Free Advice

I am here to give you all the advice your Travel Agent won’t give you.

To give you suggestions that will help you save money.

To give you information and insights into a destination that is not easily available.

To even give you unpopular advice, if that’s what it takes, to make sure you get the best out of your holiday.

I will take no commissions nor allow any outside influence over the content of my answers. I will also declare any outside sources I use as references whether they are actual people, online sources, newspapers, or magazines.


Because travel research gets my blood pumping.

I am a travel nerd; for me the research, planning, nail-biting decision-making bit of travel is almost as exciting as the travel itself.

Born to parents in the travel business, I was riding a camel before I turned three and taught to check the quality of hotel beds during my summer holidays.

As a Travel Consultant for Lonely Planet Magazine India for over seven years I was part of the original team that conceptualized and launched the magazine in India. I’ve also been a travel agent and planned and organised numerous tailor-made trips for clients and I’ve been a tour leader and led groups of foreigners around India.

I haven’t travelled everywhere, no one really has. But I would like to use the knowledge and travel street smarts I’ve gained (the hard way) on my professional trips and personal holidays and the travel resources I’ve tested to make your trip unforgettable.

Travel for Good

I also firmly believe that travel can be used as a vehicle for positive change and in the past have contributed to NGOs that I came across on my travels. A minimum of 10% of all profits from The Trip Tweaker will go to charity.

So, go on, ask away! And I’ll do my best to answer*. And if you want more than advice and need help with the arrangements for your trip do write as well.

Shalome Potnis Tuinman

*I will feature the most useful and interesting questions of the week on the blog. And respond by email to as many of the others as possible.

Photo credit: Sonia Nazareth

10% of All Profits Are Donated

I strongly believe that travel can be a powerful tool for positive change in the world.

10% of all profits will be donated to various charities and non-government organisations located across the world and working in varied fields of development and outreach.

In the past donations have been made to organisations such as:

• The World Food Programme (Yemen Crisis) For more info: www.wfp.org/countries/yemen
• Goonj (Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation in Assam, India) For more info: www.goonj.org

If you know of organisations working sincerely to help people, animals, the environment or towards any other cause, please do write and tell me about them at ask@thetriptweaker.com.

Zero Plastic

From the beginning I was determined that no plastic would be used in our products. We use uncoated paper for the Illustrated Maps and packaging stickers.

Plastic-free packaging for the Illustrated Maps was harder to find in the market so our brilliant designer, Shaun Coutinho, custom-designed the cardboard tubes for us and even convinced a fabricator to specially manufacture them. (He may have had to promise the guy his first born, but it was worth it, don’t you think?)

We will bring this commitment to any future products we develop as well.

If you have any suggestions for how we could be even more environmentally-responsible, please let me know by writing to me at ask@thetriptweaker.com.