Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Choosing freedom to travel

The thought of acquiring a house in Delhi cropped up several times in my mind in last two years. This was looked upon more as an investment rather than acquisition of a house for life. Given the current prices, this is a big financial decision as I have to pool up all my resources. Real estate prices have gone through roof. But this might have stabilized and may not escalate at the same rate as it had done in 2004-06 period. Therefore this may not be a great investment option with a horizon of 3 years. With a small investible amount and without putting any stress on my lifestyle, I had made my money to grow sizeably in the share market in last one year. If you know how to invest, the direction of the market is irrelevant. I made one lakh while the market was going up and had made another lakh while it is going down. Every time the thought of buying a flat in Delhi crops up, my BP (and also my wife’s) gets pumped up and probably takes few moments of our life. But after the latest surge few days back, we have collectively decided to put that plan to rest for ever and enjoy life.

Actually we do not need another property. I had acquired a flat at Guwahati 2 years back. We always have a paternal house to live in a growing city like Guwahati. This paternal house has enough scope of adding two more floors. My only brother is settled in Bangalore. Both of us have one kid each. As such we really do not need another property or should not get our self bogged down under a huge loan and live a life which we do not want to live. It is better to enjoy life.

A huge bank loan would change the way I live. Specially, the amount of travel I undertake – a luxury we can afford every now and then. This situation is avoidable. In fact we might not be traveling at all if we take that plunge, because I will have little money left after paying a hefty emi. I will feel like a caged animal if I have to live at the same without traveling. I have taken three holidays in last six months. Yet keep feeling like planning another one in next few months. This is freedom. We will keep this freedom to ourselves for the time being and will not ever though of acquiring a house at Delhi again. To add to our delight, the LTC policy of my company had been revised to include a foreign trip every four year. The earlier policy allowed us to travel to anywhere within India, including Andamans or Lakshadwwep. The catch was that it has to be within India. Now that rider is removed, one can easily travel to Middle East destinations like Dubai or Abu Dhabi or to South East Asian hotspots like Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur. A better planning may take one even further. So let’s enjoy life.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Accommodation in Europe

The travel supplement of leading national dailies is something I follow keenly. It is full of packages and deals for outbound tourists, especially to the European countries and hot spots like Mauritius and South East Asian nations. With plethora of options for cheap air ticket, the biggest apprehension is Accommodation. The evolvement of travel sites is a big relief and has helped people in a big way in making travel decisions, tickets and hotel bookings etc. Many of us are not really aware of such Travel sites for traveling abroad. These sites also provide general tourist guidelines as well which is often very helpful.

I had come across one such site for tourists bound for UK and some other European nations. A site named ‘Easy to Book’ offers you the choice of several types of accommodation. In fact the site offers accommodation for a few other places, like Barcelona, London and Rome. Though they offer accommodation in some other cities, may be through some other link partners, they seem to provide value by giving other required information a traveler may want to know for the place. Like this page on EasyToBook provides a detailed info on tourist attractions in New York.