India

TraVelentine’s Day: Reignite Your Love for Travel with Our Insider Tips 

As the world reopens, our travel insiders reveal their top tips for travelling in 2022. 

With many of us having to put travel plans on pause for the past two years, the excitement of the world reopening is making our hearts beat faster.  

Travel enriches our lives with insights into new cultures, a change of scenery and a chance to really switch off from our everyday lives. When better to commemorate our love for travel and celebrate the world reopening than on Valentine’s Day? Our travel insiders tell us how they’re reigniting their spark for travel and reveal their top tips for planning your first trip of 2022.  

Munah Bagharib — Actor & Host, Singapore  

Munah Bagharib

When did you fall in love with travelling?  

When I realised it’s all about constant discovery and learning about an entirely new world that is vast and filled with stories that teach you about life and yourself. This world is so much bigger than we can imagine and every time I travel, I gain a new perspective and feel motivated to keep going. Travel is a reset button for me.  

What has been your most romantic vacation to date?   

Tokyo. It was a ‘long-distance-situation-ship’ and our first ever trip together. Every second mattered and we made the most of it. It helped that Tokyo put on its charm with the weather, people, food, and life. It was pure love and magic that I’d never felt before.  

What are your top travel hacks for 2022? 

  1. I always bring products (toiletries, beauty products) that are about to finish so I can dispose of them after the trip and come home with a slightly lighter bag.   
  2. Wherever possible, I do laundry before flying home so I can come home with clean clothes and just unpack.   
  3. When that’s not possible, I have an extra laundry bag at hand to put the worn clothes in, so it’s separate from the clean clothes.   
  4. I have an offline folder on my Dropbox of all my travel documents for easy access. Because what if you don’t get Wi-Fi, or lose your tickets or passport?  
  5. I change money before I get to the airport. Best rates, woohoo!   

What’s on your bucket list?  

Scuba diving in Palawan and trekking the Annapurna Circuit.  

Saransh Goila — Chef, Restaurateur & Author, India 

Saransh Goila

When did you fall in love with travelling?  

When I got the opportunity to do a ‘100 Days in India’ trip: a 20,000km, 25-state, 60-city road trip. It showed me that, as a chef, I was stuck in a box in my own kitchen and I needed to open up.  

What has been your most romantic vacation to date?  

Turkey with my girlfriend. We experienced a hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia, which was stunning. We visited the port city of Bodrum, and Istanbul just wowed us with its colour and flavour. Our Turkey vacation was unforgettable.  

What are your top travel hacks for 2022? 

  1. No matter which country you are in, travel domestic. Explore local regions and destinations closer to home, especially during these pandemic times. 
  2. Try to catch direct flights as much as possible.  
  3. Travel to a place that gives you a sense of calm. We’re all so stressed these days, so it’s important to enjoy tranquil vacations. 
  4. Follow COVID-appropriate behaviour: wear your masks, maintain social distancing and proper hygiene. 
  5. Travel for food, because that’s what I do all the time.  

What’s on your bucket list?  

New Zealand. ‘The Lord of the Rings’ was shot there. I usually wake up dreaming about the country.  

Jason Fong — Luxury Travel Expert & Influencer @thebossofbali , Indonesia 

Jason Fong

When did you fall in love with travelling?  

When I visited Bali almost 19 years ago on my honeymoon. To have an opportunity to explore new countries and experience different cultures enlightens my soul. 

What has been your most romantic vacation to date?   

My vacation at The Edge Bali in Uluwatu was the best ever. We stayed in a private pool villa, which was a massive space, and the service was second to none. This resort also has a gorgeous infinity clifftop pool, hanging 100m above sea level and overlooking the ocean. It’s easily one of the world’s most Instagrammable pools!  

What are your top travel hacks for 2022? 

  1. I always pack a portable iPhone charger to ensure my phone is fully charged. Content is king while travelling and making memories. 
  2. Book the hotel before booking flights to ensure you get the best accommodation possible. 
  3. Find someone who knows the best restaurants to go to. Being a foodie, gastronomical experiences are important to me. 
  4. Get a driver who has all the local information about the destination, especially when in Bali. It avoids using public transport, too. 
  5. Get to know the locals. It’s a humbling experience learning about other cultures.  

What’s on your bucket list?  

Japan, the Maldives and Greece. 
 

Ankit Bhatia — Senior Partnerships & Contracting Manager, Luxury Escapes   

Ankit Bhatia

When did you fall in love with travelling?  

Travel has always fascinated me greatly: the places, the people, the cuisine, the history. It’s a tradition to go on holiday for my birthday. My wife and son are now hooked on this tradition, and we look forward to it every year. Travel has become even more special after the birth of my son, as we now look forward to exploring new places as a family. It’s given us a new perspective and helps us explore a destination in a completely different light.  

What has been your most romantic vacation to date?  

It must be our wedding anniversary trip to Agra, where we stayed at one of the finest hotels in the region — The Oberoi Amarvilas. The property is located just 600m from the Taj Mahal and it was a treat to see the iconic structure from our room. We visited the Taj Mahal at 6 am, when the first rays of the sun were shining light upon the majestic monument, and we were left spellbound. 

What are your top travel hacks for 2022? 

  1. Book your holidays via Luxury Escapes to get the best offers.  
  2. Do your research and get the credit card that offers you the most points, enabling you to book flights via points.  

What’s on your bucket list?  

Italy, Japan and the Maldives. 

Sarah Todd — Celebrity Chef & Restaurateur, Australia 

Sarah Todd

When did you fall in love with travelling?  

Travel has always been my Valentine because it’s such a wonderful way to connect with people, discover diverse cultures and have great experiences. It’s all about creating amazing memories for life.  

What has been your most romantic vacation to date?  

My trip to Nagaland in India. For me, vacations are all about unique experiences and doing something memorable.  

What are your top travel hacks for 2022? 

  1. Always wash your face on the plane, so you are fresh when you land.  
  2. Drink lots of water – it is important to stay hydrated. 

What’s on your bucket list?  

Italy 

Anirudh Kandpal — Senior Vice President, Sales & Development, The Postcard Hotel, India 

Anirudh Kandpal’s kids

When did you fall in love with travelling?  

Travel is a privilege. It allows me to see all things that inspire me: nature, people, food, cultures and adventures. 

What has been your most romantic vacation to date?  

I love Europe, the Middle East, Sri Lanka and Australia. But the most romantic vacation was a 2,000km road trip from New Delhi to Rajasthan, right up the spectacular sand dunes of Jaisalmer, with my wife to celebrate our first anniversary. 

What are your top travel hacks for 2022? 

  1. Ask for the menu before you select a hotel – a mindfully curated menu serving freshly made local cuisine is a good sign that food will be nutritious, delicious and a highlight of your holiday. It also indicates the participation of local communities and farmers.    

What’s on your bucket list?  

Bhutan – the Last Shangri-La. 

Suffering from eternal wanderlust and a diehard roadtripper, Varsha believes she’s born to explore the world. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her on the lookout for her next big adventure.