Valentine week tripping with 5 of India’s best-known social media couple travel influencers

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The fascinating journeys of these social media influencers have helped them bond better over shared stories, love for food and adventure and a lifetime of memories.

Social media influencers – Vishu and Saumya, vishusaumya

The love for travel: Traveling has been our passion ever since we can remember. When we were both working, there were some hiccups as we had to balance the two. But where there is a will, there’s a way. When travel demanded more time, Saumya took the big leap and said goodbye to the corporate world. This was the time we were making a web series called Lucknow Meri Nazar Se. There has been no looking back and we have travelled far and wide within India, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. 

Now that we have moved to the US, we have begun exploring cities such as New York and Boston, besides beautiful towns in Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. We are sharing our journey in the US through our Instagram and YouTube. We also share travel stories from India and abroad on our blog.

Our favourite travel story: Ladakh is, and will always be, the closest to our heart as it was our first big trip post our honeymoon. It could also be called the reason behind our marriage! Saumya wanted to travel to Ladakh and I was her ticket to this amazing destination. Exploring the terrains of Ladakh together helped us grow as a couple.

The fun stuff we do as couple travellers: Always expect the unexpected and try to even explore what your partner wishes to see. While Saumya loves the mountains, I love the beaches. We alternate our trips, from the hills to the sea. This helps us grow our bond, try different cuisines and activities, and evolve as a couple as well as individuals.

The hotel we love: Alila Diva in Goa, which stands in the heart of South Goa. We love it for the serenity it offered and the unparalleled luxury. The infinity pool overlooks the rice fields. We got to experience the best of Goa and dine on delicious Goan cuisine. They serve the ‘Fresh Catch of the Day’ and we sampled seafood that was caught just that morning.

The destination we recommend: London, without doubt! It is one of the safest, happiest and hospitable destinations we have travelled to. Right from touristy attractions such as the London Eye or London Bridge to offering various activities such as a walk in the beautiful park, theatre and a stroll down the Piccadilly Circus at night, with the lights on, the experience is beautiful. 

Social media influencers – Preethika and Narayanan, Passing Ports

Our love for travel: Preethika has been travelling since she finished college. She moved to Canada for higher studies and discovered her passion for travel. For me, travel was an extension of a work trip and once we met, I was addicted. 

Our favourite travel story: We travelled to Paris in 2013. Everyone warned us that the French are snobbish and even if they know English, they will refuse to speak the language. 

Like any quintessential traveller, we decided to take public transport, a combination of metro and bus services. We wanted to travel to Montmartre and the route involved switching buses. As we entered the first bus, we tried to explain to the driver the destination we were headed to and where we needed to get down to catch the next bus. 

He began speaking in French, using lot of gestures to make his point. The little French we had learnt at school did not really help us understand what he was saying. We took our seats and waited until we reached our first stop. At some point, the driver stopped the bus and walked over to us. He told us that this is where we need to get down for our next bus.

We tried to figure where to go next. After a few minutes, we saw the bus driver walking cross the median. Everything was happening at such rapid speed and we didn’t understand why he was back. Moments later, he guided us to another bus stop and tried to tell us the bus we need to take. Obviously, we did not understand a thing. 

So, he turned to an old lady standing close-by to find out where she was going. As it turned out, she was taking the same bus to the destination we were headed to. Five minutes later, we boarded the next bus and were en route. The entire episode left us speechless. The fact that he had headed back all the way to ensure that we got into the right bus changed our perception about the French. 

The fun stuff we do as couple travellers: We love the outdoors. Right from rock climbing in Krabi to adrenaline-pumping white-water rafting on the mighty Ganga, we attempt to experience an adventure sport on every trip. We also love shopping, particularly window shopping. Narayanan actually takes more interest and spends time on check what I may like. 

The hotel we love: Svatma in Thanjavur is close to our hearts. The hotel is a heritage property and the structure is 100+ years old. The property is aesthetically designed, the rooms have tall ceilings, the swimming pool is super cute, and the food is local and authentic. To top it all, Kannan Sridhar, the general manager, is a gem who will ensure you have a fabulous time not just at the hotel, but in Thanjavur as well.

The destinations we recommend: Hampi in the south and Rishikesh in north, where you are likely to meet like-minded people there. Outside India, Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam and Taipei in Taiwan.

Check out their Instagram handle , Youtube channel and Blog.

Social media influencers –Anusreea Paul & Swarnava Mukherjee, thebongtrippers

The love for travel: Anusreea has been traveling since she was 18. Her solo study trip began with Japan. Once, we were married in 2014, we embarked on some real adventures. Hurdles are meant to be, especially if it’s a foreign land and the language is unfamiliar. We generally NEVER opt for travel partners. We work out the trip months in advance. We try and speak with people or friends who live in that destination. Anusreea’s brother taught us how a planned excel sheet makes life easy, not just in listing out the destinations to visit, but also managing budget and time. 

Our favourite travel story: We travelled to Maldives in 2018, but the experience and images are still intact and fresh in our minds. It was the longest wait to be able to tick off Maldives from our wish-list. We recommend the destination to aspiring travel couples/bloggers. Maldives might sound expensive, but there are tonnes of videos/blogs on the net that help to make it a budget trip.

Read: https://thebongtrippers.wordpress.com/2021/02/09/maldivesguide/

The fun stuff we do as couple travellers: We bond over food and friendship. We try out local food offerings. In fact, we challenge each other to do so. For instance, Anusreea chickened out in Thailand when we were trying worms. I took the plunge. We believe in growing our knowledge by sampling local cuisine, and understanding what goes into making it.

