WORDS: PRIMROSE MONTEIRO-D’SOUZA
One of the travel stories I love to tell is of how my surgeon flew to Iceland for just ₹ 20,000. Sure, the ticket was for a year later, but he took a chance – a rather big one, since he bought tickets for everyone in his family – and, a year later, they were all actually in Iceland.
It’s a story that keeps me on Google Flights for hours on end – incognito, of course – looking for great deals. London for ₹ 40,000? I’ve done it, with a stopover at Doha. Three Mumbai – Mangalore return tickets at ₹ 4,500? My family and I have taken them, though we didn’t know if the airline would still be flying at the end of the month. Yes, it was and, yes, we did. More recently, we got tickets to Kuala Lumpur on a full-service airline at ₹ 21,000 each, and we had a wonderful time eating our way through the Malaysian capital – as my Instagram feed shows.
Finding a good bargain is always wonderful, but there is another aspect to consider when you’re looking to travel for value – finding great bang for your buck in a destination that’s generous in its welcome, a destination that reveals its charms unstintingly to discerning visitors, one whose locals offer you a warm hug – figuratively. This issue, you’ll find good travel value in Laos, where a great time can be had without great damage to your bank account. You’ll find it in the atmosphere and saudade of Portugal, currently one of the best destinations in Europe for a budget-friendly break.
You’ll find it even in the many unusual travel experiences on offer, from Bali to Italy, in our list feature. And, yes, if your passport’s being renewed or your bank account being replenished, just come to Mumbai, and go straight out to one of the great breaks we’ve curated for you.
Because we’ve got to travel even while we’re waiting for our next big bargain, right?
Because any new place we explore adds tremendous value to the map of our life.