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Why should you plan a Foreign Vacation and Secure it with a Travel Insurance Policy?

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Vacation, Pixabay

May 25, 2017:

We do envy global trotters and jet setters who travel round the world and share envious stories/photos on their social media accounts. However, the reality is that when it comes to travelling, many of us prefer to save our money first for jewellery, weddings, or maybe for a house. Unfortunately, travelling comes last on their list. Moreover, there is one section of people who avoid overseas journeys due to their fear— what will happen, if God forbid, there is an emergency?

Well, it is high time people should understand that travelling to a foreign land is a life/ thought changing experience and it is necessary to undertake it as early as possible. Though, one can’t completely rule out the possibility of accidents during vacation, necessary steps can be taken to curtail their impact. As they say, precaution is better than cure, with all paperwork/ documentation for passports and visas, buy a comprehensive overseas travel insurance to secure your journey and travel freely and completely.

Let’s first understand the advantages of a foreign vacation, which are endless before delving deep into the nitty-gritty of travel insurance policies:

  1. Build up your knowledge: Starting from visa, required documents, currency exchange, to other travel formalities, there are various formalities which you have to take care of before boarding a flight. Even if you are taking the help of a travel agent, you will learn about the necessary paperwork when your agent asks you to sign some papers. In this way, a foreign vacation opens your knowledge with respect to current travelling rules, current world affairs and foreign policies.
  2. Help you gain self-confidence: On a holiday, you will be all alone to deal with unexpected situations and combat surprise turns. But when you successfully overcome them, it will give a major boost to your self-confidence and enhance your happiness quotient also.
  3. Make you more aware about your surroundings: Whether it is learning a new cuisine, like Thai or new language, you have a plenty of time to learn new skills when you are on a vacation. When you travel to different locations which you have never seen before like spectacular beaches, mountains, deserts, cities, you get a chance to experience different climatic conditions and how people live there.

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A new learning makes our brains more active and increases our happiness level— particularly when we enjoy it.  

  1. Taste the life: Dig into Fondue in Switzerland or Sushi in Japan! Make friends with like-minded people or with people who are different. Learn how to interact with people from different backgrounds and cultures. What better way to see the world than experience exotic cultures, clothes, and cuisines? Indeed, travelling is a great way to appreciate the real colours of life.
  2. Take a break: The relaxation and unwinding help one get back to the hard grind of daily life with zeal and passion. In fact, a foreign vacation can be such an adrenaline rush that it could provide one with enough motivation to work hard and save for the next holiday!
  3. Get ‘Me’ time: In today’s fast paced life, we all are craving for some ‘Me’ time to do introspection. And, when you travel, you get some ‘me’ time. It allows you to let go stress and tension and just enjoy being in the moment. If you’re travelling with a partner, you will get a chance to spend some time in each other company. Needless to say, it is a great way to reignite your love.
  4. Broaden your horizon: A foreign vacation widens your thinking. One becomes less judgmental and more accepting of people and cultures around the globe. People travelling from India do experience a culture shock when they travel to the western world! In fact, when you travel in your youth, you learn to discern good from bad much faster than the older generation which has not been exposed to different lifestyles.

 

The thrill is what keeps us humans going, in our otherwise mundane busy lives. It is no wonder that many people have been bitten by the travel bug. They just pack their bags and set off to seek those moments of inner joy and moments.

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But have you ever thought, what will happen if any issue arises while you are travelling?

While, travelling rejuvenates all your senses, you can’t completely rule out the possibility of accidents or unforeseen events. After all, Harry Whittington was right when he said, “we all assume certain risks in what we do, in what activities we pursue. Accidents do and what will happen.”

Even if you are travelling, there is no guarantee that you will never face any issue. Mishaps like missed flights, loss of passport/baggage, flight cancellation, accident, health emergency, etc.; can happen even with a meticulous travel planner.

The situation becomes more stressful in a foreign land when there is no one around to help you. Now what you can do instead is to choose a proper travel insurance policy.

A comprehensive international travel insurance policy secures your vacation by covering events like total loss/delay of checked-in baggage, including handbag, personal accident, personal liability, trip cancellation, missed flight connection, etc.

 

Is travel insurance worth it?