The hotels we love: There would be more than one. Definitely the overwater villas in Maldives! You literally live on the ocean and swim with the fishes. You can look at them swimming while lying in the bed. Jaisalamer and Jodhpur, where we stayed in havelis-turned-hotels. The feeling was surreal; it was so eerie. And, then, the villa we stayed in, in Bali. It was our honeymoon trip and we had a private pool in the villa. As first time couple travellers, the trip was our most cherished.

The destinations we recommend: Most definitely Europe. If budget is not a constraint, then destinations such as Austria, Switzerland and Prague. Your cost will come down drastically if you stay in hostels and Airbnbs. In India, we love Meghalaya, Sikkim and down south, where nature is resplendent.

Check out their Instagram handle , Youtube channel and Blog.

Social media influencers – Diti & Milind, foodntraveljournal

The love for travel: Milind and I have been travelling extensively even before we were married. Our mutual love for travel kept growing post our wedding and fortunately, we have not faced any hurdles. If one of us makes a plan, the other is totally ok with it — whether it is picking a destination, planning the itinerary or even selecting the hotel. To date, we have travelled to over 13 countries and our list is growing. 

Our favourite travel story:  It was our trip to Bhutan. Milind and I bonded over our mutual love for food and travel. It was 2015, we were planning our next holiday and we had absolutely no idea where we wanted to go. It was a task zeroing in on a destination that one of us had never been to. After a lot of brainstorming and discussions, we decided to postpone the plan. One day, Milind called me to tell he had booked the flight tickets to Bagdogra, with no further plans of where we will be going. The return flight ticket was cheap, at Rs 11,000, so he went ahead and booked them.

This is how our trip to Bhutan began. Back then in 2015, not many had explored Bhutan as a tourist destination. No travel agency offered packages for the country. We researched, planned our itinerary, got in touch with local tour operators, and booked our hotels and a car. Bhutan is very close to our heart.

The fun stuff we do as couple travellers: We are big-time foodies and explorers. We love to explore local food joints and markets. From wolfing down waffles served by the roadside in Belgium, the famous Black Forest cake in Germany, authentic Italian pizza in Rome, Gelato ice-cream in Venice, Thupka in Bhutan or Parippu (dal-curry) in Sri Lanka, we never miss out on trying the local food. 

The hotel we love: Luxe Grande Gaube in Mauritius. The beach-facing room offers mesmerising view of the ocean. The resort offers plenty of water-sports activities such as kayaking, snorkelling and pedal-boat. Also, there are more than four restaurants in-house that offer different dining experiences every day. 

The destinations we recommend: Bhutan or Sri Lanka. Both destinations in our neighbourhood have few things in common. They are cost-effective and offer a great scope for exploration. Also, they are very safe and traveller-friendly. While Bhutan is a paradise for hiking and trekking, Sri Lanka has a great connect with Indian culture, because of Ramayana, and left us mesmerised. 

Check out their Instagram handle

Social media influencers – Namita & Vaibhav, ourtravelpalette

 The love for travel: We were the best of friends for more than a decade before we began dating and then eventually got married. Most times, we used to travel with friends before we got together, and we have never faced any major hurdles on any of our trips. 

Our favourite travel story: The two month-long-trip we took across Europe in 2019 and the month-long trip across Southeast Asia in 2017 stand out. It was the best of slow travel, which we hope to attempt once travel restrictions are lifted.

The fun stuff we do as couple travellers: We go on hiking trails, camp under the night sky with a bonfire close-by, go hunting for local cafes, plan our trip well but also make impromptu plans, enjoy less touristy beaches, travel to destinations that include long drives and opt for offbeat destinations over the touristy ones.

The hotel we love: We stayed in an Airbnb, an earth house, in south of France, in a very secluded and offbeat destination called La-Roque-sur-Pernes.  An earth house or an earth shelter is a house where most of the walls have been naturally built. 70% of this one was an earth house. The roof was transparent glass. It was on a high altitude so the view was breathtaking. We could see the night sky from within the house and beautiful sunsets from the balcony. The experience was unique and special. 

The destination we recommend: Bhutan, which is replete with natural beauty and raw charm. You can explore the intricately designed monasteries dotted with colourful flags, visit ancient Dzongs, admire mighty Himalayas, relish Bhutanese delicacies, enjoy down-to-earth hospitality of the locals, be awestruck by the massive rice paddies, watch the sun go down by the rivers, learn a bit of Buddhism and bask in the most unique travel experience.

Check out their Instagram handle

Social media influencers – Sandy & Vyjay, imvoyager18

The love for travel: Sandy & Vyjay are one of the top couple travel bloggers in India based out of Bangalore. We turned our backs to our thriving corporate careers to follow our passion for Traveling and Writing. We believe in sustainable tourism and ethical travel and hope to spread the message of regenerative tourism through our travel stories. There have not been hurdles as such. It did become difficult juggling our passion for travel and our corporate careers and it was at that stage that we both quit to get into travelling and writing about travel.

Our favourite travel story: There are a million travel stories out there, each unique and riveting, for us travel is like an endless book, a fascinating book that does not have the last page.

The fun stuff we do as couple travellers: Sharing new experiences is the most fun thing to do as a couple while traveling. Be it waking up to a mesmerizing sunrise or discovering an unusual dish. Interacting with people from different cultures and getting new perspectives about life.

The hotel we love: We have stayed in a wide range of hotels during our travels. Sometimes we have woken in a property on the edge of the forest, while sometimes day breaks with the musical gurgling of a stream or the rhythmic breaking of waves. Each hotel or resort that we have stayed in offered a unique experience.

The destination we recommend: This is a very subjective question. However, according to us Sikkim in India and Switzerland in Europe would be great destinations for solo travelers.

Check out their Instagram handle and blog.

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