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6 Useful Travel Photography Tips for improving your photos

6 Useful Travel Photography Tips for improving your photos

Looking for travel photography tips?

There are people who collect souvenirs from their trips and there are people -like me- who collect beautiful images with their camera or their phone because every destination has its own look, culture, history, people, feelings and stories and I love to capture the moment.

I never did a course of photography but I’ve slowly learned the techniques of travel photography over months of reading e-books, watching online tutorials, and regular practice to improve my craft.

Here are my favourite travel photography tips to improve your images.

1. Wake up early, stay up late

Light is the most important ingredient for great photography — and soft, warm, morning light or the “golden hours” creates amazing images.

Sunrises and sunsets are the best time of a day to catch good light. In comparison, shooting photos at noon on a bright sunny day is probably the absolute worst time for travel photography.

2. Talk to People

Always ask permission for portraits and close-ups. Spend 15 minutes learning how to say “can I shoot a photograph” or “can I take your portrait” in the local language before you arrive. People really appreciate the effort, and it’s a great way to make a new friend.

Some people will say no. Some will ask for money. It’s not the end of the world. Thank them for their time, smile, and move on to someone else and try again. Actually the more you get rejected, the easier it gets to ask!!!

3. Use a Tripod

I believe that more people should be using lightweight travel tripods. A tripod allows you to set your camera position and keep it there. With the camera fixed, you can then take your time arranging the perfect composition.

Tripods also give you the ability to shoot much slower shutter speeds (waterfalls, low-light, stars,…) without worrying about hand-held camera shake. You can keep your ISO low (for less sensor noise) and use smaller apertures, so more of the image is in focus.

4. Make photography a priority

Make sure you plan “photography time” into your travel schedule. Good travel photography requires a solid time commitment on your part.


5. Always be Patient

Photography is about really seeing what’s in front of you, not only just with your eyes, but also with your heart & mind too. This requires dedicated time and attention. Slow down and make a conscious effort at becoming aware of your surroundings before pressing the shutter.


6. Shoot in Manual Mode

By switching your camera into Manual Mode, it  gives you much more control of the look of your images in different situations.

For example, by manually adjusting aperture you have more control over the depth of field in your image, by manually controlling shutter speed, you are able to capture motion in more creative ways and by manually controlling ISO, you are able to reduce the noise of your images and deal with tricky lighting situations.


Do you have any questions or suggestions about travel photography?  Please feel free to drop me a message in the comments below!


Guest BlogPost –  7 Pro Tips for A Budgeted Tour of India

Guest BlogPost – 7 Pro Tips for A Budgeted Tour of India

India is visited by many foreign tourists, as well locals wishing to explore this precious land. Everyone wants to get the best out of a holiday, and make it easy on their pocket, and why not, it is after all a sensible thing to do. Air fares, decent railway tickets can be quite pricey, and so are the hotel reservations. And to add to it all, the food in most places is priced quite heftily, and the taxes make it worse! Nevertheless, there is always a frugal way to travel through which you can save quite a sum of money, if not a fortune. Therefore, do not hesitate to take a budget your next trip to India and the tips bellow will ensure that you spend within it!

1. Scourge for Coupons

A lot of sites offer coupons and promising discounts on air prices, hotel bookings and eateries/restaurants. These coupons are free, but do require a bit of hunting! Most of them are legitimate, and offer tickets at astonishingly slashed prices! Although there are a few terms and conditions, if they can be met, most of the work is done for you, and is oh so light on your wallet!

2. Opt for An Airbnb, Or A Guest House Instead!

If you are travelling with a large group of people, look for a home stay guest house instead! Airbnb is becoming quite popular these days, and are extremely cheap to stay in! You do not have to pay extra for room services and maintenance charges, unlike hotels. You get to stay in a place which feels like home, interact with the locals, live their lives and become a part of it. What better an experience could you get?

3. Decide on A Hotel Based on Its Location

If you do not wish to opt for a guest house, you can still get a hotel, but do make sure that it is well placed and easy for you to reach. Also make sure that it is close to the places you want to visit, thus reducing your travel expenditure and travel time! You could also opt for one which is away from the main roads, where all the traffic is, so that your stay is as peaceful as you want it to be!

