with love from the Mother City.

My loDSCN6394ve affair with South Africa started off in the year 2009 when I first set foot in this gorgeous country, and all I can say is that 7 years since, the love has only grown, and has become one of the top destinations in the world to travel to. Personally, I do feel, what made South Africa noticed by the Indian clientele was when the inaugural IPL was shifted to South Africa in the year 2009. Just for the duration of the IPL, 22 000 hotel rooms, 10 000 domestic flight bookings made and millions of rands spent on ticket, food and beverage, transport and merchandise sales. The IPL injected approximately US$100 million into South Africa’s local economy. SouthIPL SA Africa, has everything to offer for every genre of holiday that you are looking at. The must do cities for me would be Cape Town and Johannesburg. While Johannesburg has a lot to do, for me the ultimate city would undoubtedly be Cape Town.

South Africa is a multicultural nation with no less than nine indigenous languages spoken, in addition to English, Afrikaans and some Indian languages like Urdu and Gujarati. Did you know that Gandhi worked in South Africa for a number of years before returning to India?

South Africa has three capitals: Cape Town (legislative), Pretoria (administrative) and Bloemfontein (judicial). The tourism industry is well established with an exciting sector of emerging entrepreneurs. The country is strong on adventure, sport, nature and wildlife. Being in the industry and constantly exposed to travel, a question that is commonly asked, “which would be your ultimate travel destination be” and the answer to that would be Cape Town without a doubt.

IMG_3042Why Mother City? “In the 1930’s some unknown party wrote to the local Cape Town newspaper claiming that Cape Town was the only city in South Africa that could justly call itself a metropolis. The public took to this description and because the word metropolis is derived from the Greek derivation of meter or metros meaning mother and polis meaning city, the nickname of “Mother City” was born. Hence today we know this wonderful city as being the Mother City.”

If Cape Town is your next destination, let me take you through some of the must do sites, that you really don’t want to miss.

Table Mountain


Dominated by the iconic Table Mountain, which serves as a backdrop everywhere in the city, it would be synonymous to Cape Town. The appeal is apparent and from the time you land in this city, tick this off as soon as you can, cause the Cape car ride to the top is subject to weather conditions, and your trip will be left incomplete if you don’t get to see this beauty. Table Mountain is often covered in thick clouds — locals call it The Tablecloth — and it’s pointless to go then as you won’t see anything. As soon as you see that it’s going to be a clear day, go to the mountain immediately! You might not have another chance.  At over 3,500 feet above sea level, the views of Table Mountain are the best in the city and taking the famous cableway up the mountain, if one of its kind experience. The view from the top is simply mesmerising and somehow words may not be able to describe the magic you will feel at the top. New Tan 100%The cable car will take you to the top, a well-traversed area where you can explore and take lots of photos. And as soon as you’ll arrive, you’ll be spellbound at being surrounded by 360 degrees of natural beauty. Keep an eye out for the dassie, a critter that looks like a roly-poly guinea pig. His closest relative is the African elephant! You’ll get some of the best pictures of your trip on Table Mountain. You might want to wear something that looks good on you. Photography-wise, keep in mind that the best views of Lion’s Head and Cape Town are in the morning and the best views of the mountains are in the afternoon.IMG_3011

Visit Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope

At the tip of Cape Peninsula, 60 km south-west of Cape Town, lies Cape Point, second on my list. A declared Natural World Heritage Site. Encompassing 7750 hectares of rich and varied flora and fauna; abounding with buck, baboons and Cape mountain zebra as well as 250 species of birds, Cape Point is a nature enthusiast’s paradise. Named the ‘Cape of Storms’ by Bartolomeu Dias (a name you will hear often if you ever visit) in 1488; the ‘Point’ was treated with respect by sailors for centuries. By day, it was a navigational landmark and by night, and in fog, it was a menace beset by violent storms and dangerous rocks that over the centuries littered shipwrecks around the coastline.

In 1859 the first lighthouse was completed; it still stands at 238 meters above sea-level on the highest section of the peak and is now used as the centralised monitoring point for all the lighthouses on the coast of South Africa. Access to this historical building is by an exhilarating three-minute ride in the wheelchair-accessible Flying Dutchman funicular that transfers visitors from the lower station at 127 meters above sea-level to the upper station.


Why is the Cape of Good Hope in Africa called so?