Yes, it is. Nobody wants to think about the worst-case scenarios, but the reality is, accidents can happen while walking on the roads of London or enjoying Desert Safari in Dubai. Let’s understand the importance of travel insurance policy through certain examples:

 

Case 1: Undoubtedly, a foreign vacation involves a good chunk of your money. While no one thinks, they’ll have to cancel their trip, there is a wide range of unexpected events that can force you to cancel your trip, like someone falls sick, you’re involved in an accident, etc. You would have to cancel your trip and incur a financial loss if any of these situations happen to you.

Trip cancellation is insured: If a trip is cancelled due to riots, political turmoil, terrorist situation, medical emergency or weather condition, the travel insurer will reimburse the travel expenses.

 

Case 2: We’ve all seen photos of stranded passengers at airports when flights are delayed due to weather or other unexpected reasons. For instance, you are travelling to London via Dubai, but your connecting flight gets delayed due to weather condition. Now in addition to travel expenses, you would have to accrue additional expenses such as food and lodging.

Trip delay is covered: If there is a delay of more than six hours, the travel insurer will offer the coverage.

 

Case 3: While, travelling is considered good for health, there is still a possibility of meeting with an accident or health emergency during vacation. Here in India, your family or friend is only a one phone call away and you can immediately reach out to them in case of any issue. However, in foreign land, you will be alone to deal with any medical emergency.

 

Above all, the healthcare cost is very high in countries like USA, UK, etc. Even a two-day hospitalisation is enough to cost you lakhs of rupees. You would have to make immediate fund arrangement for your medical costs. Also, there would be extra expenses if due to your medical condition, one of your family members travels to stay with you in a foreign country.

Medical evacuation and expenses are covered: Whether it is a single trip travel insurance or multi-trip travel insurance policy, the insurer covers the medical expenses along with the medical evacuation for the further treatment. Some policies also cover compassionate visit of the policyholder’s family member in case of any medical emergency.

 

Case 4: Just imagine, you are blissfully cruising through the Angel Falls when you realise that your baggage is missing. Or worse, what if after reaching your destination, you discover that one of your bags is missing, which has all your clothes and money also. In addition to stress, there is a financial loss as well.

Travel insurance covers lost or misplaced baggage or passport: If you lose your passport or your baggage is lost or delayed, the travel insurer will pay you for your trouble.  

There are some overseas traveller insurance policies which offer burglary and fire cover for the content of your home as well. It has been seen that, thieves target those locked houses whose owners are away on vacation. Thus, a traveller insurance policy is necessitated to protect the content of your house even in your absence. With this policy, you can travel without worrying about your house!

 

Note, no coverage is given if a house remains unoccupied for more than 30 days and the policyholder fails to inform the insurer about the same.

 

When a foreign trip imparts you so many benefits, there is no reason to hold yourself back. So, pack your bags and travel to unknown lands. Take up adventure and create some unforgettable memories. But don’t forget to buy a travel insurance policy!

 

Bon Voyage!

 

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Mahalaya: Beginning of “Devipaksha” in Bengali Celebration of ‘Durga Puja’

“Mahalaya” is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha” and heralds the celebration of Durga Puja

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Mahalaya morning in Kolkata. Flickr
  • Mahalaya 2017 Date: 19th september.
  • On Mahalaya, people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers; which is called ‘Torpon’
  • Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted in All India Radio
  • The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent

Sept 19, 2017: Autumn is the season of the year that sees the Hindus, all geared up to celebrate some of the biggest festivals of India. The festive spirit in the Bengalis all enthused to prepare for the greatest of the festivals, the ‘Durga Puja’.

About Mahalaya:

Mahalaya is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha,” and this year it is celebrated on September 19.

Observed exactly a week before the ‘Durga Puja’, Mahalaya is the harbinger of the arrival of Goddess Durga. It is celebrated to invoke the goddess possessing supreme power! The goddess is invited to descend on earth and she is welcomed with devotional songs and holy chants of mantras. On this day, the eye is drawn in the idols of the Goddess by the artisans marking the initiation of “Devipaksha”. Mahalaya arrives and the countdown to the Durga Puja begins!