4. Travel at Night

Choose to travel at night, and save a whole day’s expense on hotel bookings. Check in times are in the morning, so if you travel during the day and reach the hotel in the evening, you have lost an entire day looking and booking hotels. Also, given that India is a hot country, one would find it more comfortable to travel at night! Kill two birds with one stone, as they say!

5. Prefer Eating at Restaurants Outside the Hotel

Hotels have their own bars and restaurants, but these are heavily taxed and too expensive. Even aerated drinks are priced more than maximum retail price! Do not make such a mistake, do go outside to famous eateries and have a bite of the local lip-smacking foods- these popular places tend to be cheap! Again, the important thing to do is choose a hotel where these eateries are in the vicinity and easily accessible!

6. Carry You Own Food for The Journey

One must always make it a point to carry eatables while on the journey. Food served on air is extremely expensive, and although railways isn’t so, one may be paranoid of how hygienic the food offered may be- you certainly do not want to be sick at the entirety of the trip! Also make sure to carry as many bottles of water that you can, not only for the journey, but to every place you visit! You will certainly need it in this tropical country! Also carry hats and caps, while you’re at it!

7. Shop at The Street Markets

Instead of opting for boring malls where all the clothes are pricey and the same as at the malls back home, visit the roadside markets for exciting trinkets and local material, fashion, shoes and souvenirs! It is one experience you must not miss out on!


Author’s Bio:

A travel guru and wanderlust, Himanshu has a knack for finding beauty in every little bit of nature, travelling to make memories, and leaving footprints. Tales of his travel adventures are available at pearlsindiatour.com where he shares about his passion to all!

Top 20 Fairytale Castles in the UK

Top 20 Fairytale Castles in the UK

I absolutely love the United Kingdom so I may be a little bit biased but I genuinely feel like it has some of the most spectacular fairytale castles to visit.  Below is the list I came up with 20 of the castles you must visit either if you are visiting the UK or living there. They are also great photoshoot places!

1. Tower of London, Central London

Home to the Crown Jewels, Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames. In 1078, William the Conqueror built The White Tower, which gives the entire castle its name.

2. Windsor castle, Berkshire

The 11th-century castle is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world and the official residence of Her Majesty The Queen, in England.

3. Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

A historic fortress which dominates Edinburgh’ skyline and it’s Scotland’s most-visited paid tourist attraction, with over 1.4 million visitors in 2013.

If you are going to visit Edinburgh, please do not forget to check my post on 11 top sights in Edinburgh 

4. Dover castle, Kent

Dubbed the “Key to England” because of its defensive importance throughout history, Dover Castle is a must-see 12th-century medieval structure in Kent.

5. Lancaster castle, Lancashire

A medieval castle that its early history is unclear, but may have been founded in the 11th century on the site of a Roman fort overlooking a crossing of the River Lune

6. Warwick castle, Warwickshire

A medieval stronghold developed from an original built by William the Conqueror in 1068, Warwick Castle is set against the backdrop of stunning scenery and the winding River Avon.

7. Bodiam castle, East Sussex

A stunning 14th-century moated fortress near Robertsbridge, Bodiam Castle was built in 1385 by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, a former knight of Edward III to defend the area against French invasion.

8. Bamburgh Castle, Nortumberland

A Grade I listed building, this castle sits on a basalt outcrop overlooking the Farne Islands and Lindisfarne and is home to the Bamburgh Castle Aviation Artefacts Museum.

9. Lindisfarne Castle, Holy Island

A 16th century castle located on Holy Island, near Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, England,  what was once the very volatile border area between England and Scotland. It was built in 1550 and it sits on the highest point of the island.

10. Raby Castle, County Durham

Medieval castle that was built in the mid 14th century on the site of an earlier fortified manor house, this medieval castle, near Staindrop in County Durham, sits in a 200-acre deer park. It was built by John Neville, 3rd Baron Neville de Raby.  

11. Totnes castle, Devon

A Norman motte and bailey castle in England; it is situated in the town of Totnes on the River Dart in Devon.The castle is a scheduled monument and a Grade I* listed building.

