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How to Become an Air Hostess? Qualification, Course & Training, Jobs, Salary Details
June 13, 2018
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Air hostess is one of the high profile professions in India desired by many young graduates. Air hostess profession is like a dream come true for young girls.

In this profession you not only get good pay career travel lovers  but you meet different people from around the world, you get to see different locations, you get chance to meet celebrities, business tycoons and also learn a lot.

Air Hostess job seems as an easy job but she has many responsibilities at the plane and it’s not an easy job. She has to greet every passenger, coordinate with security, make air travel comfortable of the passenger, to guide passenger during their seat settlement and much more. Also Air Hostess has to handle some difficult passenger and remain patient and calm.

Mostly women choose the career of air hostess but those men who choose the career are called ‘Stewards’.

An Air Hostess can be later on promoted as Senior Flight Attendant and then Head Attendant. Air Hostess has an average career span of eight to ten years, later she can move to the ground duties which include the job of a Check Hostess, training of air hostess, Ground hostess or work with the management level.

To get a job as an Air Hostess your personality is more important than the education.

air hostess

Air Hostess Qualification/Eligibility

Eligibility criteria for an Air Hostess can be divided into four categories.

1. Educational Qualification for Air Hostess Course

The minimum educational qualification to pursue Air Hostess course is 10+2. This is one of the exquisite course to pursue post-HSC. However, if you are going for PG Air Hostess courses then the minimum qualification would be graduation.

Although there are academies which are also offering a course for candidates who are just 10thpassed but you should not join them because it is better to join after you have completed your 10+2.

Moreover, you must know Hindi, English and any other foreign language.

2. Age and Marital Status

Age limit usually depends upon the policy of a particular Institute. Normally academies prefer candidates within age group of 17 years and 26 years.

Marital Status also depends upon the policy of a given academy. Although they prefer unmarried girls but some institutes allow married women also.

3. Physical Standards

Air Hostess jobs are all about behavior and physical appearance. In next section we will talk about behavioral skills but here we look at some of the physical standards required by institutes.

Minimum Height required must be 5.2” or 157 cm. Weight of the candidate must be in proportion to her Height. Skin complexion does matter and it must fair to clear complexion. Physical fit and attractive physique.

4. Medical Condition

Just like physical standards Air Hostess jobs require medical standards too.

A candidate must not have a history of mental illness. Eye sight requirement is 6/9. Few airlines can give some concession. You should not be suffering from any major disease.

So these were all kinds of qualification needed for becoming an Air Hostess.

Behavioral Skills Required

Just usual qualifications like educational, physical or medical is not enough for becoming an Air Hostess. You need more than that. This job expects candidates to have certain behavioral skills that reflects her personality.

Pleasing Personality: Good appearance as well as pleasant voice is must. You must be friendly to the passengers on board. A friendly outgoing personality is what makes an Air Hostess.

Good Communication Skills: You must be able to communicate with the travelers and help them out if they need anything. Improved Good communication skills are very important to convince passengers. Here language proficiency is must.

Presence of Mind: If there is an emergency landing, then Air Hostess has to use her brain and give all the required instructions to the naïve passengers on boards. They have to show great presence of mind in any such eventualities.

Team Work: You have to work with entire cabin crew. Usually a cabin crew in a domestic flight consists of over 12 – 14 members. Hence you have to work in tandem.

Ready Work for Long Hours: Flight delays are very normal and hence sometimes you have to put an extra effort. At least 3 to 4 hours extra if a flight is late due to weather or some other reasons.

Positive Attitude: Finally, a positive attitude that yes you can do the job is needed.

Examination

Each Airline company conducts examination for recruiting Air Hostesses. Usually an entire selection process can be divided into 3 stages.

Written Examination: Written exam tests your aptitude and reasoning. The exam pattern is quite similar to other competitive exams where they ask multiple type objective questions.

So to clear the written exam you can prepare just like candidates prepare for other competitive exams.

Group Dynamics or GD: Second stage is Group Discussion where you will be tested for your presence of mind, communication skills, team work, leadership quality, your attitude etc.So,you should be well prepared for group discussion.

Interview: Third and final round is one on one interview. Here the company will judge you for your overall personality. If selected, then the company will train you for next six months.

Airhostess Courses

If you are serious about pursuing your career as an Air Hostess, then you must join for a course depending upon your educational qualification.

There are three types of courses.

Certificate Courses: Certification courses are for 10+2 candidates. Usually the duration of a course is 6 months to 1 Year but few fast track certificate courses can be just 3 months long.

Here is the list of certificate courses.

