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How to grab deals before you travel

It is actually possible with the deals and discounts doing rounds on the internet. You just need to learn the skill to master the art.

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You love to travel and to explore new places. What if you can travel in a way that the entire trip lands easy on your pocket? Sounds great! This is no marketing gimmick. It is actually possible with the deals and discounts doing rounds on the internet. You just need to learn the skill to master the art.

Here are some smart tricks to follow to save those extra bucks.

Planning

Planning is the keyword if you want to travel while having complete control over your finances. Your tickets should be booked at least six months before the date of your trip. For instance, if you are planning a New Year’s Eve trip, your tickets should be booked by August, if you want to grab good deals. These days the airlines also dole out attractive offers of reduced air fares at least two times in a year. Just grab them.

Keep a track on the fares and note when they go low or high. One way to do this is by getting fare alerts in your inbox by signing up on websites that help in tracking. Also, remember that it’s not necessary that the airfare and hotel booking service providers offer the lowest fares. Do check the airline websites because they often offer exclusive rates.

The advice to plan in advance is also valid for train reservations. If you are planning to board a Rajdhani, plan in advance because as per the new algorithm, as the seats get booked in the train, the fares keep on moving up. You might end up spending Rs 800-1000 more than the usual, when booking closer to the day of journey.

Be different

Another mantra to cut down on your holiday expenses is being different and going against the flow. Observe the preferences of most of the travelers and do just the opposite. If you can travel during night and save the other day, do that, because there are chances for you to grab low air fares during the night time.

Make your own package

After you have decided upon the destination to travel to, check out the travel portals and figure out where you can find the best deals. Avail coupon codes and limited time period offers. And if you are not getting the deal that you expect, make your own package. Book your flights and hotel yourself after keeping a track on them. It will indeed be less than what the packages offer. You will end up investing more time, but after all it is for your own holiday!

Service apartments instead of hotels

Whether you are planning a week long holiday in India or a stay in a foreign country that may stretch for weeks, cutting down the cost of accommodation ends up in significant savings. Without sacrificing your personal comfort and safety, you can find service apartment options on accommodation booking websites, such as Airbnb and Oyo.

Several big or small cities and hill stations offer service apartments that charge the visitors by the day and offer home-like comfort that commercially-styled hotels can’t. Facilities, such as meals and laundry are offered at normal charges or are included in room fare too.

Interestingly, it is also seen these days that people just don’t book a hotel on prior basis and select one after they reach the destination. This is mainly because when you book a hotel online, you don’t know where it is located, is it on a height or too away from the city centre that commuting becomes a hassle. However, there is a risk that runs in this idea, but travelling is for the brave and free hearts. Isn’t it?

DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.

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Opposition to corner Modi govt in Parliament over Nirav Modi-Mehul Choksi scandal

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Modi government is in chaos as the defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Union minister for law and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad were seen defending the government over Nirav Modi-Mehul Choksi scandal and when the Opposition questions on Rafale deal,Smiriti Irani,the Union Cabinet Minister of Textiles and Information and Broadcasting responds by clarifying that all aspects including approval of CCS were followed in accordance with
the Defence Precurement Procedure.

Constitutionally Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley are answerable to the people of India on both the financial frauds and the Rafale deal. The Opposition has planned to corner the government over the Nirav Modi controversy involving Punjab National Bank when the Parliament’s budget session resumes on March 5.

In four years of NDA’s tenure, Narendra Modi’s single point agenda has been to target previous UPA regime for all the failures of his government and to tarnish the image of Gandhi family.

There is a growing perception that Modi government connived with high-profile businessmen to flee the country with taxpayers’ money .People are feeling cheated as new scams continue (o unfold, undermining the public’s trust in the banking, regulatory and law enforcement system.

Thus PM Modi has failed to deliver on the promises he made in 2014 to curb corruption and to eliminate the
menace of fake currency notes and terrorism by the faulty decision of Demonetisation.