12. Tattershall Castle, Lincolnshire

It is situated 12 miles (19 km) north east of Sleaford and has its origins in either a stone castle or a fortified manor house, built by Robert de Tattershall in 1231. It was rebuilt in brick, and greatly expanded, by Ralph, 3rd Lord Cromwell, Treasurer of England, between 1430 and 1450. Brick castles are less common in England than stone and when brick was chosen as a building material, it was mainly because its aesthetic appeal.

13. Leeds Castle, Kent

Set on two islands on the River Len, in the heart of Kent, Leeds Castle has been fortified for more than 900 years. It has been used by many monarchs as including King Edward I and Henry VIII used it as a residence for his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.

14. Arundel Castle, West Sussex

Restored medieval castle founded by Roger de Montgomery on Christmas Day 1067. It is the seat of The Dukes of Norfolk and set in 40 acres of sweeping grounds and gardens.

15. York Castle, York

A fortified complex comprising a sequence of castles, prisons, law courts and other buildings on the south side of the River Foss for the last 9 centuries. The now-ruinous keep of the medieval Norman castle is commonly referred to as Clifford’s Tower.

16. Cardiff Castle, Wales

A medieval castle and Victorian Gothic revival mansion located in the city centre of Cardiff, Wales

17. Carrickfergus Castle, Northern Ireland

A Norman Irish castle in Northern Ireland, situated in the town of Carrickfergus in County Antrim, on the northern shore of Belfast Lough.

18. Stirling Castle, Scotland

One of the most important castles in Scotland, both historically and architecturally. The castle sits atop Castle Hill and it is surrounded on three sides by steep cliffs, giving it a strong defensive position.

19. Caernarfon Castle, North-West Wales

A medieval fortress in Caernarfon, Gwynedd, north-west Wales where in 1283  King Edward I of England began replacing it with its current stone structure.

20. Dunstanburgh Castle, Northumberland

A 14th-century fortification on the coast of Northumberland in northern England, between the villages of Craster and Embleton. It was built by Earl Thomas of Lancaster between 1313 and 1322, taking advantage of the site’s natural defences and the existing earthworks of an Iron Age fort.

Which is your favourite? Have I missed any that you have already visited? Tell me in the comments below


Guest BlogPost – 5 Places in India You Can Visit During Off-Season Without Worries

Guest BlogPost – 5 Places in India You Can Visit During Off-Season Without Worries


Travelling during off-season can turn out to be a whole new and pleasing experience. While planning an off-season trip, you can save on a lot of things from tickets to your stay in hotel. Moreover, travelling at this point, with scarce number of tourist, provide you with an in-depth experience as you can easily communicate with the locals, get personalised attention from hotel staff and get hold of the culture and traditions which lie in the hearts of these destinations. Here are some astounding destinations that are cheap and can prove to be a way better visit during off-seasons.

1. Kerala

God’s own country, Kerala tops the list of the travel destinations in India and will turn out to be the most welcoming state during off-seasons. The hills of Munnar covered with tea plantations, beaches, magical jungles of Periyar and Eravikulum will give you a lifetime memory of an adventure away from the hustle of urban life. Kerala offers their tourists the leisure time they need with the ayurvedic massages, Carnatic music, Kathakali performances and exclusive houseboat experiences. The best time to pay Kerala a visit is during monsoon, that is June-September. Because of fewer tourists and Onam festival, you will be able to witness the culture and the beauty of the state to the fullest.

2. Goa

The party destination of India, Goa will never provide you with any dull moments. Goa welcomes you with its brooding view of beaches, perfect scenery and sunny atmosphere. The perfect time for you to pay a visit to Goa will be around the monsoon period with fewer tourists and several music festivals lined up for you. Its wildlife makes it a perfect destination for a nature lovers, the white sand and the clear blue water will definitely leave you enthralled. If you want to relax during your break then Goa is the place for you as it greets all types of travelers with open arms.

3. Coorg, Karnataka

Referred to as the Scotland of India, Coorg must be visited by a nature lover at least once in his lifetime. The serpentine hills of this city attract a lot of tourists in the month of December. But, if you are a monsoon lover and planning a getaway from your busy life on a weekend then Coorg is the place for you. Covered with exotic greenery of coffee and tea plantations, Coorg also offers the authentic Kodava cuisine. After visiting Abbey falls, Nagarghole National Park and Namdroling Monastery, you would never want to come back from Coorg. The best off-season months to pay a visit to Coorg are from July-September.