  • Aviation Management and Hospitality
  • Air Hostess Management
  • Aviation Customer Service
  • Air Hostess Training
  • Cabin Crew/Flight Attendant
  • Airlines Hospitality etc.…

Diploma Courses

Diploma courses can also be pursued after 10+2. PG Diploma courses can be pursued only after graduation.

The duration of the course is same as certificate course.

  •  Diploma in Air Hostess Training
  •  Diploma in Aviation and Hospitality Management
  •  Diploma in Hospitality and Travel Management
  •  Diploma in Cabin Crew/Flight Attendant Training

Certificate and Diploma course are crafted and designed by individual institutes.

Degree Courses

Degree courses are the most important course out of all three. The duration of the course is 3 years long and you have to be 10+2.

  • B.Sc. in Air Hostess Training
  • B.Sc. Aviation
  • Bachelor of Hospitality and Travel Management
  • Bachelor of Travel and Tourism Management

So these were list of all the courses.

I recommend you to join a 3 years long degree course.

Air hostess Training Institute/Academy

If you want to materialize your dream of becoming an Airhostess one day, then you have to join any one of the following institutes for a course.

1. Frankfinn Institute of Air Hostess, New Delhi and Mumbai

2. Air Hostess Academy, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Delhi, Mumbai

3. Rajiv Gandhi Memorial College of Aeronautics, Jaipur

4. Universal Aviation Academy, Chennai

5. Rai University, Ahmedabad.

There are some other institutes also but these 5 are the best.

Companies

Once you have completed your course successfully you are ready to get hired by following Airline companies in the country.

1. Air India

2. Indian Airlines

3. Alliance Air

4. Go Air

5. Jet Airways

6. Indigo

7. Gulf Air

8. Singapore Airlines

9. Lufthansa

10. Jet Airways

Air Hostess Salary

Salary of an Air Hostess depends upon the airline company she is working with.

Usually a company pays anything between Rs 20,000 and Rs 80,000 to their Air hostesses. Domestic airlines pay Rs 20,000 to Rs 35,000 and international airlines can pay up to Rs 80,000 depending upon the experience. However, some of the luxurious international airliners can pay anything between Rs 100,000 to Rs 200,000 per month to their senior air hostesses.

Moreover, companies also provide additional allowances like medical insurance, retirement plan and discounts on flight tickets. So the pay package is really great for air hostess jobs.

Male Air Hostess

Men can also become part of the air crew just like women. This whole article applies to men in a same way as it applies to women.

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27 Tips for Travelling Solo, from a Die Hard Lone Traveller
March 30, 2018
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road-1245901_1920When is the customer always wrongRoad less traveled https://pixabay.c56om/en/road-tree-fog-foggy-country-1245901/

Tips for Solo Travel

1. With no one to make the plans for you, or to talk to, take the opportunity to let a place show you what it’s got.

2. You can only really rely on yourself, so sometimes you may need to psyche yourself up to be as mentally strong as possible. Have confidence.

3. Most people, travellers and locals, are just looking for a friend too. Don’t be scared.

4. You need to be open to new things, but always stay on guard too.

5. Sometimes you might need to be rude. When you haggle, when you cross the street, when you backtrack to avoid walking past someone you didn’t feel safe with, or by telling people to go away if they make you feel uncomfortable. Just do it.

6. Your phone is your best friend, so treat it well. Google Maps, Skype, Facebook Messenger – they could be your only link to the outside world. Download Find Your Friends, get a LifeProof Case – do anything you can to safeguard it from the world. If it goes, you won’t just be upset, you’ll be lost.

7. If you feel lonely, book onto a tour. Instant friends guaranteed.

8. Sometimes you will need to force yourself to take part. With today’s lure of technology it can be easy to stay in and talk to your friends from home when you’re not feeling your best. That’s not why you’ve gone travelling. Get out there.

9. Always pay attention and know your escapes in every situation.

10. Don’t get too drunk. Ever. Even if you feel like you’re with friends. Anything could happen that will make them leave you.

11. The best way to make friends is to find a social hostel, and be social.

12. Always let someone back home know where you are. I used a Google Sheet that was shared with my dad and kept it up to date with my accommodation names.

13. Have confidence in yourself and your abilities. You’ll be capable of more than you can imagine if you just allow yourself to be strong.

14. However much you think you won’t be the one who loses your phone and you won’t use the insurance, it’s way better to be safe than to be sorry. Paying the excess waiver now will save a lot of upset later.

15. Learning a few words in the local language can go a long way, both for communication and financially, and shows respect for your destination’s culture.

