Geetanjali Arora and Vaikunth Sharma had not fathomed their love & passion for travel until they embarked upon the biggest journey of their life together. It was during one of the trips after their marriage that they discovered their love for planning and going on economical trips. Blue Sky Dreamers spoke to Geetanjali to get some tips for budget travel and inspire you to travel more!
BSD: Tell us briefly about yourself. How did you two meet?
Ours was an arranged marriage and our roka happened after just one meeting. It has been 4 years now.
BSD: Has travelling always been of interest to you both or did one pass on the ‘travel bug’ to another?
I never realised that it was so much in it me but I discovered my passion for travelling with him only and I guess same was with him and that too from our second year of marriage from our first trip to Goa. Things changed drastically and in good way!
BSD: Wow…So travel brought you guys closer!
How often do you guys travel? And what is your preferred type of holiday: luxury or budget; adventure or relaxation?
We try to aim for two big (1 week at least) and 3-4 small weekend getaway kind of trips (always looking out for long or extended weekends trip) in a year. Our preferred type is budget/adventure for long vacations and luxury & relaxation sorts for short ones. We enjoy all kind of trips but it is always more fun in planning budget ones since the excitement starts months in advance before the trip due to budget planning!
BSD: So how do you usually go about planning a trip? You can give an example of any recent trip you planned…
Yes. For budget vacations, fun and excitement is always doubled as we start planning in advance (at least 2-3 months).
a) It is always more fun and budget friendly to travel in groups…So prepare your heard for such a trip.
b) We always keep an eye on periodic air tickets sale and accumulate optimal points in credit cards and convert them to miles for air tickets. For instance, we booked our tickets from Delhi to Leh for Rs 1,450 return per person and against miles and for Delhi to Guwhati for Rs 4,898 return per person. So as soon as you see a good deal…JUST BOOK!
c) Once air tickets are booked everything falls in place. Prepare and finalise an itinerary. Start with hotel bookings by short listing options and then going for the best value. Make use of coupons and deals on various sites in best ways or hire a private apartment/villa if staying for many days.
d) Our Leh trip was done in a budget of Rs 14,750 per person with return airfares, stay, private car, food in happening places, bike rides and everything. (Unbelievable right!)
BSD: That’s pretty cool! Do you have any recommendations for websites and apps that help you in planning a budget trip?
Not as such as I use all websites but one tip…
Do not keep on searching again and again for air tickets as prices rise as you search more for a particular date. Once you decide, just book.
BSD: Share with us your favourite travel memory together so far…
Well every trip is memorable and cherished…so I’m giving example from most recent trip to Leh. It was a bike ride from Leh to Alchi with endless roads. There’s no crowd. The vast expanse of land, fresh air, clear blue skies – all made it look like heaven on earth. The most common and favorite feeling in all trips is the feeling of freedom and no thoughts or purpose in mind.
BSD: Frequent travelling together as a couple can lead to conflicts at times especially when you are on a tight budget. Do you face such conflicts?
As a couple we haven’t faced any conflicts yet. Touchwood! Not sure what tips to give here, but once you go on a budget trip just plan to keep budget at minimum but do not restrict it and just think about making the other person happy and you both will end up enjoying a happy holiday and beautiful memories to cherish.
BSD: We hope there are no conflicts! Tell us why couples should travel together…
I feel specially being in arranged marriage or otherwise as well, you get to find out more about the other person once you start travelling together and have lots of things, memories and places to talk about in common. And once you grow old together, you will not remember how much money you were making in year 2017 etc but you will remember all trips and memories you enjoyed together!