If possible, I like to book my own holidays from beginning to end. Two factors lead to significant costs on any holiday, flights and hotel. More often than not flights cost more than hotels. I feel like I have won a lottery when I find a cheap flight on my own. My Maldives and Sri Lanka trips happened because I could book cheap flights on my own! I got 15K return both for Colombo and Male. Planning the rest was easy.
And that is why I love budget airlines. It doesn’t matter who they are, it could be Indigo Flights or SpiceJet for that matter, and they all are the same to me. When I am booking it on my own I look for the cheapest tickets. Recently I discovered it is possible to find cheap international flights from Jaipur and Lucknow too.
However, there have been occasions when I could not find a cheap flight on my own. The most recent incident is Prague. I wanted to book the entire holiday on my own, it was easy to find hotels in my budget but the flights eluded me. I actually found a cheap flight with flydubai but the layover was such that I gave up, I could in no way deal with a long transit with two children!
When I can’t find cheap flight tickets on my own , I turn to online travel portals which sell holidays as a last resort. They can often give cheaper prices because they book in bulk and hence transfer the benefit to us. That is how I did Prague, by booking the flight and hotel with an online provider and doing everything else on our own.
So what are your suggestions for booking a cheap flight? I know I can’t match people booking one year in advance but I am sure everyone has their favorite way of getting it!
I have done dolphin watching before, the kind where you see two dolphins in a blink it and you miss it kind of experience! Dolphin Watching In Muscat was on my itinerary in Oman too. It was a 8-9 am slot and I was wondering if it was too late in the day? I was invited to Oman by the Ministry of Tourism and the ground arrangements were made by Afaq Tours.
The captain of the boat was Mr. Ibrahim, he was quiet but navigated at a great speed. We went off to the open sea and kept going for good 30-40 minutes. I spotted a few birds far away from the shore. I wonder why they fly in so deep and how do they go back! I clicked this photo at the end of the trip, when I went to thank him. Our smiles are am indication of the kind of trip it was!
But going back to the experience, the captain reduced speed after what felt liked ages and invited us to the deck! And suddenly there were dolphins, jumping in the water all around us. Five boats were there to witness the spectacle at the deep sea!
For me photographing the moment is equally important as watching it. I didn’t know what to do, use my DSLR, use cell phone or make videos with the cell phone? In the end I made videos and grabbed still shots from it. I have a new phone too, Cool1 from Coolpad.
Wichever way you would turn there would be a dolphin jumping out of the water! There were boats being lead by the dolphins, they would literally keep jumping in front of it!But it didn’t happen in front of my boat.
As I said I have watched dolphins in Trincomalee Sri Lanka and Goa, India before. But I have never been to one of the captive dolphin shows in my life and I intend to keep it that way. I firmly believe that these gentle creatures are born to be free. It is a privilege to watch them in their natural habitat!
After a while the captain asked us to move back to our seats and increased the speed of the boat! We were headed back to the shore or so I thought.
Quite close to the shore the captain reduced the speed and invited us to the deck again! And this time the dolphins were all around my boat, jumping at random. I rarely ever post two minute video clips but this one is full of dolphins, this time leading our boat!
The water was so clear that I could see them before they surfaced! It was sheer magic! Abhishek Pathak from Afaq Tours said it was like we paid the dolphins to put up a show specially for us!
This is my most memorable dolphin watching experience till date! And I didn’t even associate dolphins with Muscat and Oman! I wonder if any destination would be able to beat this one? Time will tell …
I used the recently launched Coolpad Max on my trip to UK. It was given to me and it is mine to keep! I have a beautiful one, the rose gold color! It is priced at Indian Rupees 24,999. It is an android phone!
The phone has a 5.5 inch display, it felt good in my hand, not too big and easy to use. It has an anti-fingerprint coating too. The operating system is Android 5.1 + CoolUI 8.0. It has 4.00 GB RAM and 64 GB build in memory and 32 GB expandable memory! The phone certainly is feature packed! As a user I liked the phone, it was easy to use, it won’t hang up or anything in spite of me loading many apps on it.
The battery is 2800 aAH and 9V 2A charger. I was traveling heavily in London and using Google Maps a lot. I needed a power bank with the phone to last me throughout the day and into late evening, I was constantly using social media and maps too.
Look and Feel
I could hold the phone comfortably in my hand. never felt that it would slip out of my hand. The curves of the phone are fancy! I have never used iPhone but many people asked me if my Coolpad Max was an iPhone! So that may say something about the looks department!
Coolpad Max a feature called dual-in-One where you can assign separate area for your pictures etc, that you don’t wish to share with public. As I hardly ever take pictures that can’t be uploaded I did not activate it. But I am sure many will find the feature helpful!
For me the most important feature in a phone is its camera as like everyone else I like to click pictures on the go and a cell phone comes in handy for it. The rear camera is 13 MP and the front camera is 5 MP.
For me I will let the pictures do the talking. I was able to take good pictures with the phone! I do not take many selfies but it has beauty modes for selfies!
Coolpad Max is a decent phone if you are looking at a mid range phone with stylish looks, lots of space and decent camera.
I started my India travel blog, Travel Tales from India in 2005. In 2016 I realized Travel Tales from India and Abroad better reflected my writings. I love to walk and ride in metros around the world. I have not been everywhere, I am not even close, but it is on my list. I also quit my job as a professor in 2015, it was a happening year! I did a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur ages ago!
If you wish to collaborate with me, please check out my media kit. You can write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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