16. Just because everyone goes somewhere doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good. Be ready to get off the tracks if you need.

17. The world is not as dangerous as the news makes out. Horrible things do happen, but if we lived by the stats we’d never ride in a car in our own country again.

18. You’ll meet some of the most inspiring people when you travel, but don’t forget you’re probably one of them too. Don’t be intimidated.

19. Don’t listen to earphones in the street, or flash your wealth. In some countries owning an iPhone is totally unachievable.

20. Don’t allow yourself to be taken advantage of, and don’t take advantage of those worse off than you either.

21. The mere fact you’re travelling for fun makes you among the richest in the world. Don’t abuse that privilege.

22. Open your eyes and don’t just hang out with people who are the same as you. Embracing difference and change is how you’ll grow and have the most interesting and life altering experiences.

23. Don’t take silly risks. Wear the helmets and the life jackets.

24. When you don’t know something use the opportunity to talk to someone and ask, don’t just Google the answer.

25. Back up your photos from your phone and camera. This way you’re not too attached to your kit if, for whatever reason, someone demands it from you, or they’re damaged.

26. Some destinations are friendlier than others on the solo travel spectrum. Work out where you belong and, if you’re worried, don’t wander too much from where you’re comfortable (but do wander a bit).

27. Make the most of every opportunity that comes your way.

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My 30 Best Travel Tips After 7 Years Traveling The World Part3
March 30, 2018
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road-1245901_1920When is the customer always wrongRoad less traveled https://pixabay.c56om/en/road-tree-fog-foggy-country-1245901/

11. Smile & Say Hello

Having trouble interacting with locals? Do people seem unfriendly? Maybe it’s your body language. One of my best travel tips is to make eye contact and smile as you walk by. If they smile back, say hello in the local language too. This is a fast way to make new friends.

You can’t expect everyone to just walk around with a big stupid grin on their face. That’s your job. Usually, all it takes is for you to initiate contact and they’ll open up.

12. Splurge A Bit

I’m a huge fan of budget travel, as it allows you to travel longer and actually experience more of the fascinating world we live in rather than waste your hard-earned money on stuff you don’t need. In fact you can travel many places for $50 a day with no problems.

That said, living on a shoestring gets old after a while. It’s nice (and healthy) to go over your budget occasionally. Book a few days at a nice hotel, eat out at a fancy restaurant or spend a wild night on the town.

13. Keep An Open Mind

Don’t judge the lifestyles of others if different from your own. Listen to opinions you don’t agree with. It’s arrogant to assume your views are correct and other people are wrong. Practice empathy and put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

Embrace different possibilities, opportunities, people, suggestions, and interests. Ask questions. You don’t have to agree, but you may be surprised what you’ll learn from the people you meet during your travels.

14. Try Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing.org is a large online community of travelers who share their spare rooms or couches with strangers for free. If you truly want to experience a country and its people, staying with a local is the way to go.

There are millions of couchsurfers around the world willing to host you and provide recommendations. Expensive hotels are not the only option, there are all kinds of cheap travel accommodation options out there.

15. Volunteer Occasionally

Make it a point to volunteer some of your time for worthwhile projects when traveling. Not only is it a very rewarding experience, but you’ll often learn more about the country and its people while also making new friends.

There’s a great site called Grassroots Volunteering where you can search for highly recommended volunteer opportunities around the world.

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My 30 Best Travel Tips After 7 Years Traveling The World Part2
March 30, 2018
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6. Pack A Scarf

I happen to use a shemagh, but sarongs also work great. This simple piece of cotton cloth is one of my most useful travel accessories with many different practical applications. It’s great for sun protection, a makeshift towel, carrying stuff around, an eye mask, and much more.

I can’t tell you how many times a scarf has come in handy around the world.

7. Observe Daily Life

If you really want to get a feel for the pulse of a place, I recommend spending a few hours sitting in a park or on a busy street corner by yourself just watching day to day life happen in front of you.

Slow down your train of thought and pay close attention to the details around you. The smells, the colors, human interactions, and sounds. It’s a kind of meditation — and you’ll see stuff you never noticed before.

8. Back Everything Up

When my laptop computer was stolen in Panama, having most of my important documents and photos backed up saved my ass. Keep both digital and physical copies of your passport, visas, driver’s license, birth certificate, health insurance card, serial numbers, and important phone numbers ready to go in case of an emergency.

Backup your files & photos on an external hard drive as well as online with software like Backblaze.

9. Take Lots Of Photos

You may only see these places & meet these people once in your lifetime. Remember them forever with plenty of photos. Don’t worry about looking like a “tourist”. Are you traveling to look cool? No one cares. Great photos are the ultimate souvenir.

