Kerala Trip: Travel Hacks That No One Else Will Ever Share With You
Vinit Malhotra visited Kerala and returned with the perfect travel tips for future travelers. He went on a six-day tour with his wife and son by booking a package through TravelTriangle. His package included a cab and driver, the hotel stay, overnight boathouse stay, the local tours and breakfast, all for a total of INR 17500 for the entire family.
Going through one of those trending stories of a man quitting his job to travel, I wondered if I would ever do that myself. As much as I like reading about inspiring travel accounts, I choose not be one of them. I am a married man with a kid and travel has found a new meaning in my life now.
I travel to quench my thirst for natural and scenic beauty. I travel to make sure my five-year-old son is not missing out on anything. I am in awe of solo travelers, opting out of the corporate rat race to follow their travel dream, but to me travel is about much more. I believe every person is a traveler, everyone has a story to tell.
I try to make the most of my time by at least covering all the places that are close to me. My wife works in a nationalized bank which results in a lot of traveling for her. I accompany her with my child and turn it into a family trip. Every new location she gets posted at opens new doors to satisfy our hunger for traveling.
Kerala is in the bucket list of every nature lover, so without a doubt it was a part of mine as well. After slogging ourselves in the monotonous 9-6 routine for quite some time, we realized it was time to pamper ourselves. And we were inclined towards Kerala.
I am a calculative person and I make sure that my trips are well planned and don’t dig a hole in my pocket. My travel plans are usually random and I take these breaks quite often, hence the budgeting is a very important element for me. Keeping that in mind I searched for the best and the most cost-effective package. My search led me to TravelTriangle.com. I am a little hesitant about online payments thus wasn’t too sure of making the booking. I checked the reviews and they were all positive. My agent reassured me and established a trust relationship by agreeing to my demands of breaking down the payment into two installments. I was finally convinced.
The package was booked, the bags were ready, and it was now time for the much awaited Kerala tour.
Day 1- Munnar: Dreamland, ayurvedic massage and much more
Suggested Read: 37 Amazing Things To Do On Your Trip to Kerala
We reached Kochi in the morning and were welcomed by the rejuvenating freshness of the tea gardens. Our train got delayed and our phones were out of reach for a few hours, yet when we reached Cochin, we saw the driver patiently waiting for us. And as soon as our phone regained signal strength our agent Anoop also gave us a call to ensure our driver was there to escort us to our hotel.
I prefer taking my own vehicle on my journeys. I love driving but as it was a little expensive, Anoop suggested that booking a cab would turn out to be cheaper and more comfortable than traveling in our own car. We had a driver and cab with us throughout our journey. The driver was a photographer, which was an added advantage. We checked into our Hotel, Las Palmas in Devipullar. It was a great hotel, very comfortable and beautiful.
We then went to Dreamland, which was a great experience. It gave us just what we were looking for, natural beauty at its best! Dreamland was followed by a visit to the Ayurvedic massage center. The entire experience was blissful, everyone traveling to Kerala must give it a visit. We then came back to the hotel, enjoyed a bonfire, ate the amazing food that was served at the hotel and called it a day!
Day 2- Munnar: Exploring the Wild Side of Kerala
After breakfast, we went to the waterfall and the tea plantations. The tea plantations were just beautiful. Post that it was time for the Jeep Safari. We went through the jungle and had a close encounter with the wild animals.
This was thoroughly enjoyed by my son who has a keen interest in wild animals. We also went for an elephant ride that cost us INR 400 per person and INR 300 extra for getting our images clicked. So, in total we paid INR 1500. It was a memorable experience for my child, hence I didn’t mind paying a little extra. We then returned to the hotel, ate dinner (food is great at Las Palmas) and retired for the day.
Day 3- Thekkady: A perfect recipe for a memorable day
On our third day, we left for Thekkady. We stopped at the spice garden where we shopped for spices and oils. The good part about the driver was that he took us to Government shops, that had subsidized rates and the quality of the things was very good. We have booked many packages through other agents but have noticed that they take us to shops where they have their own cuts resulting in high rates, hence the gesture of our driver was highly appreciated by me.
We checked in to our Hotel, Sandra Palace at around 1:30 PM. Excited to explore the beautiful city we dumped our bags in our room, freshened up a bit and left for Periyar Lake within 15 minutes. We didn’t waste any time as it shuts at 5:00 PM and we didn’t want to miss out on the experience.