The Cape of Good Hope is a headland on the Atlantic coast side of South Africa. It is known for its spectacular scenery. 20131005_163401It was originally named the Cape of Storms by Portuguese explorer Bartholomew Dias ( a name you will hear often) in 1488. It was later renamed, by King John II of Portugal, the Cape of Good Hope because of the great optimism engendered by the opening of a sea route to India and the East.  Don’t forget to click your mandatory picture at the Cape of Good Hope in your backdrop, or the famous lighthouse, with countries pointing in different directions.

Head to Robben Island

For those who are big on history, then visiting the former political prison on Robben unnamedIsland is a must do for sure. A former inmate personally guides you around the prison. It is both sobering and inspiring to learn first-hand about South Africa’s first black president especially from other people who actually knew him. Hear their stories and sit in the same exact cells where prisoners who fought for their rights were locked away. Nelson Mandela was imprisoned here for 23 years. This is yet another piece of South Africa’s history, and it doubles as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

See the Boulders Beach penguins


Boulders Beach remains the only place in the world where one can get up IMG_3285.JPGclose to African Penguins. Penguin viewing is made easier by boardwalks that lead visitors across the beaches. See the most adorable penguins ever, and somehow when you see them almost like in a herd, they seem to look even more adorable. Home to thousands of African penguins. Visitors can properly view them from a raised boardwalk, while still giving the massive colony their personal space. Widely known as the “jackass” penguin, you’ll know where the African penguin’s second name, for its donkey-like bray. A warning, Don’t try to take a photo too close to a penguin — they bite

Wine and dine in Stellenbosch

If you are big into wines, then you don’t want to miss this one. Spend a day in the gorgeous wine country of Stellenbosch and Paarl Valley, enjoying some of the Cape Winelands’ famous wines along with historic towns and scenic drives. It’s an ideal day trip for wine lovers as well as anyone who can appreciate the area’s history and dramatic beauty.

South African wine has a history dating back to 1659 with Constantia, a vineyard near Cape Town. Access to international markets leads to new investment in the South African wine market. Production is concentrated around Cape Town, with major vineyard and production centres at Paarl, Stellenbosch and Worcester. One of the most world-renowned wine regions is only a 45-minute ride outside of Cape Town. There are hundreds of privately owned vineyards in and around Stellenbosch, which is famous for the mountains and valley that are often blanketed in fog. The world-class wine can be sampled for just R60-75 ($4.40-5.50) a tasting.

Pose for a pic in colourful Bo-Kaap

Walking distance from the city centre is the colourful Cape Malay (Muslim) neighbourhood of Bo-Kaap, the former quarters of the city’s slave population. However, as time passed, the neighbourhood grew, and various communities have called it home. Nowadays, the Cape Malay population reside in the vibrant neighbourhood. Don’t feel shy walking through and taking photos; the residents are friendly and used to having their homes photographed and posted on Instagram. Pose for photos in front of the bright orange, green, pink, blue, and yellow houses.

Seal Island

IMG_3099Just 30 minutes off of the coast of Hout Bay, one will find Seal Island or Duiker Island. Visitors to the area can take a boat trip out the island; that acts as a sanctuary for a colony of Cape Fur seals and many water birds; including Kelp Gulls, Black Cormorants and Hartlaub Gulls. if you are fond of street shopping, this is the place where you may find some time, just before you board your boat to the island.

See Cape Town from a Helicopter

IMG_3379Cape TowInfraredn is one of the best cities to see by helicopter, if not the best. if you thought Cape Town is gorgeous, then nothing and I mean nothing will prepare you, for this simply stunning bird’s eye view of this beauty. Cape Town is a spectacularly set city, and a helicopter ride will show you new views of Table Mountain, Lion’s Head, the 12 Apostles, lots of beach towns, and that unmistakable stadium. The Tour covers the immediate area surrounding Cape Town, toward the 12 Apostles and back. Highly recommend looking at the forecast and booking your flight for the best weather day possible. For the best light, go in the late afternoon.

Aquila Game Reserve

The Kruger Park is South Africa’s most popular destination. No trip to Africa is complete without a safari to experience Africa’s wildlife. The Kruger Park is Southern Africa’s largest game reserve and offers excellent wildlife viewing and photographic opportunities. Kruger is about 1800 km’s away from Cape Town,


There is one direct flight Cape Town to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (located near Nelspruit, just outside the Park)a day, however if you don’t want to travel too much and just want to experience and African safari, then not too far away from Cape Town, situated at less than 2 hours drive from Cape Town you have Aquila Private Game Reserve, offering big 5 safaris two hours from Cape Town, offering half day / full day / overnight (or even fly in!) safaris which can be done in the comfort of one of their 4×4 game drive vehicles, on horseback or even quad bikes if you’re feeling a little adventurous.