They don’t cost anything, they’re easy to share with others, and they don’t take up space in your luggage. Just remember once you have your shot to get out from behind the lens and enjoy the view.

10. There’s Always A Way

Nothing is impossible. If you are having trouble going somewhere or doing something, don’t give up. You just haven’t found the best solution or met the right person yet. Don’t listen to those who say it can’t be done.

Perseverance pays off. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told what I want isn’t possible, only to prove it wrong later when I don’t listen to the advice and try anyway.

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My 30 Best Travel Tips After 7 Years Traveling The World PART1
March 30, 2018
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1. Patience Is Important

Don’t sweat the stuff you can’t control. Life is much too short to be angry & annoyed all the time. Did you miss your bus? No worries, there will be another one. ATMs out of money? Great! Take an unplanned road trip over to the next town and explore. Sometimes freakouts happen regardless.

Just take a deep breath and remind yourself that it could be worse.

2. Wake Up Early

Rise at sunrise to have the best attractions all to yourself while avoiding crowds. It’s also a magical time for photos due to soft diffused light, and usually easier to interact with locals. Sketchy areas are less dangerous in the morning too. Honest hardworking people wake up early; touts, scammers, and criminals sleep in.

3. Laugh At Yourself

You will definitely look like a fool many times when traveling to new places. Rather than get embarrassed, laugh at yourself. Don’t be afraid to screw up, and don’t take life so seriously.

Once a whole bus full of Guatemalans laughed with glee when I forced our driver to stop so I could urgently pee on the side of the road. Returning to the bus and laughing with them gave me new friends for the rest of the journey.

4. Stash Extra Cash

Cash is king around the world. To cover your ass in an emergency, make sure to stash some in a few different places. I recommend at least a couple hundred dollars worth. If you lose your wallet, your card stops working, or the ATMs run out of money, you’ll be glad you did.

Some of my favorite stash spots include socks, under shoe inserts, a toiletry bag, around the frame of a backpack, even sewn behind a patch on your bag.

5. Meet Local People

Make it a point to avoid other travelers from time to time and start conversations with local people. Basic English is spoken widely all over the world, so it’s easier to communicate than you might think, especially when you combine hand gestures and body language.

Learn from those who live in the country you’re visiting. People enrich your travels more than sights do.

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6 things everyone learns travelling solo
March 30, 2018
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1. You always return home with lots of new friends

Ever noticed that you’re more likely to ask one person for directions than you are to ask a group of people? Solos are more approachable, plain and simple. Lone travellers learn that the benefits of this are twofold: not only will other travellers feel far more comfortable introducing themselves to you, but it’s actually easier for you to strike up conversation with others as well.

2. You can engage with locals on a level that only solo travellers can

You know that local folks are more open, and definitely more curious, when it’s only you walking into that hole-in-the-wall café, or sampling the pungent flavours of that roadside food stall. From a heartfelt conversation on a rickety train, to suddenly having a network of genial families happy to host you for a night, you know none of these incredible experiences would have been possible if you’d been travelling with others.

3. You’re free to adventure as you please, and it feels awesome

There is no need to compromise when travelling alone. No need to appease a friend’s unfortunate craving for an overpriced burger and fries, or their incessant complaints about mosquito bites in a jungle where you’re on travel cloud 9. As a lonesome wanderer you travel where you want, when and however you want to – all with a liberating degree of indulgence.

4. You gain a deep understanding of the destinations you’ve visited

Travelling solo, you’re more immersed in your surroundings. You notice the unique quirks, and subtle character that truly makes a place what it is. But walk around the same street chatting with an old friend, and your mind is often immersed elsewhere.

5. There is something liberating about travelling to a place where no one knows you

For some, travelling alone is like a fresh start. Or a temporary escape from the life-baggage you’re forced to lug around back home. That’s not to say you’re a different person when abroad, but you may notice how much that therapeutic anonymity has changed you by the time you return home.

6. Alone time is healthy and we rarely get enough of it

Time spent alone and unplugged forces you to really reflect on your life back home, your recent experiences on the road and the direction things are headed. Some of those thoughts aren’t always pleasant to deal with, but solo travellers know that even if solitude is a struggle at times, they’re stronger because of it.

 

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How great is it to travel? To meet new people, see new places, and learn Something new!
March 30, 2018
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How great is it to travel? To meet new people, see new places, experience different cultures, live life the way life is lived somewhere else. Plenty of good things are associated with travel, but there’s one particular issue that can make traveling annoying: the spelling. Travel is easy enough to spell and not at all confusing, but “traveling,” “traveler,” “traveled”? These words are a common cause of confusion because some people spell them with one L while others use two.

