Emerging travel trend – quick getaways during long weekends

New Delhi: With an extended weekend coming up travel enthusiasts are firming up plans to head out to nearby destinations and spend a mini-vacation, a trend that travel experts say have really caught up among urban Indians over the past two decades.

With Ramnavami, Amedkar Jayanti and Mahavir Jayanti falling close to one another this weekend, travel enthusiasts are planning on a quick getaway.

“Certainly, more Indians are travelling today for leisure than ever before. Travelling has become much easier today as compared to 20 years back. With more and more people joining the travel bandwagon, a lot of affordable options have also emerged which meet the requirements of all kinds of people,” says Kapil Goswamy, Founder, BigBreaks.com, an online travel agency which provides customised travel solutions.

According to HolidayIQ, a travel community and holidays recommendation engine, travellers from metros are essentially discovering new destinations within a 200 km – 300 km radius for quick weekend getaways.

“Travellers from metros are essentially discovering new destinations within a 200-300 km radius for quick weekend getaways. While in 2015, close to 65 per cent trips planned were weekend getaways, in 2016 we expect this to grow further by 10 per cent,” it says.

Thomas Cook, an integrated travel and travel related ancial services company says popular drive down destinations range from Uttarakhand and Dehradun to holy pilgrims of Rishikesh besides scenic places in Konkan belt of Maharashtra such as Devgad, Velas, Vengurl, Harishchandragad Fort, Panhala and Kolad. “Indian travellers are opening up to intellectually and educationally enriching getaways along with traditional sightseeing vacations.

“While they are clearly pushing the envelope to go beyond ‘vanilla’ holidays, traditional tick-box see-all-you-can package remains favourite for many even today. They like to plan their outings with family and children where place doesn’t matter as long as it is a mini vacation,” says Rajeev Kale, President & COO – Leisure Travel (Outbound) Thomas Cook (India) Ltd.

A number of corporate houses also use such weekends to plan their annual official tourist outings which enable them to bring together their entire workforce together on a relaxed outing and engage in some team building exercises along with leisure.

“Any extended weekend today sees a flurry of travel activity. Some youngsters today are so meticulous in planning their getaways that they plan for the entire year, book their tickets, pick their hotels and make their queries months in advance,” says Goswamy.

“Most, however, plan on a short term basis. Ahead of the April 15 weekend, we have been flooded with queries from people around Delhi who are looking for a destination that can be covered within three days,” he says. Delhi is surrounded by historically and pictorially attractive destinations such as Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand, among others that seem attractive for those planing trips.

“While historical locations are more popular among the more discerning tourists, adventure spots such as Rishikesh, and hill stations nearby are more popular among the younger men and women,” says Goswamy. Better infrastructure in terms of road connectivity, availability of transport options such as cabs, taxis, self-driven cars and more travellers opting for driving holidays has increased the popularity of road trips.

“With international trips such as Myanmar, Thailand and Malaysia also now just a road trip away, this trend is slated to grow. Road trips will lead share of all holidays planned in 2016,” says HolidayIQ.

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