Explore the V&A Waterfront

New Tan 100%Cape Town isn’t the kind of city where you fight your way through tourist crowds — but the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront is easily the most touristy place in the city. You can shop for anything, enjoy a variety of restaurants, ride the Ferris Wheel, visit the aquarium, take pictures of Table Mountain if the weather is cooperating, visit museums, jump on a harbour cruise, and get some gorgeous sunset views.

Other options recommended in and from Cape Town

Cage diving with the great white sharks

World’s highest bridge bungee, 216m from Bloukrans Bridge

Enjoy the scenic and gorgeous drive through the Garden Route

Visit the Cango Caves and Ostrich Farm

Stay at Wilderness in Oudtshoorn

Safety in Cape Town

Cape Town is a city where you should have your guard up. Unfortunately, this would be the only hindering factor, to an otherwise near complete destination to visit. This wouldn’t be one of the destinations I would recommend to be strolling around alone, and later in the evening, would be an absolute no. It is always recommended to be travelling in groups rather than solo in these parts of the world. Even at the airport, you will have a lot of people offering assistance, make sure to decline them politely, failing which, they may keep your baggage as ransom. Know that you will always be approached by people, requesting you to spare a change or so for them and will often follow you if you don’t give them money. This happens throughout South Africa. Don’t be scared. Just continue walking and ignoring them and they will eventually leave. Use UBER (Uber Black) in Cape Town as they tend to be extremely reliable Get a SIM card with data. You will require a passport for the same to have it registered. Lock up your valuables in a portable safe in your hotel room. Money change, requires a physical passport to be produced and they charge commission, therefore it is advisable to change consolidated amounts rather than small amounts.

Best times to travel

The best times to visit are the cusp months, October and November, springtime in South Africa, or from December to February when the days are at their longest and warmest. Winter from June to August tends to be rainy and cold.

Summer – December-February, 14.9°C-26.5°C

Autumn – March-May, 9.4°C-25.4°C

Winter – June-August, 7°C-18.1°C

Spring – September-November, 8.7°C-23.5°C


Recommendations for  Cape Town accommodation

Ultimate Luxury

OneandOnly Cape Town

Table Bay

Great Location and property:

Westin Cape Town

Southern Sun Cape Sun

Good Hotels at decent prices

Strand Tower


So Finally with all this information, ladies and gentlemen


Your SIP towards free travel starts today!!

Become a Frequent Flyer Master and Earn a Free Flight Every YearPeople think travel is too expensive to do often and aren’t committed to making their dreams happen. Most people don’t take action. If you are looking to make your travel dream a reality and want to take action, then go through this blog, as it will detail everything that you need to know on how you can start accumulating miles and make your dream holiday a reality. Start saving TODAY for that holiday you have always been dreaming of. We will also decode the classic myth which states that you can accumulate miles only if you fly. This will be your tutorial on accumulating miles by doing nothing different than what you have been doing and still get free flights, hotels, tours, and more.

When did this all start?

thumbnailIn the year 1979, Texas International Airlines created the first frequent-flyer program that used mileage tracking to give ‘rewards’ to its passengers. The move was derived with the aim to foster a sense of loyalty among their clients and reward them with airline miles that can be redeemed later. Since then, frequent-flyer programs have grown enormously. As of January 2005, a total of 14 trillion frequent-flyer points had been accumulated by people worldwide, which corresponds to a total value of 700 billion US dollars. (I couldn’t get the latest statistical data, therefore the data above seems a little outdated). AAEAAQAAAAAAAAaIAAAAJDE1NTMyODZmLWQxY2UtNDRlNC1hZmMzLTM4YjIwNWRkNDNjNQThe programs initially started to keep a
customer’s loyalty by giving away miles for the miles you fly. It was roughly the same miles you fly. So if you flew 500 miles, you earned 500 and so on. These miles, apart from being of great interest to collectors, could be used to book tickets/get upgrades.Now things have changed vastly. The miles don’t usually equate to the distances but are more about the money you spent.

To help you understand this better, let me take you through some important FAQ’s to break some myths, you may have had about the FFP.

What is FFP?

