Top 5 Budget-Friendly Getaways
Lambok, IndonesiaIt’s as gorgeous as the dream destination, Bali. It remains untainted with beautiful beaches and enchanting waterfalls. The looming volcano of Mount Rinjani makes it a tropical paradise and far less crowded than its neighbours. Located just east of Bali, it’s only a short distance by air from the Bali airport, which is well connected internationally. Tanjung A’an, near Kuta Beach, is where the sand uniquely looks like black pepper. For a short and exciting weekend, there are plenty of options like traditional massages, scuba diving, snorkelling, trekking and surfing. If you’re on a budget you can rent bicycles and go riding along the beautiful beaches. Most flights from Bali to Lambok ange from $50 to $100 USD. And one boat ride later, you will reach paradise. For more information visit www.lombok-tourism.com.
New Mexico, USAThis mountain state has a landscape ranging from wide, rosecoloured deserts to broken mesas to snow-capped peaks. If you are taking a weekend trip on a budget and want to indulge in some rejuvenating sports, this haven offers wonderful spots for hiking, with beautiful trails leading to spectacular views at no extra cost. If you want to hit the slopes, hit Taos and Santa Fe, where they boast fabulous skiing. And if you plan it just right, you can literally be swept off your feet with the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, one of the most popular events in New Mexico. This land of enchantment offers history on a platter with its unique Spanish colonial structures with churches built of adobe such as the 16th Century’s Church of San Jose De Gracia. The state’s only major airport is in Albuquerque, in nearly the exact centre of the state. If you already are in the US, most flights are less than $200 USD. For more information visit www.newmexico.org.
Morocco, AfricaMorocco is the beautiful North African country that is nestled by the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, known for its amazing culture, colours and sounds of Islamic Africa. With bustling souks and spice markets, stunning mosques, panoramic views varying from snow-covered peaks in the High Atlas, Morocco is the go-to place for you to simply indulge and travel back in time. It’s only a few hours from key European cities. Channel your inner Bergman and Bogey when travelling to Casablanca, a modern metropolis conveniently accessible with direct international flights from New York, Montreal and Dubai. Fez, the former capital of Morocco and one of the oldest and largest medieval cities in the world, gives a touch of histroy like no other. For a once-in-a lifetime experience, enjoy the Dunes of the Sahara Desert on camel and then spend the starry night in a tent, without breaking the bank! Don’t forget to pick up some Tangines (clay cooking dishes), Argon oil, leather and carpets! For more information visit www.visitmorocco.com.
Kodaikanal, IndiaEveryone knows that India is an exotic land with rich cultures and diverse states. But besides the usual and popular Goa, Kashmir and Kerala, India is loaded with hidden gems that a lot of locals get to enjoy. Tamil Nadu is Kodaikanal flourishes with miles of meadows and grasslands that cover the hillsides, with eucalyptus trees, mighty rocks, cascading streams, lush gardens and flower beds in full bloom. Kodaikanal Lake, Bear Shola Falls and Bryant Park give you an outer worldly experience. The nearest international airports are Bengaluru International Airport and Chennai International Airport, after which one can continue the journey by road, rail or even by air as Madurai Domestic Airport is only 120 kilometres from the hill station. Taxi cabs or railroads should be less than $100 USD For further information, visit www.kodaikanal.com.
Niagara Falls, CanadaIf you are seeking romance on the fly, Niagara Falls is the perfect destination for you. For a short and sweet holiday, Niagara Falls, one of the seven wonders of the world, lies smack dab on the border between Canada and the United States creating two cities: Niagara Falls, Ontario (Canada) and Niagara Falls, New York (US). The majestic waterworks is actually comprised of three waterfalls, the largest and the most famous being the Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side. You can travel to either of the two countries and check them both out without paying for airfare (just don’t forget your passport!). The romantic view of the Horseshoe Falls from the Canadian side is world-reknowned, and remember, it’s the “honeymoon capital of the world” for a reason! The Canadian side boasts great hiking, tons of kitchy shops on Clifton Hill, two casinos, and during the summer and winter months, a pretty incredible light show over the water adds to its abundent magical element. You can reach Niagara Falls through Buffalo International Airport. For further information vist, www.niagarafallstourism.com.
BY NEHA SARIN / PUBLISHED IN THE BEAUTY ISSUE, SPRING 2012
PHOTOGRAPHY BY FOTOLIA.COM