Imagine it’s early morning and you find yourself walking through the streets of a busy outdoor market. As you gradually take in your surroundings, you see row upon row of colorful cloth, fragrant spices, and beautiful handmade goods. This is one of the many experiences you’ll have in India.
A spectacular destination, bustling with excitement and reverberating with new growth, India is a must-see destination. For a glimpse of what you can see and experience in India, check out this video of our Best of India and Nepal tour.
The video showcases some of the top cities and sites I recommend you see in India, and I’ve also expanded on a few of them below.
Delhi, India’s capital and a city of deep contrasts, has a plethora of things to see and do. By day, temples are packed with the devout, and by night, affluent Indians enjoy hotel discos. Shopping centers and restaurants abound. Due to a growing middle class that demands to own cars and motorbikes as a national right, the streets are always overflowing, and are a sight unlike any other you’ve probably experienced!
Agra is home to the world’s most magnificent building, the Taj Mahal. This awe-inspiring structure was created as a testament to love, and served as a mausoleum. Construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1632, and took over 20 years to complete.
Khajuraho, a famous temple complex discovered in 1838 and built between 950 and 1050 A.D., represents some of the finest examples of architecture in Northern India. The remote location of Khajuraho meant that the temples were unharmed by Muslin invaders, and as a result, the intricate carvings that are said to represent life in heaven are still in good condition to this day.
Jaipur, known as the Pink City, is where visitors can enjoy ascending the hill to Amber Fort on the backs of colorfully decorated elephants to appreciate the sweeping panoramas of the rolling hills below.
After spending just a few days in India, you’ll get a sense of the country’s energy and distinct people and culture, palpable and impossible to miss.
So when I was asked to speak at the 2013 Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show, I knew this was a topic I wanted to revisit. I spoke for a little over 15 minutes this year, covering seven more exotic destinations to visit for the price of a Vegas weekend. We caught the speech on film for everyone who couldn’t make it, so just hit play to listen in.
After watching my speech, do you plan on visiting any of the destinations I mentioned? I’d love to hear about your travel plans in a comment below.
It’s one thing to ask a question, but can travelers recognize the people and places that make Philadelphia famous just based on a photo? Could you tell the difference between Benjamin Franklin and William Penn? How about Harry Kalas and Bradley Cooper? We put attendees to the test, with the help of a trusty iPad, of course.
I even got in on the action and took the quiz myself. Check it out for yourself to see what picture everyone had the hardest time identifying!
Quiz time — How much do you know about the city of Philadelphia? Our offices are located just a stone’s throw away from there, in Jenkintown, Penn., so we spend a lot of time in the City of Brotherly Love.
We like to consider ourselves local experts, and wanted to know if the attendees of The Philadelphia Inquirer Travel show were just as savvy. Friendly Planet Travel blogger, Caitlin, quizzed passersby on famous Philadelphia landmarks, noteworthy Philadelphians, and how many people visit Philadelphia every year.
Think you know the answers? Hit play to find out!
Can you name five famous Philadelphians? Let me know in a comment!
In this video, Chris and I chat about natural disasters, and who (if anyone) is at fault when a traveler experiences one far from home. We also mention our favorite destinations, and I couldn’t pick just one. I love traveling too much! See which place we each picked.
I’m here to give it to you. In this video, Chris and I discuss how travelers should prepare for a trip. Chris mentions the importance of using a travel agent when picking a destination (I swear I didn’t ask him too!), and we both said packing lightly is travel gospel.
Hit play to see what else we recommended as our “travel dos.”
Everyone in the travel industry knows Chris Elliott. You either hate him or you love him. You hate him if you’re one of the airlines, hotels, agencies or other travel industry suppliers who don’t take care of customers according to best consumer practices. You love him if you’re like Friendly Planet Travel, where our travelers’ every pleasure is our primary concern.
Chris has been featured on the blog before, and he and I stay in touch on various travel topics. Chris and I caught up most recently at The Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show and I was delighted when he sat down for an interview with me. One of my bloggers, Caitlin Davis, served as moderator. But I’ll tell you the truth — we didn’t do much preparation. Chris loves travel and so do I. It doesn’t take much to get both of us going on the topic, as you’ll see once the cameras started rolling. This is the first of three videos from this interview, so keep your eyes on this space for parts two and three. Hope you enjoy it!
The first meeting of the Friendly Planet Travel Book Club is in the books, and we couldn’t be more pleased with how it went. Despite the dreary weather, travelers gathered at the Jenkintown Library in Jenkintown, Pa., to discuss our first book choice, “Radio Shangri-La” by Lisa Napoli. The team was excited to hear everyone’s reactions, and pleasantly surprised to have some well-traveled guests in our midst.
Shelly and Harriet, two attendees, contributed a wealth of knowledge about travel that I think rivals mine! Each woman loves to travel and has been all over the U.S. and the world. Shelly has been to Bhutan, so she was able to share her experiences and relate them to Lisa’s. But the conversation didn’t stop with Bhutan. The group branched off, talking about other countries and how their people relate to the Bhutanese.
The group discussed Bhutanese traditions, the country’s changing culture, how technology is influencing Bhutan, and much more. We had our camera at the ready to capture the goings-on and interesting conversations. Press play to hear it all.
What a great kick-off to our Friendly Planet Travel Book Club! We’ll be meeting again soon and we want to know: What travel book we should read next? Leave your ideas here or on our Facebook page.
Since the day she was born, P.J. Thomas hasn’t stopped traveling. Her father’s work in the Air Force kept her family on the road throughout her childhood. But it was that lifestyle that inspired P.J. to become a travel journalist and eventually start her own magazine, Pathfinders Travel.
For the past 14 years, P.J. has been telling readers what’s beyond the beach and what’s in the heritage and culture of a coastal destination. So when Friendly Planet Travel ran into P.J. at The Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show, Melissa got a few minutes to catch up her with on camera.
If you want to do more than sightsee on your next trip, and become part of the local culture, watch the interview. P.J. shares with Melissa some great travel advice on what to do to become accepted into the local community in a foreign country, even if you’re only visiting for just a few days.
They also talk about how P.J. started Pathfinders Travel magazine, the beaches that should be on every traveler’s to-see list, tips to make sure you’re always being a respectful visitor in the country you’re exploring, and much more. Thanks P.J. for spending some time with Friendly Planet Travel at the Travel Show!
I base my livelihood on selling tours to exotic locations. But when I was told why a trip down South was better than a trip to the edge of the world, I wanted to share with you the reasons why, despite the fact that I do not sell any tours to that region.
And it wasn’t the amenities that made one trip better than the other — it was the experience. That’s what travel is all about. Experiencing the world the around you. You don’t have to book a five-star hotel or spend thousands of dollars on first-class service.
Sure, it’s nice to do that once in awhile, but traveling is about interacting with new people, seeing different sites, and sharing the experience with others. And it just so happens that Reid found an extraordinary trip in his own country, traveling with his dad, and visiting a not-so-off-the-beaten path, exotic location.
Reid explains his travel philosophy in a conversation he had with Melissa at the show. They talked about ways travelers can turn an ordinary vacation into an extraordinary one, when and where you should splurge while traveling, how to immerse yourself in the local culture, tips to get through airport security faster, the #1 item you should have in your carry-on bag, and much more.
See what Reid has to say in the video. It’s an interview packed with valuable travel advice from someone who has written or contributed to over 30 travel guidebooks and founded ReidsGuides.com. Thanks Reid for taking the time to chat with Friendly Planet Travel!