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The day of Mahalaya bears supreme significance to the Bengalis. The day is immensely important because on this day people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers. Clad in white dhotis, people offer prayers and take dips in the river while praying for their demised dear ones. The ritual is popular as “Torpon”.

Mahalaya
An idol-maker in progress of drawing the eye in the idol of the Goddess. Wikipedia

As per Hindu myth, on “Devipaksha”, the Gods and the Goddesses began their preparations to celebrate “Mahamaya” or Goddess Durga, who was brought upon by the trinity- Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara; to annihilate the fierce demon king named Mahishasura. The captivating story of the Goddess defeating the demon got popularized with the goddess being revered as “Durgatinashini” or the one who banishes all the evils and miseries of the world. The victory of the Goddess is celebrated as ‘Durga Puja’.

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Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted at dawn in All India Radio in the form of a marvelous audio montage enthralling the souls of the Bengalis. Presented with wonderful devotional music, acoustic drama, and classical songs- the program is also translated to Hindi and played for the whole pan-Indian listeners.

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Mahalaya
Birendra Krishna Bhadra (1905-1991). Wikipedia

The program is inseparable from Mahalaya and has been going on for over six decades till date. The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent! He has been a legend and the dawn of Mahalaya turns insipid without the reverberating and enchanting voice of the legendary man.

Mahalaya will keep spreading the magic and setting the vigor of the greatest festival of the Bengalis- the Durga Puja, to worship the supreme Goddess, eternally.

                 “Yaa Devi Sarbabhuteshu, Shakti Rupena Sanhsthita,

                     Namastaswai Namastaswai Namastaswai Namo Namaha.”

– by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC

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Off My Bucket List : 5 Offbeat Travel Destinations for History Lovers

We travel to encounter something other than what's expected. If interest in history and travel top your list, you have landed at the right place!

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Are you a history buff and thinking about your next travel destination? We have got you covered! Pixabay

New Delhi, September 18, 2017 : Ancient ruins. Sacrosanct marvels. World-renowned points of interest.

On the off chance that these words give you adrenaline surge, hop on! Travel lovers are not simply vacationers; they can be instead called ‘fanatics’, in the correct way. They crave for information set in antiquated urban areas; stories otherwise lost. Places and individuals and culture mean quite a lot more to them than simple products of a city.

We travel to encounter something other than what’s expected. However nowadays everybody is by all accounts on a similar trail. In case you’re hoping to get off the beaten track this year and learn more about history than textbooks ever will tell, then perhaps you should attempt taking a vacation to one of these nations,

  1. India

Before you start to go the world over, it would just be smarter to travel and investigate your own nation first. Take out time and go past the pages of history books and experience the past by visiting national destinations that convey captivating stories from the past.

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Konark Sun Temple, Odisha. Wikimedia

From the Modern day Odisha, which was previously known as Kalinga and its stories of the Ashoka war, to Agra’s images of the magnificent Mughal tradition; the sanctuaries of Khajuraho which are dazzling symbols of medieval Indian design to Bengal’s stories of the Battle of Plassey; India has incalculable stories that will help you reconnect with your foundations and offer a new perspective.

ALSO READ 13 Beautiful Ancient Temples in India showcase Architectural Brilliance

  1. China

Travel back to the Ming Dynasty, the perfectly safeguarded historical destinations of China are an indication of the grandeur and radiance of its past sovereigns. In the capital city of Beijing, Tiananmen Square boasts of the Mao Zedong Mausoleum and the breathtaking Forbidden City royal residence. Marginally outside of town, the Ming Tombs are the graveyard of 13 dynastic rulers.

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180 degree overview from the north (Tiananmen Square gate). Wikimedia

An uncommon blend of age-old custom and a dynamic present day state, Hong Kong brags numerous momentous historical attractions. Make sure to visit the Peak Tower, the Po Lin Monastery with the biggest open air bronze Buddha on the planet, the Man Mo Temple and the Hong Kong Museum of History.

What can be more historical than a city, secured by the Great Wall of China. China has a plenty of social and antiquated architectural wonders, all of which toss huge light on the Asian culture and history; unquestionably can’t be missed.

