones done around the eastern coast of the country) is complete without experiencing the rich coral life underwater at the Great Barrier Reef. From the Gold Coast, one can try a few different day trips to the island on its north and experience diving or snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef. I did a day trip to Lady Elliot Island from the Gold Coast which included a total of 3-hour scenic flight to and from the island and a couple of snorkelling sessions in the Gret Barrier Reef.

Home to a few different types of turtles and manta-rays the Ladt Elliot island is a must visit if you’re a swimmer.  

Crazy & Fun Activities

A fire truck ride, an adrenaline jetboating tour, a jetpack ride… if it sounds crazy and bizarre enough it can be done in the Gold Coast. If you’re a big group (say more than 10 people) a fire truck ride with some Bollywood music (as we had it) or a group jet boating tour can give you a memory of a lifetime. And yes, it can be done in the Gold Coast.

Also Read: Hot Air Ballooning In The Gold Coast


If you are planning a trip to the Gold Coast, I will suggest booking a flight with the Scoot Airlines for their competitive air-fares. Though a low-cost airline, for those who appreciate a little more comfort they have a premium economy and business class too. They run from Hyderabad, Bangalore, Amritsar and a few other destinations in India.


Disclaimer: I was invited by Queensland Tourism for a 5 day trip to the Gold Coast. Though the trip was hosted by them, all recommendations and suggestions are solely my own. I only recommend what I personally try and find worth appreciating. Also, in addition to a 5-day trip with the Queensland Tourism, I overstayed 3-more nights in the Gold Coast to experience the town at my own pace.