CPI(M) leader Prakash Karat attacked the prime minister saying the claims of Modi government of a corruption-free regime is now in “tatters” with the Nirav Modi scandal coming soon after the “murky” Rafale fighter jet deal.
“crony capitalism is flourishing in Prime Minister Narendra Modi Government and Crony capitalism and the nexus with corrupt politicians is at the root of the non-performing assets and the banking crisis in the country,” Karat has said.
PM is  not bothered over the increasing number of scams unearthed during his tenure of just four years,rather he
ignored to address the financial frauds or real issues concerning Aam AAdmi’s problems during Mann Ki Baat and avoids to reply to the Opposition’s legitimate questions in Parliament.

Former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinh said Modi government cannot escape the responsibility that this scam
had started earlier but why was it allowed to continue.” Further stated that “truth had become a casualty’ in the political fight between the Congress and the BJP over the fraud.

Jaitley issued an absurd statement Stating that it is in the larger interest of India’s national security to keep the price details of defence deals i.e. Rafale deal a secret.

Modi government scrapped the 2005 deal signed during the UPA regime for purchase of 126 jets at a rate of Rs 526 crore each and inked a fresh pact in 2015 to purchase 36 jets at a much higher rate of Rs 15,070 crore each.
If government can disclose the range and minute details of missiles and other weapons then what is the need to keep secret the details of Rafale deal.In this era of globalisation , every power knows the military strength of each and every country.

The government is full of arrogance and is now preparing to reply to the Opposition by listing the measures such as
Changes to Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code taken to prove the government’s political will to punish bank loans defaulters and expedite debt resolution.

BJP spokespersons are seen trying to “establish” that the PNB scam took place not because of the NDA but the UPA regime but now there exists an element of trust deficit as how all high -profile businessmen known to the BJP leaders managed to flee the country.

It appears that main aim of Modi government is to entrap the public in taxes (GST and other taxes)and target its opponents with CBI and other agencies while allowing fraudsters to flee the country with taxpayers’ money ,but this policy doesn’t augur well for democracy in the country.

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By: Arti Bali

Senior Journalist

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World gearing up for a third world war : UK warns of Russian threat

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There is a growing unease in United States and Britain about Russia  progressing in achieving “Eurasian Union” of former Soviet republics along the lines of the European Union under Vladimir Putin. Britain has warned that Russia is the biggest threat to UK’s security since the end of the Cold War. Drawing similarities with the 1914 First World war, UK defence secretary Gavin Williamson has equated Moscow to North Korea after Russia has threatened to unleash nuclear war.

Due to the Russians’ presence in the Mediterranean region and the Kremlin’s “increased assertiveness,” it is time Britain gets stronger, he said. This comes just a week after Britain ordered ships to pass the disputed South China Sea, much closer to the Chinese coast than the white cliffs of Dover.

General Nicholas Carter has also warned that Britain will be unable to preempt or respond to Russian aggression unless its military capabilities are overhauled to match Moscow’s military capabilities. Since 2000, Putin has been Russia’s most powerful man after the resignation of Boris Yeltsin, holding positions of both prime minister and president and had been consistently working to achieve superpower status for Moscow and global hegemony equivalent to US.

The West became cautious of Puin moves after the Russian seizure of Crimea in March 2014, followed by its annexation. UK former defence secretary, Sir Michael Fallon issued calls for increased defence spending, citing growing threats from Russia and cyber-attacks.

Fallon admitted that Britain has all the evidence of Putin’s intent to subvert western democracies, from the Netherlands to Montenegro, from Germany to even the United States.” “Through cyber, our enemies can target us anywhere on the planet: not only stealing our information, but exploiting us, coercing us, disrupting our energy supplies, our armaments, even our governments. Almost anybody can become a cyber-warrior: a laptop and some smart software can inflict enormous financial and physical damage on individuals and entire countries.”

To establish foothold in Middle East, Russia has significantly increased its military operations to Syria. Taking forward the geopolitical and ideological idea, Putin called for the Eurasian Movement of the Russian Federation, and said that there is a unique “Eurasian” civilization in Russia and its neighbors, distinct from both East and the West.

To pursue his goal, Putin clinched free trade pacts with countries to form Eurasian Union. The Russian leader is aggressively trying to achieve Eurasian integration process due to many common factors binding Russia and the European countries together : common history, geographical proximity, massive amounts of trade, etc. But confrontation is most likely between Russia and Europe.