Traveling or travelling depends on where is your audience. Traveling is the preferred spelling in the U.S. Travelling is the preferred spelling in the UK or in the Commonwealth. This American-British spelling difference carries for other forms: traveled or travelled and traveler or traveller.

To clarify, if you look through books or magazines for examples, you’ll see that both spellings are used, but the two-L version tends to be used in publications that also use spellings like “colour” or “flavour.” Those publications are written in British English, while the ones that use shorter spellings—“traveled,” “flavor,” and “color”—are written in American English. So the difference between “traveling” and “travelling” is really a variation of dialect. Both spellings are correct. Or, more precisely, neither one of them is wrong.

 

The word travel has more than one syllable—it’s a multisyllabic word. In American English, when a multisyllabic word ends in a vowel and a consonant (in that order), you double the consonant when adding a suffix only if the stress falls on the final syllable. For instance, in the word repel, the stress falls on the final syllable, which means that you double the consonant when you add a suffix: repelling. But in travel, the stress falls on the first syllable, so there’s no doubling.

“Traveling” and “travelling” shared the same fate as many other words in the English language that have two different spellings. The person who’s usually credited (or blamed) for this is Noah Webster—the Webster of Merriam-Webster dictionary fame. He was a linguist and lexicographer who greatly influenced American English. Webster preferred the shorter versions of many words that had multiple spellings. He included the shorter versions in his dictionaries, and, over time, they became dominant in the United States. At the same time, the rest of the English-speaking world gravitated toward the longer spellings. So, while both Americans and Brits can travel, the former can enjoy traveling while the latter can enjoy travelling.

The United States is pretty much alone in using the shorter form. Canada and Australia generally follow the rules of British English, and that’s why Canadians and Australians can be fond of travelling, not traveling.

By now, you probably know when to use which spelling—it should conform to the place your audience is. If you’re writing a paper for a college class in the United States, you should use the shorter spelling. However, if you live in the United States but are applying for a job in Australia, you could instead choose to use the spelling they prefer.

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Travelling or Traveling: What’s the Difference?
March 30, 2018
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Are you taking a trip anytime soon? If so, where will you be traveling? Or is it travelling? How exactly do you spell this word?

The two words traveling and travelling can cause some confusion for those writers not exactly sure when to use which one. Are they just variations of the same word? Do they have different meanings? Do they function differently in a sentence?

In today’s post, I want to address all of these questions so you will never again wonder or second-guess yourself, “Is it travelling or traveling?”

When to Use Travelling

Even though the only thing separating travelling and traveling is a dialectical difference, it is still important to keep your audience in mind when picking which word to use and when.

Travelling (with two Ls) is the preferred spelling in British English and is used much more frequently than is traveling. The graph below shows the use of travelling vs. traveling (as a percentage of all words used) in British English books, journals, and magazines from 1800 to 2008.\

When to Use Traveling

As indicated in the above graph, traveled (with one L) is the preferred spelling in American English.

I’ve discussed the reason for the popularity of many shortened spellings in American English in other posts (cancelled/canceled comes to mind), but the basic reason stems back to Noah Webster himself.

He is usually credited with the shortening of many American spellings because in his original 1898 dictionary, he sought to simplify many British spellings he saw as unnecessary. This is where the British-American divide over words like color/colour came from.

Anyway, the point is, if you are writing to an American audience, traveling (with one L) is your best choice.

Remember the Difference: Traveling or Travelling?

One simple way to keep track of these two words is that the shorter spelling is American. If you can keep in mind that, generally speaking, British English favors (favours) the longer spelling of words, you will be able to remember the difference between these words.

It is also worthwhile to note that all of the distinctions in this post apply equally to travelled vs. traveled, traveled vs. travelled, traveller vs. traveler, traveler vs. traveller, etc.

Summary

So, is it traveling or travelling? That depends on where you are writing and who is your audience.

Travelling is the preferred spelling in British English.

Traveling is the preferred spelling in American English.

Whether you’re talking about travelled or traveled or traveller or traveler, these same preferences still apply.

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best holiday destinations that you want to see
March 28, 2018
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the beaches of Turkey to the rainforests of Nicaragua.