4.Andaman and Nicobar Islands

The sparkly beaches of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands have always make it to the bucket-list of almost all the travelers who love to spend some peaceful time on the islands. The best off-season time to visit the islands is, during monsoons. Many tourists don’t usually visit it during the monsoon due to heavy rains but if rain is not a big issue for you, then you should surely visit the islands during rainy season. The beautifully carved Limestone caves, the speedboat ride, the Marina Park and Aquarium situated at the Port Blair, even the cellular jail will turn out to be the best retreats in your vacations. The beautiful beache, islands, the rich reserve of flora and fauna and the cheap hotel charges are the reason you should never miss visiting Andaman and Nicobar Islands during an off-season.

5. Leh

Thinking to start your year with a perfect vacation? Then Leh is the answer to all the questions coming to your mind. The monasteries in Leh are usually empty during the winters, which makes your stay serene, yet cheaper and you will be able to enjoy the beauty of nature in a peaceful way. Winters are the best time to connect with the still beauty of the ‘Roof of the World’. The sights and the views will last in your eyes forever but apart from that, Leh is the place for perfect and cheap treks. Leh adapts the culture of the northern India from the localities and will provide you a thorough experience. Also, one of the biggest perks of visiting Leh in winters is that you will find the Pangong Lake frozen, which is indeed a sight to behold. Plus, who wouldn’t want to walk on water!

Fewer tourists, peaceful surroundings, mesmerizing views and discounted rates, travelling in off season to these favorite tourist destinations during the off season will offer you all this and more. Once you visit any of the places listed above, you will yearn for more. So, hurry up, book your tickets now!


Author’s Bio:

Himanshu loves trotting around India and has passion for three things: People, Travel and Social media. He shares his incredible stories of adventure on Pearls India Tour, to show his everlasting love for India.

Scottish Highlands

Scottish Highlands


Even its name only brings to mind images of mountains, heathers, rocks, castles, romance and tragedies.

And indeed, Scottish Highlands have it all!

The combination of seascapes with an unlimited view, live traditions and nostalgic feelings are what give Highlands this irresistible charm.

It is true that the weather is not always enjoyable, but the rain fits in the waterfalls and adds artistic strokes of fog…

The Highlands are a sparsely populated area where you can still find narrow streets that only one can pass through, and more sheep than people, while life is running at a slower pace and many times hotels and restaurants are running less hours, but your reward would be peace and calm so wear your most comfy shoes, grab your camera and go!

UK Skyscanner 120 x 60

What to do in a day in Scottish Highlands

In the morning

Fill the picnic basket in Inverness and leave Inverness until 10.00am.

Take the B852 for Dores driving along the southern side of Loch Ness – a beautiful and quieter road than the North Coast.

Stay at the Falls of Foyers.

Enjoy driving in the hustle and bustle of Fort Augustus and have a coffee at the Lock Inn right next to the canal.

Walk along the canal to see Loch Ness from the shore behind the old abbey.

Drive along the A82 to the north end of Loch Ness stopping to see the lakes that form the river and the old bridge and visit the Urquhart Castle for your picnic.

In the afternoon

Make a visit to the Loch Ness monster visitors’ center at Drumnadrochit and then

take A831 for Cannich, and the smallest route to Glenn Affric.

Enjoy an hour of hiking in this famed area before returning to Inverness through Kilmorack and the southern coast of Beauty Firth. Total route 185 klm.