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One of the greatest wonders of the world, the Great Wall winds up and down across deserts, grasslands, mountains and plateaus stretching approximately 6,700 kilometers. Wikimedia

  1. Hungary

Regardless of the possibility that you are only marginally historically inclined, you should visit the Roman-motivated Aquincum, Matthias Church, and the medieval Buda Castle and museums, when in Budapest.

Architecturally, Hungary is a fortune trove, including Roman remains and medieval town houses to flamboyant holy places, neo-classical public structures and Art Nouveau bathhouses and schools. A few people even make a special effort for another look at their “masked” top picks like the Reök Palace in Szeged, the structures of Kőszeg’s Jurisics tér or the Mosque Church in Pécs.

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Panoramic views from Gellért Hill at night. Wikimedia

In spite of the fact that the greater part of the Roman and Medieval locales are currently in ruins, there’s still much to explore and learn in the pictorial city of Budapest.

  1. Cambodia

Cambodia has a one of a kind history, an unbelievable one, nearly. The city of Angkor Wat is the centre of many explorers’ outings. This town of shrines indicates everything about the Khmer engineering and the root of Hindu myths. With the remaining parts well kept, Angkor Wat is recounting stories you aren’t probably going to hear anyplace else.

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Age old structures at Angor Wat. Wikimedia

The flickering towers of the Royal Palace, the rippling saffron of the priests’ robes and the striking area on the banks of the relentless Mekong; all tell stories of an Asia many daydream about from far off. Once known as the ‘Pearl of Asia’, Phnom Penh’s sparkle was discolored by the effect of war and upset.

ALSO READ Angkor Wat: History behind Cambodian Hindu temple

  1. Chile

Situated out in the Pacific Ocean, Easter Island, an extraordinary domain of Chile, is home to Moai statues that are the only remains of a culture that once lived here. Envision viewing stunningly carved heads, going back to a period when human advancements had only recently started. The stones that draw in guests to this island are made out of volcanic ash; many still stay in the quarry, deserted by the occupants as lessening resources on the island left their tribes bound to wars that at long last killed them off.

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The famous Moai statues are dotted around the Santiago island in various states of completion and restoration. Wikimedia

Floating a little towards the present day world, established in 1541, Santiago was based on a common colonial framework. The city became the capital of the republic in 1818 and modernization transformed it in the 1930s. Presently, Santiago is a standout amongst the most current suburb in Latin America – and one with an astonishing abundance of exhibition halls and two ensemble symphonies.

ALSO READ Here are Some Tips for First Time Travelling Experienc

Each of these countries is extraordinary, off-beat and offers something new. Be that as it may, on your next get-away, make your vacation something other than merely ‘sight-seing’. Not a vacationer, take a stab at being a voyager this time around and experience these nations more than ever. Keep in mind to share with us your travel tales!

 


 

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Raja Chari: Indian American Astronaut chosen by NASA

Raja Chari, an American of Indian descent, has been chosen by NASA as one of the 12 astronauts for a new space mission.

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Raja Chari. Twitter.
  • Raja Chari is an American of Indian descent chosen by NASA for the new batch of astronauts
  • Currently, he is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force
  • Chari will have to go through two years of astronaut training which begins in August

June 06, 2017: NASA has chosen 12 astronauts out of a record-breaking 18,300 applications for upcoming space missions. An American of Indian descent, Raja Chari, has successfully earned his spot in the top 12.

The astronauts were selected on the basis of expertise, education, and physical tests. This batch of 12 astronauts is the largest group selected by NASA since two decades. The group consisting of 7 men and 5 women surpassed the minimum requirements of NASA.

Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Chari graduated from Air Force Academy in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. He went on to complete his master’s in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The astronaut is also a graduate of US Naval Test Pilot School.

Currently, Raja Chari is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force. He is the commander of 461st Flight Test Squadron and director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

After Late Kalpana Chawla, Lt. Col. Raja Chari is the second Indian American astronaut chosen by NASA.

The 12 astronauts will have to go through two years of training. Upon completion, they will be assigned their missions ranging from research at the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft by private companies, to flying on deep space missions on NASA’s Orion Spacecraft.

The US Vice-President Mike Pence visited the Johnson Space Centre in Houston to announce and congratulate the new batch. Pence also said that President Trump is “fully committed” to NASA’s missions in space.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2393