1. Turkey’s Turquiose Coast

Sunshine-soaked and with a glittering blue seaboard, Turkey’s glorious “turquoise” coast wouldn’t normally rank as a newly rising star. The 300-mile loop of coastline that unfurls like an iridescent ribbon between Marmaris and Antalya has long been a favourite for holiday-makers, with UK visitors in particular flocking to its picture-perfect fishing villages and chic little bougainvillea-laden resorts. But over the last couple of years, following a wave of terror attacks and political unrest, things have taken a well-documented nosedive. Between 2014 and 2016 Turkey’s visitor numbers slumped from 42 million to 25 million. And now? Maybe we’ve all simply had to accept that no country is guaranteed terror-proof. Maybe people have realised that the Syrian border is hundreds of miles from Turkey’s main tourist areas. Whatever the reason, tourism is back on the up, with the first half of 2017 showing a 28 per cent rise compared to the doldrums of 2016.

So there’s never been a better time – particularly with sterling strong against the lira – to steal a march on the returning crowds and enjoy the unique magic of this beautiful region. What’s more, and against all odds, a new Turkey specialist company, Fairlight Jones, has risen Phoenix-like from the ashes of the several much-loved small-scale operators that went bust during the crisis. Formed by members of the team behind former Turkey experts Exclusive Escapes, it offers a portfolio that includes brand-new luxury properties and enticing “Special Tester” offers.

How to go

Fairlight Jones (020 3875 0351; ) offers seven nights in one of two new “Lighthouse Loft” seafront villas on the Kas peninsula from £800pp based on four sharing, including return flights with BA from London Gatwick to Dalaman, transfers, and seven days’ car hire.

Linda Cookson is a regular contributor to Telegraph Travel and has been writing about her journeys around Europe and North Africa for nearly 20 years.

2. Rwanda

Last May, when RwandAir launched direct flights from London Gatwick to Kigali, this small, safe and forward-looking nation in the heart of Africa suddenly became accessible. Slightly larger than Wales, Rwanda has moved on from the genocide of 1994 to become a welcoming English-speaking country that can teach us a lesson or two: the majority of its MPs are women, city buses offer free Wi-Fi, and plastic bags were banned a decade ago.

Almost everyone goes, of course, to admire its mountain gorillas, a conservation success story that sees trekkers paying $1,500 (£1,120) a head for an hour-long, close encounter. It’s a well-organised and, at times, strenuous experience, but Rwanda is by no means just about apes. Several enterprising Brits have jumped in, such as Steve Venton, who offers kayaking tours on lake Kivu (), and Oli Broom, who organises cycling advent). And the quality of accommodation is rising.

Mountain gorillas are the big draw in Rwanda
Mountain gorillas are the big draw in Rwanda

Next year, luxury hotelier One&Only (launches Nyungwe House, set amid the tea plantations of the mountainous south. While safari first-timers are better off in neighbouring Tanzania, veterans will appreciate the efforts being made to re-establish Akagera National Park. Perhaps the best reason to add Rwanda to your 2018 wishlist is that, with no jet lag, you only need a week or so to see its highlights. This is the year to say hello to a little nation that’s bringing a big smile to the face of Africa.

How to go

A 10-day Authentic Rwanda and Gorillas tour with Tribes (01473 890499; ) departing 16 January 2018 costs from £6,555 per person, including flights from London Gatwick, gorilla trekking, visits to Nyungwe, lake Kivu and Akagera plus transfers, private guided activities and most meals.

Nigel Tisdall has been writing about travel for The Telegraph for more than 30 years and is addicted to wild and wonderful places.

3. Andaman Islands

The sea is a dreamy shade of turquoise. Pure white sands fringe rainforest that is home to a rich profusion of wildlife… It all sounds suitably idyllic to be the Seychelles or Mauritius, but India’s remote Andaman archipelago ticks even more boxes of blissed-out delight.

Located in the Bay of Bengal, 850 miles east of the mainland, these 300 little-known islands are surrounded by fabulous coral (no commercial fishing has been allowed for 40 years) and are barely developed, with only a dozen open to tourism. Over the past 18 months or so the archipelago has become more accessible thanks to an increase in flights to the capital, Port Blair, from four of India’s major cities. So it’s now relatively easy to combine a cultural trip with a beautifully sequestered beach break, flying to the islands from Chennai (with the nearest mainland airport), Kolkata, Delhi or Bangalore.

A beach on Havelock Island
A beach on Havelock Island CREDIT: ALAMY

Accommodation options are limited, but in March the Taj group will open a sensitively conceived beachside hotel here, bringing new levels of luxury. Set on Havelock Island, renowned for its dive sites and lush hinterland, the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa has a prime position on Radhanagar Beach, said to be one of the most serene – and pristine – beaches in Asia. Facilities are spot-on, with three restaurants and a signature Jiva spa, and the 75 rustic-chic villas offer five-star comfort. But it’s the activities that guests will particularly relish, from underwater photography to kayaking through mangrove forests and exploring reefs teeming with marine life.

