Vacations Newsletter – June 2019
June 06, 2019
Europe is a magical land and specially in summer, it holds a special charm. People from all over the world throng all over the tiny continent of Europe to take in its beautiful temperate weather, its thousands of years of history, rich art and culture and its modern way of life. From medieval architecture to shiny skyscrapers, Europe is an enchanting mix of old and new. There are more than 40 countries in Europe, some as large as France and Russia and others being very small like San Marino and Vatican. It has beaches, the snowy Alps, mystical deciduous forests, castles, fjords and every charming picture that you can imagine. Wherever you look in Europe, you will find a picture perfect view, scrumptious local food and enriching slice of heritage and culture.
Even if you choose to go back to a destination that you may have covered before like UK or France, it is still possible to have a never-before experience. A city like London can offer many new experiences every time you decide to spend a family vacation there. In fact, some of the better experiences of travel come when we learn to see some familiar destinations with new eyes and find hidden gems in the very places that we think we know so well. In this issue, we take you to wonderful Wales in UK and also discuss benefits of using a Forex card over other means of carrying currency.
Soul Trip: Finding Hidden Gems
Sometimes we might feel the strong urge to always choose a new place to visit – a new city, a new country, a new beach, a new hill station. Actually it can be very interesting to visit the same place at different times – different seasons or even just different times of day. When the place is new – it is overwhelming. Once you have visited the place two or three times, a certain sense of confidence sets in and the place starts feeling familiar to you. The trick to finding the hidden gems in a place that you have visited often is in going beyond the usual touristy things to do. When you do standard searches for things to do, you will keep hitting lists with the same things: go to most famous monuments; eat at the most popular restaurants; check out the beach; walk along the most crowded market street, etc. While all of those things can also be great, but a place is so much more than a list of “10 Must-See Places” or a top 5 restaurant guide. The well-worn paths are safe and easy, but they also carry with them a high risk of living in the Travel Bubble. If you’re looking for the best way to discover a city, going where other tourists go just isn’t going to cut it.
We travel because there’s a whole lot of world out there to see and experience. For that, it is important that we look beyond what the guidebooks tell us to. Look beyond the most publicised and most written about places and find places which might not be popular but perhaps even more beautiful and adventurous.
Discover Your World
To get a sample itinerary for Wales, click here
Most people think of United Kingdom as one homogenised nation. In reality, it is made of four distinct regions which are considered countries in their own right – Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland. Together they are known as countries of the United Kingdom. They have distinct cultures, cuisines and lifestyle and they pride themselves on their unique heritage.
Wales is a very beautiful area of UK which gets overshadowed by London, Lake district, Scotland, etc. You can have a great experience in Wales even in the peak seasons of summer holiday months.
Cymru, the Welsh name for the country, is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north, St George’s Channel to the west and the Bristol Channel to the south. It is a country famous for its hills and mountains with Mount Snowdon being the highest and most well-known peak.
The first ‘thing’ which is famous in Wales is its castles. It has over 600 castles and it is known as the Castle capital of the world. Five areas in Wales have been termed ‘areas of outstanding natural beauty’: Clwydian Range, Llyn Peninsula, Wye Valley, Gower Peninsula and the Isle of Anglesey.
There are three national parks: the Brecon Beacons National Park, the Snowdonia National Park and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Popular activities in the national parks include hill walking, hiking, canoeing, mountain biking, kayaking and climbing. Wales is also becoming increasingly popular for 'extreme' sports, such as surfing, hang gliding and downhill cycling (in which Wales hosts the 'Dragon Downhill Series'). In the capital city of Cardiff, the regenerated Cardiff Bay area is one of the most popular destinations.
With its unique language, singsong traditions and the traces of history, Wales will charm you and also leave you in splits with its town names like “Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyllllantysiliogogogoch” the longest name of a place in the world, it will leave you with wonderful memories. The name of the town means St Mary's Church in the hallow of the white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of St Tysilio of the red cave.
More bang for your forex bucks
Travel Card – the easy solution
Gone are the days when travelling overseas meant scrambling for currency, the hasslesome procedure of buying Travellers Cheques and then encashing them. Carrying forex in currency form is also not a safe option and Credit/Debit Cards can attract high charges if used to withdraw money in ATMs overseas.
Thankfully a very simple solution exists now which takes care of all the problems that a traveller might come across when it comes to taking foreign currency when visiting abroad. What’s more? It is available from your own bank branch. A multi-currency, prepaid Travel Card can be loaded with up to 15 foreign currencies and it will lock-in the currency conversion rate at the time of loading, so you don’t have to worry about any fluctuations. It can be used like any other card and is great to control spends too.
When you use Travel Cards abroad for online/swipe transactions/ATM transactions overseas, you don’t incur cross-currency charges. What’s more? You can use this card at home also if you are using a foreign website to book tickets, rooms, etc. saving extra charges. You can reload money on to the card through your Internet Banking/ Banking app itself and you can block the usage of the card instantly if you lose it.
When you are choosing a Travel Card to purchase, consider the following facilities:
- Ability to reload or refund card instantly online using Mobile App or Internet Banking
- Manage account online to view mini statement and balance, update contact details and Block/Unblock Card.
- Getting a free Replacement card in the beginning itself to use in case of loss/damage of Primary card.
- Complimentary comprehensive travel insurance coverage
- Getting transaction alerts on your international mobile number as you are roaming across networks.
The most logical way to carry currency these days is to carry a Travel Card. Make sure you have one for your next holiday.
News You Can Use
Events, Festivals around the world and key announcements
- Vienna Festival: May 10 - June 16
- Midsummer festival, Sweden: June 22
- Taste Of London Food Festival, London, UK: June 12 – June 16
- Dragon Ride L’Etape Wales (bike race hosted by Le Tour de France): June 9
- Tafwyl Fair, Cardiff (arts, culture and food): June 22 - June 23
- Guernsey Floral Festival, Channel Islands: June 2 – June 30
- Art Basel, Switzerland: June 13 - June 16
‘Vacations’ is powered by OneShoe Trust for Responsible & Mindful Travels – a travel events and marketing social enterprise that promotes travelling as a means to raise awareness about climate change and preserving local ecology.
Disclaimer: Any use of the information in the e-mailer/blog/website is at user’s own risk. Nothing contained herein shall constitute or be deemed to constitute an advice, invitation or solicitation to purchase any products/services of ICICI Bank and shall not be relied upon as such. ICICI Bank shall not have any liability towards any third party for any loss or damage incurred as a result of use of the content or reliance on any information provided hereunder.