The tensions between Russia and the West escalated after Russia air force purchased 10 of the strategic TU-160M nuclear bombers, code named Blackjacks by NATO. The TU-160M worth 15 billion rubles ($269 million) is capable of carrying 12 cruise missiles or 12 short-range nuclear missiles and can fly 7,500 miles non-stop without refuelling. US, UK and Europe are worried over Putin standing for re-election on March 18 – a poll showing he is likely to win.

Russia has deployed over 330,000 soldiers on its western border while NATO has stationed biggest military build-up on Moscow’s borders since the cold war. Moreover, Russia carried out simulated attack exercises across northern Europe, from Kaliningrad to Lithuania, as part of a new tactic in exploiting the gray areas between peace and war.

Talking about the military hardware, Britain fighter jets are stationed in Romania, US tanks, troops, artillery has been deployed in Poland to counter the Russian warships armed with cruise missiles in Baltic Sea.

An armada of Russian ships from the Baltic Fleet have been dispatched from Baltiysk naval base, in Kaliningrad Oblast, for large scale military exercises. Sweden, whose eastern coast borders the Baltic Sea, is issuing the advise for the first time since 1961 – the height of the Cold War.

U.S. National Security Strategy released by Trump’s national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster states Russia and China are “revisionist” powers, genuine geopolitical rivals to the United States that “challenge American power, influence and interests,” while “attempting to erode American security and prosperity.”

Russia military has been deeply engaged in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine since April 2014, where fighting has claimed 10,000 lives. The United States, European Union and other Western countries are continuing to put political and economic pressure on the Kremlin. Putin’s Russia is active today. “Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Belarus, and Ukraine—he is either trying to get those countries back into his realm .

Washington approved for the first time lethal weapons sales to Ukraine in its fight against Russian-backed militias and the announcement of a new U.S. sanctions list that targets Russians such as the Kremlin-appointed strongman in Chechnya.

Russia denounced the American strategy document as an “imperialist” relic of a delusional superpower that persisted in acting unilaterally on the world stage.

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By: Arti Bali

Senior Journalist

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Royal Orchid announces the opening of group’s newest hotel in Nashik

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 Royal Orchid Hotels, the fastest growing hospitality chain in India today announced the opening of its new hotel in Nashik named ‘Regenta Resort Soma Vine Village’. Nashik popularly known as the wine capital of the country has gained immense popularity among the tourist in India.

Regenta Resort Soma Vine Village, with 32 rooms offers boutique accommodation with varied dining and banquet facilities. The glorious property will give travelers a mesmerizing experience and contemporary luxury.

On-site amenities at the hotel include a completely refreshed restaurant, a winery, a state-of-the-art fitness center and outdoor pool, as well as a business centre, and spa services. The hotel has a wide range of facilities that let the guests choose from various room categories designed in keeping the touch of the city with elegance and relaxing atmosphere.

Located in the northern part of the state of Maharashtra, Nashik is developing as a lively city with a blend of the ancient and modern touches attracting tourists from across the country. The city has numerous forts, temples, historic sites as well as a home to industries. The city offers green pastures, mountains and tours of the wine yard.

The most important attraction of the city includes Vineyards and Hindu temples situated in and around Nashik. May it be an important corporate event or a business meet or a simple getaway to explore nature and feel the essence of spirituality, Regenta Resort Soma Vine Village allows enormous options to its guests. The guests can experience the beauty and culture of Nasik just by availing one of the several facilities that the hotel provides to its patrons.

Chander K. Baljee, Managing Director, Royal Orchid Hotels said, “The hotel is the perfect complement to our recently refreshed Regenta portfolio of hotels across India. We are taking continuous steps towards expanding our presence all over India. The new hotel in Nasik is one such move towards achieving our aim. The government push toward tourism sector is giving us the much needed enthusiasm to go aggressive in adding new properties to our bouquet. Going forward we will continue to add more properties to both-explored and unexplored tourist destinations”

By now we have added eight properties – Mysore, Ahmedabad, Dehradun, Kanpur, Dwarka, Indore, Pushkar and now Nasik in the current fiscal year taking the number to 49 hotels. We will continue our efforts in expanding our presence all over India”.

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