What to see in Scottish Highlands



2. Culloden Battlefield


#outlander #cullodenbattlefield

A post shared by fifty shades of Fraser 🇫🇷🇺🇸 (@outlander.france) on

3. Loch Nes


4. Ben Nevis and Fort William


A post shared by ANS (@sy.ax) on

5. Glencoe


6. Glenfinnan Monument & Jacobite Steam Train

7. Ardamurchan

#slowtravel in #ardamurchan #highlands #scotland : everything’s free for #bikingadventures

A post shared by Slowing-Up / Paris (@slowing_up) on

8. Eileen Donna Castle

Also known as Dornie Castle | Eileen Donna Castle, Kyle of Lochalsh, Scotland | 📷: @the_kafka

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9. Torridon

10. Inverewe Gardens

Inverewe Garden & Estate, Highlands, Scotland, un lugar realmente hermoso y lleno de plantas increíbles. @caledoniantours

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The Ultimate Guide to renting a car in Europe Hints, Tips & Advice

The Ultimate Guide to renting a car in Europe Hints, Tips & Advice

*Disclosure: Elena’s travels blogs receives compensation from affiliate links to generate income to offset costs mainly for travel expenses.


Why Rent a Car in Europe

Renting a car in Europe make it so easy to literally get off the beaten track and check out areas you didn’t even know existed. Deciding to renting a car in Europe not only will make your trip easier, but also more memorable for the unique opportunities it would give you.

Here’s why road tripping in Europe is the best way to travel!

It is the best way to discover more places in the countries you’re visiting, places where you wouldn’t get so easily (if at all) without a car and it’s the perfect way to go on a road trip and stop in picturesque places to take photos. However, a lot of people think it’s too difficult or too expensive, so here I am to give you all the information, advice, hints and tricks that you need to know about car rentals in Europe.

Probably the best reason for renting a car in Europe is the flexibility you get by driving instead of taking other public transportation. Busses and trains are limited to set stops and from there its difficult to wander off the beaten track. Moreover, renting a car allows you to explore wherever you want.

The most amazing thing about road trip in Europe  is that the region has so many small countries close together. Within hours you can be in a new country, experiencing a new culture, tasting an entirely new food and zipping between countries becomes even easier by car. Plus, it’s so much easier to toss your luggage into the back of a car than lug it through the streets.

One more thing about renting a car is that you are able to take off and arrive when you want. You can sleep in the next morning and leave later and you can grab breakfast or lunch on the way. It’s all up to you!

Last but not least, road tripping in Europe is great because you are able to pick it up in one spot and drop it off in another. No longer do you need to pick and return at the same location, now you can make a trip that suits your trip itinerary.

Advice for renting a car in Europe

  •  Get your documents in order

    If you don’t have a passport, it will take at least four to six weeks from the time of application for you to receive one. Already have a passport? Check its expiration date. The last thing you need is to find out your passport has expired just before your holidays begin.

    All car rental companies require drivers to have valid licenses in their home country, so you’ll also want to check the expiration date of your license. Some car rental companies also require an international driving permit for European rentals in addition to a valid driver’s license.

  •  Establish a budget

    Establish a budget as early as possible – even before you know your destination, travel dates or itinerary. Some destinations are generally cheaper than others, but there are ways to save everywhere: travel in the off season, pick budget accommodations, plan a shorter trip. Set your budget early on, and you’ll avoid any disappointment that could come from forging a fabulous itinerary, like two weeks in the French Riviera during summer, and then discovering you can’t afford it.

  •  Pick a destination

    Now that you know how much you can spend, where do you want to go? If you’re like many travellers (including me!) and you have a huge list of places in Europe you want to visit, this could be tricky.

  • Create a rough itinerary

    So you want to go to Greece, eh? Don’t go ahead and buy a roundtrip flight to Athens and a hotel room – at least, not yet. You’ll want to sketch out a day-by-day itinerary of your perfect trip to Greece before you book a thing. Research sites and cities you really want to explore, and then figure out which ones you have the time and budget to get to.

  • Always make your bookings in advance

    Flight tickets will probably be the most expensive part of your trip so you’ll want to book it before anything else (car rental, hotel, etc.). This will allow you to be more flexible with your dates, which is a great way to save money on your flight. You can also spend less by flying on charter airlines.

    It’s time to go back to that rough itinerary you noted and fill in some places to sleep. As is the case with pretty much everything you book for your trip, the earlier you make arrangements, the better – especially during summer high season.

  • Book a car insurance

    Prefer buying a car insurance from carinsurent.com  which is the best in the market and feel free to use my Coupon code

    elenastravelsblog15offcarinsurent if you want a unique 15% DISCOUNT.

