Self-drive travel gain­ing popularity

The Hitavada - - PASTIME -

THERE is no bet­ter way of trav­el­ling to a new place and ex­pe­ri­enc­ing things up close. One way to it is to drive there your­self through the interiors of the city of town, halt ev­ery now and ex­pe­ri­ence the lo­cal flavours.

Self-drive travel lets you do just that. The lat­est travel trend in the coun­try is self­drive va­ca­tion that lets trav­ellers see and feel the city in a man­ner that is not pos­si­ble other­wise.

Self-drive va­ca­tions are com­pletely dif­fer­ent from des­ti­na­tion spe­cific travel. It lets trav­ellers see more, do more and go back home with a lot more to re­mem­ber and talk about.

“It al­lows you to min­gle with the lo­cal peo­ple and ex­pe­ri­ence lo­cal cuisines and feel the cul­ture your­self which gets left out in des­ti­na­tion spe­cific trav­els. The des­ti­na­tions cho­sen by peo­ple who drive to that place are gen­er­ally those which have a rich cul­ture and lots of lo­cal things to see,” said Kapil Goswamy, CMD, BigBreaks.com.

Some of the pop­u­lar self-drive va­ca­tion des­ti­na­tions are Del­hiJaipur and Delhi-Agra in north and Mumbai-Au­rangabad and Mumbai-Goa in the West.

In­ter­est­ingly in In­dia, the lo­cal cuisines and flavours change ev­ery few hun­dred kilo­me­ters. It is also a boon for those who love long drives.

“Self-drive hol­i­days have been pop­u­lar in Western coun­tries for some time and the trend is now catch­ing up in In­dia as well. While some un­der­take the jour­ney in a small group, oth­ers pre­fer go­ing solo. The trend is here to stay and grow, let­ting peo­ple ex­pe­ri­ence what they would have other­wise missed,” said Varun Gupta, CEO, Goomo.

Hit­ting The Road: There are many fac­tors that are re­spon­si­ble for the popularity of self­drive va­ca­tions in In­dia. One is that the roads are now con­nect­ing most of the hin­ter­land. Plus, the road qual­ity is also bet­ter than it used to be years ago. Bet­ter roads en­cour­age peo­ple to take out their ve­hi­cles and go to those des­ti­na­tions that they have been think­ing about for ages but not taken such ex­cur­sions due to fear of get­ting bumped or hav­ing a flat tyre frequently on the way. Nav­i­ga­tion As­sis­tance:

Another very im­por­tant fac­tor that has led to self-drive va­ca­tions pick up pace in In­dia is good avail­abil­ity of satel­lite nav­i­ga­tions sys­tems and gad­gets now. The as­sur­ance of con­stant guid­ance and nav­i­ga­tion with the help of satel­lites and top notch com­mu­ni­ca­tion meth­ods are caus­ing a lot of peo­ple, par­tic­u­larly sin­gle women, to un­der­take road trips.

The need to ask for di­rec­tions or the fear of get­ting lost in a con­fus­ing ter­rain is now eb­bing. This is truly rev­o­lu­tion­is­ing the whole of the travel sec­tor. Even the cost of hav­ing in­ter­net fa­cil­i­ties con­stantly on the phone or other de­vices is on the de­cline, prompt­ing peo­ple to have 24x7 con­nec­tiv­ity. This is let­ting peo­ple go to even re­mote ar­eas like Kalpa in Hi­machal Pradesh to Nanda Devi in Ut­tarak­hand.

Rent­ing The Ve­hi­cle: A num­ber of com­pa­nies are offering cars on rent, that too at af­ford­able prices now. There are in­ter­na­tional car rental com­pa­nies in In­dia now. These com­pa­nies have been quick to cash in on the grow­ing trend of self-drives and fur­ther fa­cil­i­tat­ing such jour­neys. Cars or even twowheel­ers are be­ing of­fered by them at rea­son­able terms and let­ting even those travel who don't own a ve­hi­cle them­selves.

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