tedious part of any trip is planning it. There are a hundred services nowadays
that compartmentalize the trip planning procedure. And we might now have the
most efficient of them all. Because it’s on an app. And everyone knows apps are
very productive and efficient.
TBBD becomes ShareTrip
ShareTrip is Bangladesh’s first travel management app. It was formerly Bangladesh’s first OTA (Online Travel Agency) known as Travel Booking Bangladesh. It rebranded as ShareTrip and recently they have launched an app as a window to their services. Through this app, you can plan, pick and manage every aspect of your trip. Be it booking a flight, picking from holiday deals, booking hotels, transfers, and tours. With ShareTrip, you can do it all. There are countless options for you to choose hotels, flights and holiday packages across the globe.
In addition, there are two features that you should know about. ShareTrip has introduced an in-app currency-esque aspect called Trip Coins. These can be used to save money by getting discounts on future trips. The primary way of winning these coins is a game called Spin to Win.
This game can be played to earn coins, win free air tickets or entire trips daily.
In addition, Trip coins can be redeemed by simply using the app to book trips as well. They are also available on sharing your trip through social media and referring the app to friends and family.
ShareTrip’s tagline is “Travel-Save-Repeat”. And they aim to keep you engaged in the said manner through the app. We must say we’re pretty excited!
India, the country we love and support except for when it comes to cricket matches. Visiting India might not seem like a big deal because it’s a country that we visit so often, but for people who are planning to get their visa for visiting India for the first time and can’t find where to look or whom to go to, this article is for them.
The first and foremost thing you need to do is find out what type of visa you need. You could apply for
A tourist visa
A business visa
A short-term single-entry visa
A long term multiple entry visa
Transit single entry visa
Transit double entry visa
Now, here is the most important thing you need to remember while deciding which visa to get, unlike other countries which might be a bit more lenient, Indian airports or railway stations will reject your entry if you try to enter the country with a type of a visa that does not match your purpose.
This is the most recent law passed by the Indian government. So, if you are going to a conference, get a conference visa and not a tourist or business visa. However, in this particular article, we will focus on what you will need to do to get a tourist visa for India being a Bangladeshi citizen.
A tourist visa is applicable for either 3 months, 6 months or 12 months. you can choose whichever option you prefer along with either single entry or multiple entries.
However, it is always better to apply for 6 months if you are aiming for a 3 months visa and to apply for a 12 months visa if you are aiming for a 6 months visa. This is because you sometimes may get a visa that is less than the time frame for which you applied.
Bank statement/Dollar endorsement (Endorsement should not be older than 1 month at the time of submission)/Active international credit card / Travelcard (Issued by Indian Visa Application Centre or IVAC. Read on to find out)
Profession proof i.e. Photocopy of trade license if the employer is NOC, student ID card or salary receipt and trading
Last passport copies and all old passports. the passport must be signed and have 6 months validity beyond stay in India. It should also have at least two blank passport pages available for Indian visa stamps.
One recent (not less than 3 months old) passport-size colour photograph depicting full face; Applicants would be required to scan and upload their photograph in the designated space provided in the online application form.
Photocopy of a utility bill (electricity bill, gas bill, phone bill)
You can go to the website http://www.ivacbd.com/existing/online_visa.php . This is the official website for the Indian visa application centre. You can download the form from this website. The documents you will be required are already mentioned above.
Now, you can appoint an agent to do this for you if you don’t want to go through the tedious process. However, given the Indian visa form is very extensive, the chances of a mistake being made by the agent are very high. So, it is better to do it by yourself. Once you are done with filling the form, you have to make the payment.
Visa fees and how to pay them
According to the most recent (5th August 2018) visa processing law in India, the visa processing fees is 800 bdt. You can pay this fee by yourself through Bkash, Rocket, DBBL Nexus, credit card, etc.
The number to which the money is to be transferred can be found on the IVAC website and this payment getaway link. This information will only be available to you after you fill the form.
Once you have made the payment, you will have exactly 3 days to submit the form at a visa application centre. If you do not submit the form within 3 days, the payment will be considered inapplicable for the form.
Submitting the application
All Indian visa applications from Dhaka are now accepted only at the IVAC centre in Jamuna Future Park. When you submit the form, you will receive a receipt including your Name, Passport Number, Web file number and Date of delivery. You can use the Web file number to track your application status by logging into the IVAC website.
