Best Road Trips – New Zealand, Scotland, India

In the more recent years of our adulthood, we have done quite a few road trips. But if we were to choose the most epic ones so far, there are three that come to mind. What’s amazing to realize is that the three were in three different parts of the world and completely different from one another! Here they are …

1. Road Tripping across New Zealand, South Island

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Fiordland National Park, New Zealand

New Zealand felt like Scotland on steroids mainly because of the sunny weather. It’s the most picturesque place on earth we’ve been to, ever! It’s true when people say you really have to concentrate to stay focused on the road because the landscapes are so breathtaking.

We covered multiple destinations, stayed in all types of accommodation ranging from hostels, airbnbs to a camping site in the middle of nowhere, cooked our own meals, gorged at restaurants and ate at food carts.

See our NZ road trip itinerary – click hereย and you can watch our vlog here.

2. Road trip from Leeds to the Scottish Highlands (Fort William, Isle of Skye)

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Somewhere in the Scottish Highlands

The highlands felt like a dream, the clouds and mist around adding to the surrealism. The English countryside along the way, sheep farms, lochs and snow covered peaks so close to the beautiful road was a first for us.

The best part was staying in a camping pod at this campsite called Bunroy park at Fort William. Sleeping snug and warm in sleeping bags, trudging to the common bathroom in the cold and making breakfast at the camp turned out to be an amazing adventure. Whisky Distillery tour at Dalwhinnie, stop over at the Iain Burnett Highland Chocolatier for the most amazing mug of hot chocolate and stop over at the lookout at Laggan Dam were other highlights.

Read our post on the road trip, click hereย and see time-lapses captured from our action cam here.

3. Road trip from Mumbai to Agra via Udaipur & Ranthambore National Park, India

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Jeep Safari at Ranthambore National Park

There was so much diversity to our experiences on this one. We started from Mumbai and first stop was Udaipur, a lovely lake city in the state of Rajasthan. Next was open jeep safaris chasing Bengal tigers at Ranthambore and final stop was Agra, a historic town and the world renowned Taj Mahal.

Read more about this trip at these posts – Part 1 and Part 2.

10 things to do in Cape Town

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Citysightseeing, Cape Town

South Africa was splendid! We didn’t expect our vacay to be so superlative but it just was.

Cape Town is a city you can easily fall in love with. It’s the right size, not too large and not too small. It has everything you can hope for, with mountain peaks you can trek to, to beautiful beaches you can relax at.

Here are 10 things to note when planning your vacay in Cape Town, South Africa:

1. Hop-on-hop-off bus tour – Really good tours here which provide an excellent overview of the city and the audio commentary is informative and fun. We went with Citysightseeing on a 24 hours pass

2. Table Mountain – If a trek is not for you, then take a cable car up there. For the more adventurous, you can also trek to Lion’s Head

3. V&A Food Market – Plenty of food vendors with several vegetarian options. Coffee, juices, desserts, organic nuts, snack bars … you name it

4. V&A Waterfront – Hang out at the waterfront, soak in capetonian vibes, grab a drink or a bite, visit the shopping mall and take a picture at the giant yellow photo frame ๐Ÿ˜€

5. The Watershed – for great local souvenirs, this is the place to go to

6. Boat ride at V&A Waterfront – Extend your hop-on-hop-off experience by taking a boat ride, soak in the views, ships at the harbor, hear the gulls and spot some sea lions if you are lucky

7. Free Walking Tours – Experience Cape Town, up close and personal on one or more walking tours with a local guide. Tours start at Green Market Square. The square is also good to shop for local souvenirs (be ready to bargain here)

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Chasing squirrels at The Company’s Garden, Cape Town

8. Company’s Garden – Yes the garden built by the Dutch East India Company back in the 1650s and is now a heritage site. Take a walk amongst numerous pigeons and squirrels with Table Mountain in the backdrop. Also meet the city’s oldest citizen here. Breakfast at the restaurant here or stop by at the museums

9. The Neighbourgoods Market at The Old Biscuit Mill – Happens every Saturday. You need to go and discover it for yourself

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Chasing the sunset at Camps Bay, Cape Town