Frequent-Flyer Programs are designed by airlines to encourage customers to patronise their airline and in return, they accumulate points/miles (also called miles, kilometres or segments) which may then be redeemed for air travel or other rewards. Points earned under FFPs may be based on the class of fare, distance flown on that airline or its partners, or the amount paid.


Frequent-flyer programs can be seen as a certain type of virtual currency, one with unidirectional flow of money to purchase points, but no exchange back into money. With the introduction of airline alliances and code-share flights, frequent-flyer programs are often extended to allow benefits to be used across partner airlines.


What are the benefits of FFP?

Being an avid traveller myself, being at the airport for me is like you are at your workplace. I see hordes of people travelling across the country and the world, however, it baffles me, as to how few people are aware or even know, what an FFP is all about. To define the benefits of having a FFP is limitless and the ease with which you can own one is as easy as ABC.

heathrowqueuesPicture this: You arrive at the airport early in the morning all groggy and sleepy, and the only common site you will see, in long queues at check in counter. With a wait time of minimum 30-45 mins, you resign to the inevitable fact. As you look around, you look in envy at the sign board that says PRIORITY and RESERVED FOR PRIVILEGED MEMBERSHIP. While itPriority-Security-Lane-764x1024 may seem easy to presume, that access to this line is limited to the fools who coughed up double of what you may have paid to travel in premium class and console yourself with the fact that you paid much lesser, when in reality, that same person, could just be, the person sitting exactly right next you in the cattle class (economy 😂), but availed of a service that was rightly due to him, for the patronage he had shown over the years, which could have been yours, but for your ignorance.

This is only the beginning of the benefits associated with FFP and I have only just started.

Some of the most attractive benefits of the FFP (subject to Tier Status and/or class of booking)



  • Dedicated Check-in
  • Priority Baggage Tagging
  • Additional Baggage Allowance
  • Lounge Access
  • Miles Earning Structure
  • Cancellation and Change Fees
  • Redeeming Miles for Free Flights
  • Priority Upgrade
  • Upgrade Vouchers
  • Including Family in the program
  • Priority boarding at the aircraft.
  • Waiver on Seat Blocking Charges

To illustrate, for reference purpose, Jet Airways FFP starts at the entry-level which is called Jet Blue, followed by Blue Plus, Silver, Gold and the highest being Platinum.


For a detailed list of benefits and understanding on the benefit, you may refer here JetPrivilege Benefits and Privileges

How do I maximize benefits out of my FFP?

Get the most out of your business trips: 

A booming economy made India one of the fastest growing and most competitive aviation markets in the world

images (1)You might be lucky enough to have a job that allows you to travel, but if you haven’t been adding your FF number on it, then you’re going to kick yourself if you see the illustrations to follow. Adding a frequent flyer number to your airline booking may just entitle you to a free to a ticket to a domestic destination (at the bare minimum).

Some smart ones, quickly realised that they could start accumulating miles against their business travel to be used for future travels for themselves, friends or even family.Business-travel2 Irrespective of whether you travel for business or leisure, so long as the airline you are
flying has a FFP, you must sign up to ensure that you accumulate the miles. With many new alliances being signed up, you never know if your existing miles can be redeemed against partner airlines.

Decoding the myth: You don’t always need to fly to earn miles.

Earn miles without even flying: There are a variety of ways to earn miles, like simply booking your ticket on the airline’s website, subscribing to partner cards, spending on the cards, staying at hotels, subscribing to papers and magazines, and hundreds more, literally.


There are other ways to earn points. For example, in recent years, more points have been earned by using co-branded credit and debit cards than by air travel. Another way to earn points is spending money at associated retail outlets, car hire companies, hotels or other associated businesses.


Interesting articles that may be of interest here are

Best Travel Credit Cards For The Indian Globetrotter

Top 10 Best Travel Credit Cards In India 2017

Earn Miles by paying for your monthly utilities

An average Indian household, spends at least 10,000 on utilities. If you make all those payments via your co-branded credit card, you stand to gain miles for every penny spent.

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Initiate a simple standing instruction on your credit card to make utility bill payments.

To Illustrate further, I am going to assume that you spend close to 5 lacs per annum on food, clothing, fuel, groceries, entertainment, travel, etc.

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The Illustration will show you, that based on your existing spends itself, you have already qualified for 32000 JP miles that equate to 3 Award tickets.