It usually takes about a week to get an Indian visa. When your visa is done, you will get a text message and you can collect your passport using the receipt.
As per the new rule, walk-in applications are also accepted at IVAC without prior application.
Traveling is something we Bengalis love to do. We might act a bit old school when comes it, but you would rarely find a Bengali who doesn’t fancy traveling. Back in the day, our parents would probably start planning for a tour six months before a vacation starts. Now, in the age of information technology we fancy eating street food in Bangkok one fine morning and we might find ourselves doing it the next weekend. And yet, few old timer traveling myths still remain embedded in our habit.
Here are 4 such traveling myths that are completely wrong.
Myth 1: You need to buy plane tickets months in advance to get the best deals
Wrong. This might have been true ages ago when air traveling was not as frequent as it is now. Back then, airlines would hike up the ticket prices at the last minute because options were so few.
These days, it’s the opposite. With so many budget to high-end options, airlines scramble to fill in half empty seats as the date of departure comes close. Moreover, if you try to book a ticket months ago, you are most likely to see the static prices rather than dynamic ones. The ideal time to book your air ticket would be 4-5 weeks in advance.
Myth 2: Packages know best
While some packages might offer convenience once in a while, in most cases packages will rip you off. And the offers are almost never the best you can get. Comes with the added hassle of doing everything by the package terms and conditions.
If you try and explore by yourself, chances are you’ll cover the trip with half of what the package programs ask of you and get more out of your traveling.
Myth 3: Duty Free is a good bargain
This is a very common myth among those of us who frequent in airports. Duty Free items means that they are not taxed. However, it doesn’t mean anything about retail prices. There’s a higher chance that you’ll find the same goods at a much lower retail price in local market.
Myth 4: It’s a good idea to change your currency at the airport
Almost never. At airports, the transaction fee is built into the exchange rate percentage. And that means you’ll get a bad rate at airports almost all the time. It’s better to change your currency from your bank before traveling. Or do it in a local money changer once you reach your travel destination.
Visa processing is one of the most troublesome parts of travelling to a foreign land. Getting an approved visa takes a fair amount of time and money in most cases, not to mention the long list of requirements that come with it.
Consider getting a Thai visa, for example. You have to show your bank solvency, your purpose letter for visiting Thailand, hotel and plane booking confirmation and so on. That’s not all, they’ll even call your universities or workplace to check if you really are who you say you are. Combine that with a hefty sum of money a.k.a the processing fee and the uncertainty of not getting approved, and that’s your Thai visa processing experience.
Bangladeshi passport ranks 94th in the Global Index of Passports, making it one of the weakest passports in the world in terms of ease of travelling. But even being ranked in the lower half of that list allows us to travel to 41 countries without a prior visa. Not so bad for starters.
Here are 5 such countries you can travel to without a visa. Pack your bags and pick one from the list.
Bhutan, the small Himalayan country full of happy people, requires no visa for Bangladeshi citizens. Drukair or Royal Bhutan airlines operate flights from Dhaka to Paro. You can also travel by road through India. In that case, you must get a transit visa for India.
2. Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka offers Bangladeshi citizens on arrival visa. Famous for lush green hills, ancient Buddhist ruins and beautiful sunny beaches, Sri Lanka is a beautiful destination for a quick trip outside the country. Jet Airways operate flights from Dhaka to Colombo with one stop in Delhi.
The daughter of Mount Everest, Nepal has on arrival visa facilities for Bangladeshi citizens. Visit Nepal to experience a rich cultural heritage of the Nepalese people and lose yourself in the magnificent serenity of the Himalayan mountain range in Pokhara.
Famous for its beautiful beaches and green countryside in Bali, Indonesia requires no visa at all for Bangladeshi citizens. There are no direct flights to Indonesia, but Malindo air operates from Dhaka to Bali with a long layover in Kuala Lumpur. Find out what you can do during a layover in Kuala Lumpur here.
The land of the famed Caribbean pirates requires no visa for Bangladeshi travellers either. Visit the Jamaican islands if you’re in for something different than usual. The experience, far from home, is one of a kind. The country of Usain Bolt welcomes you.
A few more countries that don’t require prior visas for Bangladeshi citizens include Maldives, Fiji, Rwanda, Barbados, Myanmar and Kenya.
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