We reached there and had a booking for a boat (ours was the last boat for the day) that took us on a one and a half hour ride. We went through the rich biodiversity, experiencing the enchanting scenic charm of the endangered flora and fauna. The thick green belt formed a canopy over our heads, it was so thick that even light could not enter it. We saw elephants and even spotted 1-2 tigers. People visiting the Periyar Lake should only do it in the evening as animals can easily be spotted around that time.
We got free around 6:30-7:00 PM only to realize, it was time for the Kathakali and martial arts show near our hotel. We had purchased the tickets for them before going to the Periyar Lake. We were left spellbound by both the performances. The ticket for each show was INR 200 per head. Ours was a Kerala explore package and anyone who wants to discover the real beauty of Kerala must opt this package. After the show, we went to government-subsidized shops for some local shopping.
Day 4- Alleppey Boathouse: Every traveler’s delight
Suggested Read: 10 Most Offbeat Kerala Backwaters You Should Explore
After a sumptuous breakfast in the morning, we left for the Alleppey boathouse at 9:00 AM. It was a part of the package and we had a reservation for an overnight stay at the boathouse. I reached there and saw the houseboats which were available on sharing basis, expecting the same for my family I entered my boathouse. To my surprise, mine was a private one and we got the upper deck.
We were greeted by welcome drinks and we had good vegetarian authentic Kerala food for lunch. Anoop had called us to ask our food preference in the morning itself and the food exceeded our expectations, it was very good. Initially, I was quite bored in the boathouse, as there was nothing much to do, it is only around sunset that my family and I started enjoying ourselves. The beauty that we witnessed from the moving boat was just out of the world.
We had dinner in the boathouse only and spent the night on the water under the sky. It was a beautiful experience. There was also an option of a Shikara (boathouse), which is a 4-5 hour ride. I would suggest people to book it in the evening and save time and money (INR 3000-4000).
Day 5- Trivandrum: Exploring the Natural Glory
After a nice breakfast at the Alleppey boathouse, we got dropped at the Alleppey shore. Our next destination was Kochi. Our driver took us for sightseeing on our way to the destination, we went to the fishing net, a museum, art galleries and finally to a mall. The view from the mall was just astonishing. At one end of the mall was the city and it was the never ending sea, resting peacefully at the other end. Having witnessed that for the first time, it was a mind-blowing experience for me.
We also went on a streamer (marine boat) that cost us INR 2000 for the entire family.
At about 4:45 PM we reached the railway station to board our Janshatabdi to Trivandrum. Our train started at 5:20 PM and reached the destination around 9:00 PM. Our driver was waiting for us there and took us to our hotel, Jasmine Palace. It was a good hotel, with a great view. Here, I would like to point out the great input of our travel agent Anoop, which helped us save money. We initially demanded a cab from Kochi to Trivandrum, but it was turning out to be a little expensive. It was Anoop who came to our rescue and suggested the railway medium, that helped us save time as well as money.
We were late for dinner, yet the hotel staff arranged it for us. We went to the Kovalam beach after dinner, which was barely 200 meters from our hotel. Tired after the journey, we came back within an hour and went off to sleep.
Day 6- Powar Beach: A Perfect Ending
Suggested Read: 10 Beaches in Kerala You Should Visit for a Romantic Vacation
After breakfast, we again went to Kovalam beach and relaxed there for some time. I love the peace a beach brings to your life. The three of us had a gala time there. Next in line was Powar beach which was 18kms away from Kovalam beach.
Powar beach was just stunning. We saw the river merging into the sea, the point is called Sangam. There is also a golden sand beach there, that people should not miss. There were floating restaurants and floating houses, which were pretty cool.
To witness the actual beauty, one must book the streamer here. One streamer costs INR 3500 for the entire family, and is totally worth it!
We then went to a museum which was followed by a visit to Padmaswami Temple. And then it was time to go home!
The Kerala trip was a memorable one. It was a mix of everything a traveler can ask for, mesmerizing beauty, good food, art and amazing service. Our trip was also perfect because of the people we dealt with there, the driver, the hotel staff and the tour organizer, all were a reason for this blissful experience.
We explored Kerala like no one else can and returned with meaningful insights for travelers, some basics tips that would help you save and experience the real beauty of Kerala.
High Points- The entire experience in Munnar and the streamer ride in Powar beach.
Low Points- We didn’t witness any, but there are frequent strikes in Kerala that spoil your overall experience.
Tips to future travelers-
- Don’t miss Powar
- Don’t miss out on Dreamland
- Book the Kerala explore package
- Book the Shikara instead of houseboat
- Book through TravelTriangle
- Carry extra INR 5000-10000 for tickets (details given above), and don’t hesitate in investing the money because it will totally be worth it.
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