For a more detailed understanding, you may visit the link here

Diversify your choice

It is easy to look at this list of cards and programs and find it entirely overwhelming. After all, each program has its own unique redemption rules and rates, and it can be difficult to know which program is best for your situation. It’s never wise to put all of your eggs into one basket, even when it comes to airline miles. If you want to ensure you’ll have the miles you need to travel when and where you want, it might be wise to start racking up miles with several airlines that operate in your area. You can even choose one that seems like a good fit for domestic travel and another for international flights. The more miles you have, the more likely you will be able to use them.

Get your spouse involved

Vacation-Tax-DeductionsWhat’s better than one person earning miles? Two, of course! If you want to boost your miles balance enough to travel often or purchase multiple tickets, it makes sense to get your spouse or significant other involved. Doing so will essentially double any points you manage to earn and make it that much easier to book the award flights you’re after.

JetPrivilege has JetMyFamily+: a novel program enhancement that allows you to pool in JPMiles accumulated by you and your nominated family members and redeem them for Award Flights to destinations of your choice. For more details, click here

Purchase miles.

Travelled and accumulated miles, but falling short of a few miles? Not to worry at all, many or all FFPs give you the option of purchasing additional miles, incase you are falling short. JetPrivilege allows you to top up your account by buying JPMiles at just INR 1.25 per JPMile. This is always cheaper than purchasing an all new ticket as you buy only the amount of miles required to qualify for a reward ticket, rather than buying a ticket in itself. Whats more is that you qualify for Bonus miles, incase you purchase miles over a certain limit. Currently on a purchase of 5000 JPMiles or more in a single transaction between 18th – 30th April 2017, JetPrivelege is offering up to 40% Bonus.

Most FFPs have a “minimum purchase” associated. JetPrivilege mandates a minimum purchase of 500 JPMiles and thereafter in multiples of 100 JPMiles.

How many flights do I have to take, before I qualify for a free flight?

There are various permutations and combinations that go behind the calculation of miles you accrue, as they not only depend on the sector that you are flying but also, on the fare basis that you have booked the ticket on. Lower the fare basis (DEAL CLASS), lower the miles you accrue, higher the fare basis, higher the miles you accrue.

deals_fly_freeA rough calculation would be (not proved, published, just a travelled observation), you get a free flight for every 7-10 domestic flights you make, if you fly international then pro rata the number of flight will automatically reduce. The miles can also be used for free flights or upgrading your economy ticket to business or first class.

Frequent-Flyer-CalculatorTo give you a simple example, to let you understand this better, I have assumed, that you are flying from Mumbai to Delhi in economy class for business/leisure. To understand exactly the amount of miles you will accrue on a given Jet Airways flight, you may refer to the hyperlink here  and refer to the illustration below


Depending on your class of booking you will gather anywhere between 177 to 886 miles. For ease of understanding, I have averaged the miles to 500 miles, per flight taken. Assuming that you take a minimum of 5 (on the same carrier) to and fro business/leisure flights in a year (on a non, low-cost carriers), you stand to accumulate approximately 5000 JP miles.

To understand a number of miles required for a JP Award/Mileage ticket, you may refer here



In continuation with the above, let’s assume you propose to take a family holiday to Goa. downloadAfter going through the link, or the illustration above, you will soon notice, that with a number of miles (5000) you have accumulated, you stand to qualify for a complimentary one-way ticket to Goa. The above was only an example including only your domestic travel, let’s assume you do a minimum of one or two business/leisure trip abroad, you are almost guaranteed to have qualified for a minimum of one return domestic airfare.

Please Note: The miles mentioned above are required per passenger for the sectors redeemed and are indicative / may vary based on the redemption structure on various Airlines. Origin and Destinations for various Airlines are updated from time to time, please refer to the individual Airline websites for the latest information

Are Award tickets restricted to only Domestic travel or are they valid on International as well?

Redemption of award tickets is valid on both domestic as well as international sectors. With the introduction of airline alliances and code-share flights, frequent-flyer programs are often extended to allow benefits to be used across partner airlines. A Jet Privilege member can choose to redeem his FF points on a partner airline (Etihad) to foreign destinations.

How do I choose between which Frequent Flyer Program to join?

Since enrolling is easy and free, you may be tempted to sign up for multiple programs in order to earn miles for every transaction on every trip. But you will discover eventually that the secret to wringing the most value from mileage programs is to consolidate your participation in as few programs as possible. StarAlliance_rightBanner

The question then becomes: In which program should I consolidate my mileage earnings? The answer depends on where you will be travelling, which airline you’ll be flying, which hotels you’ll patronize, and so on.

