We’ve had it with you, 2020! You have shown us the best and worst of possibly everything we could think of. You have robbed us of the ability to just pack our bags and passport and head off to wherever our heart takes us. Mind you! we Indians are nothing if not resilient. We are ready to travel now. However, we do assure you that we shall keep the country and the people around safe and free from harm (whether advertent or inadvertent!).
As the world opened its eyes to the dawn of 1st January 2020, little did it know what was in store. A pandemic had begun with its source pointing to Wuhan, China. Everyone of us thought that the first lockdown, the curfews, the restrictions and the first set of curtailments and restrictions would be it. However, such was not to be the case.
The Initial Shock
The first lockdown also brought with it travel restrictions, banning of international flights, mandatory quarantines, testing, isolation and a whole lot of regrets! Not unsurprisingly, travel and hospitality suffered the most. The idea of travelling for leisure suddenly seemed like a suicide mission.
Ray of Hope
While the end seems to be nowhere in sight, there is still some ray of hope. Although international travel remains to be a distant dream, domestic travel has opened its arms to welcome travellers once again. As various states have started to welcome travellers, albeit with extreme caution; so did resorts, hotels, markets, and transport lines. The timid Indian traveller finally came out of his shell and decided that enough was enough! This advent of the holiday season, although later than usual, shows some promise for local operators and business owners.
When you Travel
If you are one of the people who have decided to be brave and start travelling, we earnestly urge you to look closely at our Motherland. This holiday season, let’s rediscover the beauty, diversity and opulence of the country that can bring the most jaded explorers to their knees. However, do make sure that you proceed with caution. Given below are just a few rules that you must keep in mind before you start making those bucket lists.
- Research, Research and Research some more before you decide on a destination that you want to go to. Make sure you know all the quarantine rules, safety protocols, and even the state of medical facilities that the state has.
- As far as possible, get yourself tested before leaving for your desired destination.
- Make a checklist of items to carry, every handbag of yours must include a hand sanitiser ( < 60% alcohol content), disinfectant wipes, tissues, and a face mask.
- Keep your high exposure items such as mobile phones,passport, keys and wallet in a protective covering that can be discarded upon arrival.
- If you have even the slightest fever or onset of any other symptoms, DO NOT TRAVEL!!
- Minimise contact with high touch surfaces such as doorknobs, taps and basins. If you nust, touch these surfaces with disinfectant tissues.
Why Domestic Travel
As the world reeled under the impact of a pandemic, travel and hospitality industries were certainly among those worst hit. While bigger businesses may still have some nest money set away for a rainy day such as this, local artisans, homestay owners, hotel owners, transport operators etc. suffered dearly. It is our responsibility as travellers to give back to the community that we have taken so much from.
While we know the ins and outs of overseas destinations, how much do we REALLY know about our own country. Did you know, for instance, that it is home to a mythical bridge? A temple carved out of a single stone? A place which was formed because of a meteor falling on earth? As our world grows smaller, it is nonetheless richer!
Popularly known as the Scotland of India, Coorg is a gorgeous amalgamation of its colonial history and benediction of the Gods of Nature. The rolling hills will surely make you experience a moment of calm in this otherwise crazy life. Please make sure that you are carrying a COVID 19 negative certificate for Good measure, although most resorts may not ask for it.
Where to Stay
We recommend a stay at The Tamara Resort, Coorg. Widely known for its world class spa treatments, al fresco dining options and meticulous safety protocols.
Literally translated, Kanya Kumari means ‘The Eternal Virgin’ and truly like onw, its pristine beauty is untouched. Resting on the southernmost tip of India, Kanyakumari is an oasis of happiness for all those who revel in calmness and reverence. You can visit any one of the numerous temples that have blessed this land. You can also visit the imposing statue of the poet Thiruvallur and take a ferry to the southernmost point of the landmass of India, where the peninsula is bordered by the waters of the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and the mighty Indian ocean.
Where to Stay
The clear choice for us would be Anantya Resorts in Kanyakumari. Resting by a quiet lakeside, they are bedecked with traditional Tamilian architecture peppered with modern day luxury.
We honestly think that the award for most trips cancelled must go to Goa as a destination! While earlier it would most likely have been blamed on parents, friends or even the weather; this time there was a more clear culprit – Covid 19! However, the sunshine state is now all decked up to welcome tourists with open arms. While the state laws do not ask for a negative certificate, we recommend that you follow all the precautions stated above for a safer travel experience.
Where to Stay
Well, if you ask us the answer is simple! Fort Tiracol! Adjoining the Terekhol River it is an old fort converted into a resort replete with lavish rooms and lush views of the sea.
For those wishing to explore the mountains of the north, Mussoorie is a wonderful choice. Often known as the Queen of Hill Stations, it is located in the misty meadows of Dehradoon. At the foot of the Garhwal Mountains in Uttarakhand, Mussoorie has been known to enchant visitors. At the moment, Uttarakhand does not require travellers to carry a Corona Negative certificate.
Where to Stay
The Savoy, Mussoorie with its resplendent Victorian charm and hospitality emerges as clear choice!
Done with exploring all that the south has to offer? We recommend you take a closer look. Kabini might just surprise you! Heed the call of the wild and head to this riverside paradise that will enthral you with luxurious resorts right in the middle of the wild.
Where to Stay
The Bison Resort is among the epitomes of luxury in Kabini. At the moment the resort is following an exhaustive list of precautions in view of the COVID 19 pandemic.
We suggest you arm yourself with courage, gumption, and oodles of sanitizer and get ready to take on the world out there!