    Their excess insurance policies provide cover for damage, theft, fire and vandalism charges up to $2,500 and includes damage to vulnerable parts of the vehicle such as tyres, roof, windscreen and undercarriage which are often excluded by the rental companies’ equivalent cover. Policies are available on both a daily and annual basis and start from as little as US$4.50 per day and US$ 49.90 per year.

Hints and Tips for Renting a Car in Europe

  • Rental cars providers in Europe aren’t expensive.  You can search and compare car rentals on Ticketseller via Auto Europe
  • Booking a rental car is a really easy process. Simply put in your details, dates, locations, car preferences and press search. Bookings can be made with a credit card and you’ll receive the receipt and car rental voucher straight to your inbox.
  • Get quotes for weekly rentals
  • Double-check currency conversions when comparing prices
  • Pay upfront for the car
  • Choosing a Pick-Up & Drop-Off Place and Time
  • Video or Photograph the Car for Previous Damages
  • Avoid Calling Rental Cars at Airports or Major Train Stations
The beginner’s guide to train travel in Europe

The beginner’s guide to train travel in Europe

Traveling by train in Europe is an experience itself. It’s relaxing, you can see beautiful parts of the countries you travel through and it can also be a great way to meet people.

While it’s mostly an ideal way to get from place to place, there can be some minor hiccups with the system. Below is a basic guide to train travel in Europe and tips for avoiding pricey mistakes or confusion.

For those who are new to my blog you can easily find everything I’ve written about  cities in Europe by using the search tag in sidebar. I hope everything that I’ve posted can inspire you to travel and help you plan your next big trip! Feel free to ask any questions as well.

Throughout Europe, domestic trains (traveling entirely within a single country) don’t require a reservation, so it can be easy to wake up and decide you want to hit a new city. Just arrive at the station before the train leaves, purchase a ticket and climb aboard!


Having said that, especially during tourist season, trains can fill-up and last minute tickets can be expensive.

Depending on the country you are departing in, make sure you check for availability online. One of the best resources for checking train schedules is Rail Europe.
Check train times online and book international train travel in advance if possible.

While flying is almost always faster, there are pains that come with it. Long security lines, cramped seating, baggage fees and an inability to socialise are all annoyances that are avoided with train travel.

European trains are known for their punctuality – on time over 90% of the time. You can bring what you can carry (and more if you really want to), there are no pesky liquids restrictions, you have room to move around, there are sleeper carriages for long journeys and you can be social with your neighbours and you can travel with your pet – always on leash and muzzled only when hop on/off to the train-.

Airports are pretty easy to navigate. Upon check-in, you know exactly what gate to go to and there are numerous signs to guide you there. Trains, however, can be a little more confusing. There are so many trains going through Europe  with multiple trains passing on the same track minutes apart.

Make sure you know exactly what track your train is arriving on and the train number as a train to Madrid may arrive 10 minutes before your train to Paris and, before you know it, you’re in Spain. If you’re ever unsure, there is typically always someone at an information desk around that can help.

And don’t be shy! Locals are often very friendly and willing to help out as well.

The weather is often a major contributor to why flights are often delayed or even canceled. This is another very annoying and almost too frequent inconvenience with flying. Trains usually are free of these hassles and get you to your destination on time regardless of the weather.

However, European railways are known for their strikes. Be sure to pay attention to the news and ask around if there is word of a strike on the verge of taking place. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do about it if there is. In case it does happen, buses are usually available.

Now that you have your train ticket, what are you supposed to do with it?

Many train tickets need to be validated (stamped with time/date) before boarding the train since they’re open tickets for train travel between two destinations and not for a specific train or time.

There are machines at the station, usually located on the train track. You just stick your ticket in and the machine stamps it. You could receive a fine if that train conductor sees that you neglected to do so and they will think you are trying to ride for free. Try to avoid the “I’m a silly tourist and didn’t know that rule” moment even though they will likely let it slide if you do forget.

Also, most trains have assigned cars for 1st and 2nd class so make sure you know what car you are assigned. It’s not fun being booted out of your seat after you’re all settled in or worse, asleep!


Overall train travel in Europe is fun and easy! Be sure to do a bit of pre-planning and enjoy the ride!


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