Kundenkarten-e1459215307244The best program for you is the one that awards miles for the trips you make most often, using the airlines and hotels you prefer to use and allowing you to earn free tickets (and possibly elite status and the associated perks) as quickly and conveniently as possible.
Knowing enough about your future travel patterns could also lead to an informed decisions. A lot of airlines offer miles not only on flights, but on hotel bookings as well, so depending on which hotels you stay at, could also influence your choice of FFP. If your company has a travel manager, he/she might be able to provide some guidance and recommendations as well.

Which is the best FFP in India for the domestic traveller?

There are 3 frequent flier programmes in India (FFP).  Air India has their Flying Returns programme, Jet Airways has JetPrivilege and Vistara had Club Vistara.


If you are a domestic flier, my vote goes Jet Airways JetPrivilege as the best to choose. Even for international, Jet has a whole lot of code share partners, with whom you can keep earning miles, so it’s great!   For a detailed list, click here

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The advantage of Air India Flying Returns is that they are part of Star Alliance, the largest airline alliance in the world. And a good status on  Flying Returns can mean some pretty good perks on other Star Alliance, most importantly lounge access internationally even when flying economy! You can also earn and redeem miles on Star Alliance members. For list of Star Alliance partner Airlines click here


The TATA-SIA Vistara launched on 9 January 2015, as a full-service premium. The carrier offers a frequent flyer programme called Club Vistara. Currently, You may choose to redeem them for Award Flights with Singapore Airlines and Silk Air.

How do I sign up for a FFP?


Now that you have all the guidelines required to zero in on a FFP of your choice, joining/signing up for it is easy. Simply visit the website of the airline whose program you choose to join and look for links to its mileage program, alternatively, they also distribute them on the flights you travel on, so do watch out for the announcements or ask your cabin attendant for the enrolment form. There’s no charge to enrol. And no, you are not required to carry a credit card affiliated with the program. Each FFP is a “free membership” and the benefits associated with them, increase with frequency of your travels, which will reflect on your “tier” status. Universally FFP, give members either an e-card on sign up of an entry-level card with zero privileges. Then as you continue to quote your membership number in each booking, you accrue/accumulate miles, which are reviewed on a time to time basis and upgrade you to a different status, based on your frequency of travel.

Please remember the below guideline while signing up.

  • Please ensure the name in the profile matches that on the passport (or other Govt. issued ID) that is uploaded. Name mismatch would result in loss / missing points and other avoidable glitches.
  • Do use only your own Email and Cell Phone number, which is in your possession for normal use.

Immediately after registering, you will be issued a unique membership number, both on the website and in a follow-up e-mail (just be sure to provide your e-mail address and mobile number, during registration). Make note of the number; it’s the key to program participation. To help me remember, keep a list of frequent flyer program membership numbers in my Outlook Contacts section, filed under “Frequent Flyer Programs.”

Some airlines will send you a card in the mail after joining; others won’t send a card until you have activated your account by flying and earning miles, and a few don’t issue cards until you complete a minimum required a number of flights. In any case, the card is superfluous. All that’s required to earn miles is the membership number, which you should provide when making any transaction that awards miles.

So, go ahead, it doesn’t hurt to get a free flight once in a while! Join one or all of them and start earning! Happy flying.

After reading all this, if you still don’t feel the need to sign up for a FFP for yourself then, there is one aspect of the FFP that I haven’t yet mentioned. Most FFPs allow you to Gift, Share or even Transfer your miles to friends and family. Feel free to Gift/Share/Transfer all your unwanted miles to my account for all the effort I took to coax you into getting one 😁😀😀😀

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The opinions expressed here are mine alone, not those of the users, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed. Being a JetPrivilege member myself, most of my examples have revolved around my experiences with them, as they are my hands-on experience, rather than referred.

Shukran Jordan

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There is no mistaking the fact that Jordan is a kingdom that is immersed in history and culture, dating back to the ancient civilization. From the moment you step into this country you will realize the disadvantages of living in a digital and social world unlike the traditional world that they had left behind for us. All around are remnants of ancient civilization long since passed, yet they still remain stamped into the very fabric of this amazing kingdom and etched into the soul of the people who live here.

