Indian travel freaks turn to lenders

Desire to visit exotic spots, expensive tickets seen as reasons; loans offered from ₹50,000 to ₹7.5 lakh Indians are increasingly using debt to finance travel, according to travel portals and lending platforms. “There are two perspectives on this, quantitative and qualitative,” Veetika Deoras, COO, Digital Business at Tata Capital told The Hindu. “Looking at the qualitative, there is an increasing trend one is seeing where people are open to borrowing for experiential elements like travel.” According to Qbera.com, an online lending platform, on an average, people in the age group of 27-40…

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Offbeat destination: Old-world charm meets modern-day European city in Bruges

Walking through central Bruges is like a romantic journey into the past. With centuries-old gabled buildings lining a web of canals and cobblestone streets, the vibe is quintessential old-world Europe. Bruges is also one of the most beautiful cities in Western Europe, a place that has been called the Venice of the North. And the best part: you can travel solo. Located about an hour northwest of Brussels, not far from the North Sea, Bruges is the capital of West Flanders in the Flemish region of Belgium. The city was spared…

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How to travel if you’re young and broke

Traveling can seem like an impossible luxury for us twenty-somethings. But with diligent planning and research, your next trip could be more affordable than you think. 1. Create a travel budget The first step is to figure out how much your trip will cost. Be sure to factor in expenses beyond flights and hotels, such as meals, entertainment and souvenirs. Once you have an estimate, try saving a little money from each paycheck until you reach your goal, suggests Jeana Salman, a CFP at Delta Community Credit Union. Related: Airlines…

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Despacito effect: Puerto Rico’s La Perla is the new tourist hot spot. Here’s why

“The gringos are coming!” Outsiders were afraid to venture in before, but since Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s megahit, tourists from all over the world are descending on the narrow streets that wind among La Perla’s brightly coloured houses. “Despacito?” they inquire. And the barrio’s residents obligingly point out the locations where the video was filmed: the rocks facing the sea where Fonsi sings the refrain, the sea wall where ex-Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera strolls, the little plaza where men play dominoes — the tables and chairs just as they…

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Switzerland opens the world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge. See pics

It took Swiss work crews just 10 weeks to complete the bridge which now forms part of the Europaweg, known as one of the most scenic two-day hikes in the Alps for offering panoramic views of the Matterhorn — the most iconic Swiss mountain peak — along with Weisshorn and the Bernese Alps. The bridge is situated on the Europaweg, that connects the villages of Zermatt and Graechen. (AP) The trail runs between 1,600 m and 2,200 m above sea level. The bridge replaces an older bridge that was closed…

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From a snake as snack to crocodile meat as an antidote for a bad heart — in the Philippines

In the Puerto Princesa Public Market, pink duck eggs lay stacked next to white hen and pied quail eggs, eggs so pink that a flamingo would want to borrow it for its plumes. The crowd was milling in the Philippine island of Palawan and I heard a voice piping in the clamour of a marketplace. “Want an embryo for a snack?” After a long day rowing inside an underground river, one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature, I sure required nutrients. But an embryo? I thought my ears were…

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Seven Things to Do When You Are Going Solo

You’ve been planning your vacation for months, and you’re finally there. You’ve checked into your hotel, settled in and feel like you can conquer the world. But before you do so, here are a few things to make the experience better and hassle-free. Yes, you are welcome: Grab your hotel’s business card You’ve gotten yourself a great deal on a quaint hotel in the heart of the city, but the flip side of such fortuitous discoveries is that when you’re lost wandering the city, you can’t always ask people for…

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5 things to see and do in Srinagar

If you swelter in the searing heat and have decided to take a few days off, head for Kashmir, also known as paradise on earth. The Valley is a dynamic destination steeped in rich history and unique natural beauty, and offers unforgettable holiday experiences to adventure lovers, culture and history buffs, and even wildlife enthusiasts. Unwind in a lush landscape suffused with scenic grandeur, because the Valley can hold you entranced, enchanted, leaving you marvelling at its majestic and mystical panorama. It takes about an hour of airtime from Delhi…

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Udaipur travelogue: What to do, where to eat and when to visit the city of lakes

The first sound that greeted you at the arrival lounge of Udaipur’s Maharana Pratap Airport was Bollywood singer Kumar Sanu’s. The flat screen TV, hoisted on a pillar, was playing Pooja Bhatt praying in a temple, and Sanjay Dutt doing what he does best: singing Tumhe Apna Banane Ki Kasam Khai Hai in Sanu’s voice. My mother tugged at my father’s shirt, “You remember the last time we came here? Everyone was playing songs from Sadak. It’s happening again!” Last time was 25 years ago. This was my first visit…

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