How to go

A 10-night trip costs from £3,300 per person with Ampersand Travel (020 7819 977), including flights from Heathrow to Chennai and onwards, three nights at Taj Coromandel in Chennai and seven nights at Taj Exotica Resort & Spa on the Andaman Islands.

Harriet O’Brien is a regular contributor to Telegraph Travel. She lived in India as a small child and has written extensively about the country.

4. Valletta, Malta

Malta’s 16th-century citadel capital, the Unesco World Heritage city of Valletta, is one of the European Capitals of Culture 2018  A melting pot of European influences since it was built by the Knights of St John following the Great Siege of 1565, Valletta has long packed a historical and artistic punch well above its weight. In 2018 this will be true in spades, with hundreds of events – art of all kinds, theatre, dance, opera and music, fireworks, food and fun – in Valletta and across the country.

Valletta is next year's European Capital of Culture
Valletta is next year’s European Capital of Culture CREDIT: GETTY

Valletta itself is tiny, a perfect place to wander beneath painted wooden balconies and baroque facades, as well as a few edgier new constructions by Renzo Piano, architect of the London Shard. Preparation for this year has included extensive restoration, leaving fortifications and palazzi glowing. The tourist map has gained fortresses and museums, sparkling interiors (especially at St John’s Co-Cathedral) and a new National Art Gallery (Muza) due to open in the Auberge d’Italie later this year.

Historic homes have been converted into new boutique hotels such as The Coleridge, Ursulino, SU29 and The Saint John. More openings are coming, including luxury boutique Iniala Harbour House overlooking the Grand Harbour – where a spectacular sea pageant will play out on June 7.

From the Valletta 2018 opening week (Jan 14-21) onwards, national and international theatrical and art events will be popping up in venues both iconic and unexpected, while the islands reverberate with music from rock to baroque. The Maltese know how to party – and everyone is welcome at this year-long festa.

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How to go

Malta’s Thirties colonial hot, favourite of British royals, has just been refurbished with a new spa opening in 2018. Doubles from €150/£130).

The Phoenicia
The Phoenicia

Juliet Rix is an award-winning journalist who caught the travel bug early. She is the author of Malta and Gozo (Bradt Guides) – 2018 version just out.

5. St Helena

Until four months ago, few had heard of St Helena. One of the world’s most-remote islands – more than 3,218 miles (2,000km) west of Africa – this British Overseas Territory was accessible only via the Royal Mail ship St Helena.

However,  has slashed travel time from five days to just four hours.

St Helena's new airport is finally welcoming regular flights
St Helena’s new airport is finally welcoming regular flights CREDIT: GETTY

The island’s isolation reaps rewards. Billed as the “Galapagos of the Atlantic”, its fern-clad forests, volcanic plains and rocky shores are home to 2,932 species, of which 502 are endemic. The star on land is the mottled St Helena plover – known locally as the wirebird – that scuttles among the scrub and can be spotted on a 4×4 tour offered by Aaron Legg.

But it’s beneath the waves that the majority of endemic species thrive – and with large swathes of St Helena’s marine environment unmapped, it provides a new frontier for experienced divers and competent snorkellers.

A total of 20 dive sites, including eight wrecks, are home to unique fish such as the St Helena wrasse, parrotfish, flounder and marmalade razorfish. Larger visitors include dolphins, devil rays and green and hawksbill turtles. The biggest are the migrating humpback whales that cruise offshore between June and December. Just as they are disappearing, the whale sharks turn up and stay until March. These gentle giants are the undisputed highlight of a trip to St Helena.

Travellers can stay at the new four-star Mantis hotel in the capital, Jamestown. Here Wi-Fi is still limited and expensive, offering travellers a rare chance to unplug. There are concerns the airport and the arrival of a submarine fibre-optic cable in 2020 will change that, so visit soon.

How to go

An 11-day trip to St Helena costs from £2,795pp, including flights, accommodation and 10 dives with Dive Worldwide (01962 302087;  More information:  and St Helena: The Bradt Travel Guide (

Emma Thomson spends roughly three-quarters of the year on assignment covering off-the-beaten-track destinations. She travelled on the second-ever flight to St Helena and spent a week there.

