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Travelling in 2021: Road Trip Your Way Through This New Year

Did scrolling through those Instagram reels of your friends travelling through beautiful white snowy mountains make you shed a few tears too? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. 

With this global pandemic hitting us in more ways than we can imagine, we all could use a respite out of our mundane work from home lifestyle. However, with safety concerns and massive levels of financial requirements looming over the people of the world has not just demotivated them from being able to continue their work, but to also enjoy a small trip with their friends and families. Let’s face it, did scrolling through those Instagram reels of beautiful white snowy mountains make you shed a few tears too? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. 

breakfast and mountains
Credit- visitlahulspiti

On a more personal note, having travelled to Mussoorie myself last month, it definitely was the ideal family vacation I could’ve dreamed of. We decided we wanted to maintain all safety precautions but at the same time, enjoy to our hearts content. We made sure we followed all the government protocols of Uttarakhand and maintain personal precautions on every level. From face shields to sanitizers, we stocked our COVID-kit’s wherever we went! Courtesy to my research about travelling during the pandemic, you all should be aware of the fact that every state has its own regulations and policies regarding testing and documentation required at the entry of the state which needs to be taken very seriously by travelers, any laxity there could ruin your trip in many ways as you could be subjected to institutional quarantine for multiple days and more.

sunset travelling
This breathtaking view of the sunset from our AirBnb was definitely the one thing I will remember for all my life. Imagine being served a hot cup of chai while you witness the beauty of the sun setting before your eyes. (Credit- Hridika Rao for DU Beat)

Road trips could be an exciting and safe way of travelling in these times as you could at least make sure about the hygiene levels and practice social distancing in your own ways. Being aware of your commute and transportation needs could ease your trip anxiety and result in smooth planning of your journey. Similar was the case of my own trip where we booked a minibus for our entire family and decided to avoid coming in contact with airports or railway stations. The journey indeed was not only comfortable but also more familial as we all sang and laughed our way up to Mussoorie, without any hurdles. Call it a personal bias, but for me the feeling of a family road trip is unbeatable to any other mode of transportation. In fact, getting in touch with travel companies and arranging mini vans or buses for safer travels online are very easy now considering the booming travel industry, especially during the lockdown. 

Wouldn’t you agree that packing is probably the most exciting part of going on a trip? Well for me it is. And we had to make sure that we were equipped with enough clothes for us to battle the weather changes in Uttarakhand, as even a minute cold could just end up shooting our anxiety! We made sure we checked temperature drops and just the general climate around the area we were visiting so that we were well stocked with comfortable fits to tackle any situation. And for you all, from puffer jackets to your perfect beach wear, make sure your clothing game is on point, because let’s face it, who wants to miss out on those aesthetic pictures and have regrets later?

I took a road trip with my friends to Manali during this new year and it was probably the best experience of my entire life. It was extremely spontaneous and worked out very well for us in terms of both safety, and adventure. Travelling during a pandemic sure does give you a lot of anxiety due to the COVID-scare, but at the same time, if you can pull it off economically and in terms of safety, it could be a memory you cherish for life!

-DB, SSCBC, Delhi University
snow capped mountains
Travelled for hours to witness the snow capped mountains of Manali over an extensive road journey and long hours of traffic, only to see the most beautiful scenery of my life. (Credit- DB, SSCBS)

Another important part of planning our trip was about picking the perfect place to stay, and after days of thorough research, we ended up finalizing an AirBnB as our homestay. I personally believe that they’re safer and give your families a better and more familial atmosphere to relax in and they’re definitely more economical and COVID-friendly than hotels could ever be. You could easily find the one that suits your locality and requirements through the official app and continue booking your stay in advance for a hassle-free experience. Since ours was managed by co-owners who lived there themselves, we could easily communicate with them about the details and keep them in the loop about our itinerary. The warm food being served to you while you bask the sunset with a hot cup of chai, instilled the feeling of a ‘home away from home’, which is what stole the show for us. If it wasn’t for our comfortable stay, our trip wouldn’t have been nearly half as memorable as it ended it up becoming.

airbnb travelling
This beautiful AirBnB in Mussoorie was located in the Kamal cottages, which are situated in the ruins of the erstwhile Royal Palace of Nepal. This homestay gave us the most beautiful experience of the lockdown. (Credit- Hridika Rao for DU Beat)

This lockdown gave me the opportunity to spend more time with my parents and take that family trip we wanted to, since so long. We planned a very safe trip to Goa by booking an AirBnB by the beach and spent a week there together. We definitely were very scared about the travelling part of the trip, but in totality, it was everything we could’ve asked for.

-KK, Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Delhi University

Having said these things, I feel it’s important to understand that travelling, especially through the pandemic, is a privilege not enjoyed by many. In fact these trips could totally end up causing a lot of mental effects on people who could not travel this year. You must enjoy your lockdown vacations but also acknowledge the privilege behind it. All you need to be careful about is to not become ignorant of the realities and always be guarded with protection and awareness, while obviously enjoying your heart’s out. If you’re also looking for budget friendly trips with your friends for a weekend getaway, you can search for travel and tour webpages who provide safe and very economical treks while making sure you have the most amount of fun. And most importantly, if you’re reading this, and have been thinking about taking that one dream trip, take this as your que and go for it because sometimes in life, we keep on focusing on the things that don’t end up  giving us beautiful memories, and ignore the ones that do.

I’m someone who’s been personally affected by the pandemic on many levels and have often felt very dejected when I used to see everyone around me travelling, while I clearly couldn’t. It demotivated me to the point of deactivating my Instagram account, only to feel better about my own scenario. However, with time I’ve grappled with the fact that everyone has their own way of deciding how to spend their quality time, and it most definitely can happen without taking trips or going on fancy vacations.

-RS, Miranda House, Delhi University

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Featured Image Credits: Twist and Tours

Hridika Rao 

hridikarao@gmail.com

Author

Journalism has been called the “first rough draft of history”. D.U.B may be termed as the first rough draft of DU history.Freedom to Express.