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Petra, the world wonder, is without a doubt Jordan’s most valued treasure and greatest tourist attraction. The Treasury is merely the first of the many wonders that make up Petra. You will need at least four or five days to really explore everything here. As you enter the Petra valley you will be overwhelmed by the natural beauty of this place and its outstanding architectural achievements. Petra dating back to possibly as early as 300 BC, the archaeological site in Jordan’s southwestern desert and capital of the Nabatean Kingdom.IMG_3806 Accessed via a narrow canyon called Al Siq, it contains tombs and temples carved into pink sandstone cliffs, earning its nickname, the “Rose City.” Perhaps its most famous structure is 45m-high Al Khazneh, a temple with an ornate, Greek-style facade, and known as The Treasury. Much must have been written spoken or described about this colossal masterpiece but nothing and I mean absolutely nothing will prepare you for what lies ahead, the beauty of this has to be seen in person to truly understand it. A heads up to get there early if you only have a day, and ensure you wear comfortable shoes and keep yourself hydrated to beat the heat. It is also recommended that you go there with a licensed guide.

Petra_by_Night,_JordanThey do have Petra by night which is even more gorgeous, Petra by Night runs every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday of each week, starts at 20:30 from Petra Visitor Centre and delivers you back by licensed guide to the Visitor Centre around 22.30pm. Cap of a very tiring but eventful day with another sumptuous meal, cooked in the sands. This was definitely a highlight for us, staying at the gorgeous Mariott Petra , to watch a video of the delicious cooking, you may visit the below link on my Instagram page.

I must warn you, you may feel extremely jealous. If you insist, don’t say I didn’t warn you. https://instagram.com/p/BQIByGbgd_M/

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Home to the local delicacy humus and I can assure you, that you haven’t really had humus, if you haven’t eaten it here. Food is a religion that is second to none here and meals are not meals but they are a gastronomic experience, savoring each morsel as a step towards heaven. With every passing meal, I couldn’t conclude which meal was more orgasmic than the other. Doused in olive oil, lemon, and spicy pepper and chili, this heavenly mixture can leave your taste buds wanting for more. These menus are a staple diet in most of the restaurants and you won’t have to walk miles before you find one. Special mention of the rustic interiors that make you want to go back in time and relive them again.

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The most awaited moment had to be at the end, making it, the absolute icing on the cake. 14516538_10157636638405165_5357470989481957912_nAt 400 meters below sea level making it the lowest point on planet earth, the Dead Sea will make you feel more alive than you ever have. Float like a cloud in its mineral-rich black mud water body which is used for therapeutic and cosmetic 14522760_10157636638600165_893319922591025449_ntreatments. The sheer alkalinity makes it impossible for any marine life to survive, giving it the name, the Dead Sea.


Don’t forget to carry your magazine to click your mandatory picture as your trip will not be complete without that capture. This has to feature on everyone’s bucket list.

After spending only a couple of days and not even seeing a tenth of what Jordan has to offer, this trip of mine ended sooner than I imagined. Like all good things must come to an end, this trip of mine, kept me wanting for more. Not seeing Petra by night, is something that left my trip incomplete, but then again Jordan will leave you like that, just to ensure you come back one more time. To complete this journey, I must return to see the abundance that this country has to offer. Go chase your dreams, don’t let your dreams be just dream.

     Hotel Recommendations (links embedded)
Marriott Petra Petra Marriott Hotel


Marriott Amman Marriott Amman
Marriott  Jordan Valley Marriott Resort & Spa


Wadi Rum Night under the Stars

To gift your loved one, a once in a lifetime experience, spend a night under the stars in Wadi Rum in a luxury tent and spend a night that you may never forget.

Must Do

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Petra World Heritage Site

A picture in front of The Treasury

Local Restaurants and Humus

Dip in the Dead Sea

Ballooning in Wadi Rum

Mount Nebo

Should you require any local assistance in Jordan, my recommendation goes to Tyche Tours

In the end a BIG gratitude to our partners who made this unimaginable journey possible.  A  big shout out to the Marriott Group and Tyche Tours for opening the doors to this heavenly destination. Shukran Jordan, Inshallah we shall meet again.


Images like Petra by Night, Ballooning in Wadi Rum and the Night of the Stars have not been clicked by me. The purpose of using these images was purely for reference purposes, to give my readers a preview of what they can expect or rather to entice them. The pictures are not added to take credit of someone else’s images or mislead anyone.  


Israel…the land of creation!!

IMG_2915Israel, the holy land that was the seed of all that grows.Abraham, Isaac, David and Jacob but remained elusive for Moses. The Holy land, the land of creation, where began all stories, old and new.

