Deccan Herald, 4 May 2017
“Selfies for Summer”
Click here to read the article on the Deccan Herald site. Here’s the transcript:
Come Summer and something triggers the die-hard traveller’s psyche to escape the heat, wander outdoors and stay disconnected. The extreme wanderlust-bitten Bengalureans are travelling this season — with some shelling the moolah and most without breaking the bank!
Ishira Bhattacharya, a senior manager at Zivame, has been thinking of Peru for a long time now. Soon, she will be ticking it off her bucket list with a two-week trip. “I am going to Machu Picchu with my parents and we plan to see the ancient Inca sites and Amazon rainforests. It’s pretty expensive but I am glad I am doing it. The best part about the trek is that it allows only a limited number of people and that’s perfect,’’ she says.
On the other hand, a beach holiday in the Philippines is what Navin, a chartered accountant, and his wife, are planning. “We are crazy about beaches,” he says. “And it’s been a while since we have gone to some pristine beach, hence the Philippines. If you compare it to other beaches, it is economical. Apart from its beaches and caves, there are inland areas and falls that are not well-known to the travelling community. Not much has been written about these places in blogs as well,” he says.
“For Indians, the usual haunts are Bangkok, Bali and the Maldives but I would say the Philippines is also a great place for the budget traveller as the peso is almost equivalent to our rupee,” he adds.
Beaches are a big lure anyday. Like many, Nivedith Gajapathy, a travel blogger, is also taking off to a beach destination, Mauritius to be precise! “I have a few countries on my bucket list, which include Mauritius too. For a person who loves water activities like scuba diving and jet skiing, I think this would be just perfect,” he is optimistic. “Mauritius is great for scuba diving, water games and sea walks.” Also looking forward to island hopping and jet skiing, he says, he had planned this trip six months in advance.
Ask Shravan Gupta, executive director (India) Travel Tours, about where most Bengalureans are heading to this Summer and he says it is Europe. “This year, particularly, we are seeing larger numbers going to places in Eastern Europe like Czech, Hungary, Croatia and Romania. Japan is also very popular. Cruises are doing extremely well, of which the popular circuits are Mediterranean, Northern Europe and Alaska,” he informs.
Most destinations, he says, can be seen on a budget. “With many low-cost airlines flying from Bengaluru, travellers can take advantage of this. Another useful tool is to buy rail passes in India and use them extensively in other countries. The most popular budget destinations are Thailand and its beaches, Vietnam and Bali. At our organisation, we are seeing close to 20 percent increase in international holiday sales this Summer,’’ he adds.
Wildlife tourism has many takers too. Jayanth Sharma of Toehold, a photography-based travel company with an arm for personalised tours, explains, “As far as wildlife tourism goes, Kenya is the best place we suggest right now. It is relatively a low season there and it would have stopped raining. Other than that, I would say Botswana. Clearly, Africa is the place to be in now.”
Kushal Agarwal, co-founder, xoxoday, says, “Indonesia, Mongolia, Siberia and the Scandinavian region are popular destinations. Indonesia has a variety of things to do of which vertical cave diving in Jogjakarta and active volcanoes in Ejen-crater are the highlights. In Russia, Bengalureans can go for the ‘Ice Run’ from St Petersburg till the last habitable village of Siberia.”
So Bengalureans are travelling across seas like never before. Epic views and Instagram clicks apart, it’s about how well you stretch your rupee while you are abroad!