PICK YOUR KICK IN SANTA MONICA

Santa Monica isn’t just another coastal paradise. It’s a place where art, nature, adventure and urban excitement converge

The entrance to the Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, California, March 7, 2017.

While soft, sandy beaches, wavy palm trees, sun-lit eateries and orange-pink sunsets heavily contribute to its good looks, it is the vibrant cultural scene and neighborhoods loaded with character that really make it enviable. Santa Monica aptly combines the laid-back appeal of a beach town with big-city sophistication, sprinkled with Riviera-style romance and Hollywood glamour. Yes, you have excellent odds of spotting a celebrity or at least someone who seems like they could be one. With beautiful bodies working out everywhere around you, Santa Monica is as inspirational as it is charming. Spend time here and you’ll quickly discover how much SaMo packs in its compact area that can be easily explored on foot.

HOW ABOUT A CLASSIC CALIFORNIA WORKOUT?

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Whether you’re a fitness pro or a light-hearted, Instagramming babe, there’s never a shortage of ways to get active here. Head to the original Muscle Beach where the bodybuilding movement of the 20th century began and it seems like everyone on the beach can stand on their hands! They make it seem like cakewalk but it really isn’t, and you only realise this when you dare to try a few body-balancing acts yourself. Looking for an aquatic challenge?

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PAMPER YOUR MIND, BODY & SOUL AT HILTON SHILLIM ESTATE RETREAT & SPA

When my husband asked me what I wanted for my birthday this year, I said some peace and solitude. So, we opted for a three-day getaway to Hilton Shillim Estate Retreat & Spa, near Pawana Lake, a 45-minute drive from Lonavala. Set amidst the breathtaking landscape of the Sahyadri mountain range in the Western Ghats, the 320 acre property offers undisturbed natural beauty, topped with complete seclusion and serenity.

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Since it was a warm summer’s day, it was nice being greeted with a cold, fragrant towel, a glass of fresh juice and some homemade energy bars that instantly helped us regain all the vitality we had lost during the five-hour road journey from Mumbai to Pawana Lake, courtesy the traffic jam at Mumbai-Pune expressway. Yes, our stomachs were growling with hunger and we headed straight for breakfast, obviously a healthy one.

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Post a hearty breakfast, we were escorted to our discreet King Spa Pool Villa – a 205 sq m villa, with a private pool and lawn area as the name suggests – and we were more than delighted to make it our home.

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Apart from offering breathtaking views of the valley from the private deck, the villa featured a sun bed to spend some relaxing time outdoors, a beautiful stone bathtub with candles to amp up the romance factor, outdoor and indoor shower with indulgent bath amenities and, not-to-forget, a royal four poster bed. Clean, contemporary and elegant. Read more

TRAVELLING WITH YOUR LITTLE ONE THIS SUMMER VACAY?

Air travel with kids can be highly stressful if you fail to plan it well. With the holiday season approaching soon, here’s an air travel survival kit for flying with your mischievous munchkin. Bon Voyage!

Implement a reward system
Before you head to the airport, sit with your kids and work out a reward system in which they get points for behaving well as travellers. It will include things like staying quiet, not crying and fighting, eating properly, being courteous by saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ to the air hostess etc. You can keep a notebook and record the points and tally up the points at the end of the trip. Also, make sure you give them a good reward and on time or else they’ll never be motivated to behave well in future. If you have more than one child, see to it that the prizes are equal. During the entire process, you aim should be keeping your kids on track and less likely to misbehave. Also, stay away from any reward that is monetary in nature.

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How to stay fit on a vacation

EXPLORE ON FOOT

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Ditch bus, train and taxi. Walk it instead. Walking is a great form of exercise, and above all, helps you save a lot of money when you are out sightseeing. While burning loads of calories, walking also helps you go deep into the local culture, people, food and music.

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FOUND THE RIGHT TRAVEL PARTNER YET?

With travel becoming a lot more meaningful and goal-oriented, you’re always on the hunt for that perfect holiday companion who augments the whole experience. Here’s how to choose a buddy who not only has similar travel sensibilities but also shares mutual humor and, above all, the expense

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You may have often heard your loved ones saying “Chalo, do din kahin ghoom aate hain…”
Travelling is no more what it used to be – packing your bags and setting out with your entire family only to take a break from the boredom and monotony of everyday life. It’s no more about putting up at a luxurious hotel and sightseeing with a tourist guide all day. Today, holidaying is more about “travelling with a purpose”. More and more people have started believing in meaningful travel. Travel has become a very serious aspect of their lives and a lot of thought goes into planning vacations. While some people travel for self-discovery and personal growth, others travel to get over a heartbreak and make new friends. While some travel for health and wellness purposes by opting for yoga and meditation packages, many look at volunteer travel as an opportunity to contribute to the society.
As a modern traveler, you wish to fulfill your travel purpose and squeeze in as many amazing memories as you can without being constrained by any boundaries. For the same, most people either prefer to travel solo or with a like-minded traveler, doesn’t mind if she or she is just an acquaintance or a stranger. The idea of travelling with someone only because you are close to them is passe. Read more