The land that bears scars of mistaken identity, inhibitions and fears, that won’t allow you to explore the warmth that each home in this country would love to share and embrace every stranger of every nationality without any question or doubt.

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Like an uncut diamond, waiting in the distance to be discovered, explored and appreciated, this true gem is your PIN to one of the most exotic destinations with everything to offer and all that there is in Israel to see.

Rich in its soul but nurturing and treating a wounded body which bears scars of all the pain and anguish it has had to face, one would expect anger and resentment but what you see are the smiles that refuse to leave the ravaged faces who still believe that this Land of the creator will find its true identity some day.

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When we listen to our heart, we will always, always be guided forward in a way that serves us. Who I am now is shaped by having followed those persistent whispers. Rather than one “life purpose” or mission, we actually have many opportunities to experience aspects of what brings us alive.

The dry sands of Jerusalem are interwoven with 3000 years of history, which has embedded itself deeply into the old wizened bearded men in the shuk, hands filled with shabbat candles and knowledge flowing like the famous Dead Sea which refuses to let anything sink.

Diverse in it’s ways, constantly evading from the unity which can bring in the much required peace but yet each individuality speaks volumes without reminding the fact that they are in fact just parts of the whole. The maker is the same for all but sadly divided into pieces by his own creations.

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Words will forever remain unable to justice to these shining jewels of the dessert. Thought of as stones by many, but these priceless beauties each have a history of its own. It might be forever misunderstood but keeps reaching out to those who can brace the storm to hear its heartbeat.

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Nature gave its blessings in abundance by showering it with milk, honey, lemons, fruits and exotic offerings which remain a secret to the rest of the world. Which itself is enough to visit this heaven to get a taste of the nectar flowing through its veins.

Pomegranate, mangoes, olives, figs, dates and artichokes are blessed with a unique taste of their own, embodied with the fragrance and richness of the raw earth constantly warmed by the hot sun. The cafe Afuck, mint tea and fresh fruit shakes not only quench the thirst but give you an experience which cannot be explained.

The warm pita bread enhancing its identity with the wonderful hummus, shawarma, jachnun, shakshuka, falafels, baba ganoush fill not only the belly but leave a memory in some corner of the heart. The moist and flaky baklava sweetens the soul leaving the tongue craving for more.

Travelers always know that once you set out for a new destination, you will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. Infrared 100%

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That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more that one place. To anyone who is considering an Israel trip but is worried about safety, here’s what Avi has to say…

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“From all the pre conceived notions that people have of this country, from all the negative publicity and thoughts that may come out of your mind about this historic city. From all that is holding you back from within or outside, people of the world this is the holy land and much more, or shall I say much much more.

This is IsraelSora 100% and this is as real as it gets, this is as safe as it gets, and if there is any city in the world, you would call safe to travel and venture at anytime of the day or night,this will be the city that is second to none. If you are a vegetarian then these countries will blow you away and they have some of the most vegan friendly restaurants ever.

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I have tried to capture it to the best that I can, but trust me, the true beauty is to see it in person. From sun sand and beaches to the lowest point on planet earth. I consider myself blessed (for more reasons that one) to have witnessed this beauty. Add this on to your bucket list for sure and I guarantee you, it won’t disappoint you at all. A tad expensive on the wallet, but please don’t let that deter you from travelling there. A heads up, if you are not camera shy or an avid photographer, no amount of GB space will be enough to capture it all.

If you are a foodie, come prepared, because these guys serve food cooked from the heart, and when they eat and entertain, they truly lay it all out. Ladies and gentlemen, this is Israel and Jordan through my eyes.

A few recommendations…

Hotel Recommendation

If you are looking to splurge then its deonst get better than the The Ritz-Carlton, Herzliya, one the best hotels ever.

Must Do

-flea market
-Tel Aviv port and bicycle tour
-Israel wine tasting at tastingroom.co.il the Tasting Room
-Tel Aviv Night life is an Absolute Must
-Excursion to Masada
-Promise Land
-Old City and visit to the Bazaar, must try the local breads
-Mount Scopus for a panoramic view and picture taking of the Old City

I’m not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the wall goes a famous travel quote. Israel is a beautiful, culturally and geologically rich country with happy people and endless opportunities to explore and see a new and unique side of the world. So go ahead and plan your Israel trip without any fear.

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And in the end, with Israel on my mind, all I want to say – um, actually sing – is:

And I think to myself…Oh, what a wonderful world!!

PICS: Avi Shetty                    WRITE UP: Reema Suri