It is a truth universally acknowledged that Indians are great travellers. It doesn’t matter how our lives are going otherwise, what the current state of the bank balance is; there is a place out there that we must go out to and explore. For many years, it used to be the ‘native place’, now we foray further afield – time and some money permitting. We have the friends-and-family card to play for accommodation; we have an unputdownable urge to get under the skin of every new place. We are the travellers of the planet.
But we are also about paisa vasooli. When we travel, it’s not just about getting the cheapest seats, the best discounts on hotel stays, the free museum days; it is about all that and ensuring that we get the best views, the most happening food, the nicest people around us at the places we’re putting our money down at. We want, as one of our coolest writers once put it, “rapture for our rupee”, and more power to us!
This issue is all about helping you find great VFM in your destinations. The recession makes Greece great value; choose the group of islands from our roster that’s calling out your name. Old favourite Northern Thailand is always a great value and budget option that never fails to deliver. We’ve also got five great-value world cities where you can make your wallet work well for you, and 10 cool monsoon experiences across India where you’ll find fewer crowds and better room rates. And, because you can never have too many tips and tricks when it comes to budget travel, we have the Backpacking Daku share his in our Explore section.
If things go well, I will be in Turkey by the time this issue hits the stands. You will be seeing photos of Istanbul, Antalya, Cappadocia and Pamukkale on my Instagram account (@primrosedsouza for those of you not following me yet). And, of course, lots and lots of food – because that is what dominates my feed when I travel. But, even as I sort out my thoughts and itineraries, I’m already planning my next trip. Skyscanner tells me that Kochi-Avalon (Melbourne) is just Rs. 25,000 return on a budget airline; I have a very dear friend in Melbourne who’s promised me room, I have some Australian dollars from my last trip… Wish me luck in making it happen!
– Primrose Monteiro-D’Souza