10. Sunsets at Camps Bay – The best way to spend your evenings. Choose a sea facing cafe/restaurant/bar, order in the drinks and tapas and you are set for a few hours of bliss. All the while, you have the Twelve Apostles watching over you

Our Vlog below, brings everything above to life

Bonus to-dos:

Robben Island – We heard it gets really crowded. So choose the time wisely or take a private tour

Stop by for a color riot at Bo-Kaap (worthy instagrammable photo opportunity here) ๐Ÿ˜€

Getting around? Just Uber

How to scoot around the world despite full time jobs

Travel Keede above the clouds

Looking at our travel updates, several people have quizzed us on how we manage it. Some of their questions/comments go as follows:

How do you get so many leaves? What about your budget? Are you not saving anything? Isn’t it expensive? I’m so jealous! You are so lucky ๐Ÿ˜€

Sounds familiar? Well let us put you out of your misery and tell you how it’s done!

If you have enough time and money to travel, this post is not for you. But if you are like most of us with full time jobs, family obligations, limited days of leave and limited means, read on. If we can do it, so can you.

1.Make that resolve

Do you really want to travel often? Think about it. It’s okay to not want to travel and instead relax at home or pursue your hobby on your off days. No one is judging you if you don’t post updates on social media from your recent mind blowing vacay. Travel for the love for travel, not for the airs.

But if you do want to, right there you’ve made your decision. Do not just dream about travelling, resolve to make it happen. So that life just doesn’t pass by and you are left wallowing in regret.

2.Lifestyle changes

Once you’ve made the decision, you can start fine tuning your lifestyle so you are not spending unnecessarily. Think before you eat at that that pricey restaurant, buy that new shirt or party every weekend. Instead choose to cook at home more often, opt for house parties, shop less.

Reduce commuting costs by taking public transport as much as possible. Also be on the lookout for deals on taxi services (the likes of Uber, Ola, Grab) and you’ll be surprised to know you can cut down taxi fare by 40-50%.

One of the biggest expense for urbanites is the house rent. This needs to be managed to make a significant reduction in your monthly expenses. For example, we stay in an area which has close access to two metro stations and 4 bus stops greatly helping in reducing commute costs. However, we have compromised on the house in exchange for lower rent. We chose functionality over luxury.

Think about if you really need that gym membership. Why not jog in the park and exercise at the office gym?

3. Plan your leaves

Now that you are saving more moolah, it’s time start thinking about when you want to go for that vacation. We generally do two 10-11-day holidays and three 2-4-day holidays in a year. We plan based on public holidays and optimize it by including the weekends. So for a 10 day break with one public holiday in between, you need 5-6 days of leave. Leave on Thur eve/night, come back on Sun night/Mon morning.

Similarly for a shorter break, you can manage by taking 1-2 days off.

It does get tiring with the long flights and reporting back for work the very next day, but we are willing to make this sacrifice.

4.Budget your travel

You can be smart about your travel so you don’t over spend. For flights try options in incognito mode on the browser and see what works out best. We have often taken a flight with a layover as that works out cheaper.

Our stays are mostly with Airbnb which are comparatively cheaper and give us the option of preparing our own light meals which again saves us from spending too much on food. Besides, Airbnbs are a lot more personal and give you the experience of living in a place rather than just visiting.

In big cities like Paris, Barcelona, London you can easily get around using public transport saving quite a few bucks. Also, walk as often as you can.

5. Choose your destinations

Finally, time to pack your bags! It’s alright if you are a not able to go to your dream destination right away. Starting small might just work in your favor to get you accustomed to planning and budgeting trips. If you are in a big country such as Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, travel domestic as there is loads to do. Do road trips, take train rides, whatever works.

Travel Keede ready for a train journey in Venice

If you are based in Europe or South East Asia, travelling to nearby countries which are only a couple of hours away, is what you can try first.

Gradually, plan for destinations further away and slowly yet steadily you will land in places you’ve always wanted to be at and places where you never imagined you would one day visit. The possibilities are endless.

We travelled within India earlier when we were based in Bangalore. After moving to Singapore we first covered some south east asian destinations before venturing further to Australia, NZ and Europe.

That’s it, 5 simple steps ๐Ÿ™‚

We hope this helped. So jet set go! The world is waiting ๐Ÿ˜€

Travel Keede in New Zealand