6. Picos de Europa, Spain

It is clearly absurd to describe a mountain range as “hidden from view”, but as far as the majority of British travellers are concerned, the Picos de Europa might as well be. Next year will see the centenary of the official opening of this national park, which makes it one of the oldest in Europe; it’s easily accessible via Brittany Ferries from Portsmouth to Santander, or the UK’s many flight connections into Bilbao; and yet we find ourselves more easily distracted by all the other things Spain is so good at (roasting-hot beaches, football, tapas, exotic Moorish architecture, etc).

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Delve into the regal past
November 15, 2017
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The Naqquar Khana (Trumpet House), located in the premises of the world-famous Gol Gumbaz in Vijayapura, houses a museum of ancient artefacts that depict the society, culture and architecture of the region between the 6th and 18th centuries. In 1892, British archaeologists, Henry Cousens and Jas Burgess, began collecting objects of historical significance, and stored them in a small building in Anand Mahal of Vijayapura. This paved the way for the present day museum.

When the British shifted the district headquarters from Kaladagi to Vijayapura, they decided to use the historical structures as administrative blocks. They found numerous rare artefacts and collectibles while renovating these monuments and all the items were moved to the museum. The British valued the ancient objects immensely and found the need for proper maintenance of the collection. With more additions to the collection, there was lack of space in the building. In 1912, the exhibits were shifted to the Naqquar Khana in the Gol Gumbaz complex.

Diverse exhibits

The Naqquar Khana (Trumpet House), located in the premises of the world-famous Gol Gumbaz in Vijayapura, houses a museum of ancient artefacts that depict the society, culture and architecture of the region between the 6th and 18th centuries. In 1892, British archaeologists, Henry Cousens and Jas Burgess, began collecting objects of historical significance, and stored them in a small building in Anand Mahal of Vijayapura. This paved the way for the present day museum.

When the British shifted the district headquarters from Kaladagi to Vijayapura, they decided to use the historical structures as administrative blocks. They found numerous rare artefacts and collectibles while renovating these monuments and all the items were moved to the museum. The British valued the ancient objects immensely and found the need for proper maintenance of the collection. With more additions to the collection, there was lack of space in the building. In 1912, the exhibits were shifted to the Naqquar Khana in the Gol Gumbaz complex.

Diverse exhibits

The structure is built using brown sandstone. The building has a cellar, ground floor and a first floor. The British renovated it to suit the requirements of a museum. More than 1,600 registered antiquities are exhibited in eight galleries.

A mutilated sculpture of 11th century Nataraja with eight hands, a stone festoon (torana) depicting Lord Shiva dancing with his ganas, embossed sculptures playing musical instruments, hero stones from the 7th and 8th centuries, inscriptions found in the region, rare sculptures of Lord Keshava and Veerabhadra, an 8th century stone Ganesha found in Aihole, and a 14th century sculpture of Lord Parshwanatha are some of the important exhibits in the museum.

In the ground floor, one can see a 6th century vijayasthambha (pillar representing victory) built by King Mangalesha. This structure was collected from Mahakuta. The stone representation of the head of Aliya Rama Raya of Vijayanagara dynasty can also be seen here. A 12th century pillar with inscriptions attracts one’s attention. It has Sanskrit script on three directions and Kannada script at the lower part. A 13th century Kannada inscription exhibited here has reference to Vijayapura. A 17th century inscription in Arabic and Persian languages with attractive calligraphy is also on display. Other items that fascinate the visitors include stone crocodiles, stone windows with flower motifs and stone chains.

Royal heirlooms

One can get a glimpse of the rich art and culture that blossomed during the Adil Shahi rule in Vijayapura through the items on display in the first floor. The exhibits include everyday items of the royalty, their costumes, weapons and paintings of kings, queens and Sufi saints.

Like any other kings, the Adil Shahi rulers used to test the food before consuming it, by placing it in celadon ware, which can detect food poisoning. The celadon ware is on display in the museum. Some of the antiquities exhibited here indicate the administrative and trade relations between Vijayapura and China.

Coins of that era and manuscripts of the holy Quran illustrated with yellow, red and blue colours can be seen in the museum. Some of the letters of a manuscript are written in gold. Records at the museum indicate that these manuscripts were written between 13th and 18th centuries.

Many other pieces of historical importance such as prose, poetry, a sanad (administrative document) with rajamudra (royal seal), firman (official decree), Persian carpet, a lock with unique technology, Bidri ware, a 3.9 feet long sword, weighing 7 kg and said to be used by King Afzal Khan are exhibited in glass cases. Six cannons of different sizes are placed at the entrance of the museum. The cannonballs are placed inside. The museum is managed by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Nearly 900 people visit the museum every day.

The museum is open from 9 am to 5 pm every day, except on Fridays. The entry is free for children. One can contact the museum on 08352-250725.

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