Now that summer is here, it is time you started planning that trip to shake off your work stress and spend some quality time with your family. From Sikkim and Uttarakhand to Fiji and the Maldives, we highlight the popular domestic and international holiday getaways this season
You can enjoy boat rides in the lagoons and lakes of Kerala
SUMMER BRINGS with it blistering heat, but also a chance to get away from work and travel to exotic destinations in a bid to escape the high temperatures. ItвЂ™s that time of the year when everybody starts visualising and planning their summer vacations with great gusto.
But gone are the days when vacationing only meant taking in the sights and sounds of the place you were travelling to. These days, itвЂ™s all about the experience. In fact, an increasing number of people, especially young parents, in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi are opting for offbeat and adventurous destinations like jungles and deserts, exploring activities like trekking, paragliding, etc.
This increasing hunger for вЂexperientialвЂ™ holidays is now leading travellers to opt for destinations like Gangtok and Manali, which are emerging as the most preferred adventure spots for family vacations.
Another interesting trend being noted by industry experts is that of people opting for shorter vacations (less than three days). вЂњIn 2013, 39% of travellers opted for jungle and desert destinations, while in 2015, 50% are exploring these new destinations,вЂќ says Sharat Dhall, president, Yatra.com, an online travel agency, adding, вЂњTravellers from non-metros are splurgingвЂ”theВ budget of travellers in the metros is close to R14,681 as compared to R 16,219 by travellers in non-metros.вЂќ We bring to you the most popular domestic and international holiday getaways this season.
Kashmir consists of three regions: Jammu, the Kashmir Valley and Ladakh. While pilgrims opt for Jammu, families and groups will find a lot to like in the Kashmir Valley. Ladakh, on the other hand, will interest the younger travellers. Tourism in the state has been improving every year. Nearly 11 lakh travellers visited Jammu & Kashmir in 2014, of which only 50,000 were foreigners. The maximum number of people travelling to J&K within India are from the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra and West Bengal.
* Skiing at Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Thajiwas glacier in Sonamarg
* Gondola ride in Gulmarg, AsiaвЂ™s highest and longest cable car project
* Shikara ride through Dal and Nagin lakes
* Packages start from Rs 16,499 for three nights/four days
Kerala, or GodвЂ™s Own Country, has emerged as one of the top destinations for family vacations. And why not? Amid the lush greens, you can spend some peaceful time here in houseboats with your entire family. Munnar and Wayanad are two of the most preferred destinations.
* Boat rides in lagoons and lakes
* Overnight stays in houseboats
* Spice plantation in Thekkady
* Packages start from Rs 12,299 for three nights/four days
Often referred to as the land of gods, Uttarakhand is nestled in the foothills of the mighty Himalayas. You can try yoga, white-water rafting and bungee jumping, among other adventure sports, here.
* Trekking in Dehradun, the capital of Uttarakhand, which is situated at the Himalayan foothills
* Candle-making in Nainital, famously referred to as the вЂLake District of IndiaвЂ™
* Located at an altitude of 6,000 ft, Mussoorie, the вЂQueen of HillsвЂ™, provides beautiful and picturesque treks as well
* White-water rafting and bungee jumping in Rishikesh
* Packages start from Rs 18,959 for three nights/four days
Sikkim, the only brother of the seven sisters, is aiming to be a completely organic state by the end of 2015. Lonely Planet even named it the best place to visit last year. In fact, tourist inflow has increased to 19% ever since.
* Trekking in Goechala Trek, one of the most amazing trails of the Himalayas
* River rafting on the Teesta river
* Bird watching in Kewzing village
* Cable car ride in Gangtok
* Packages start from Rs 16,000 for three nights/four days
The Andaman & Nicobar group of islands are a group of scenic islands nestled in the eastern part of the Bay of Bengal. Altogether, there are some 572 islands, tiny islets and rocksвЂ”some inhabited and some notвЂ”all with rolling terrain, ridges and spurs all over with subterranean inlets and creeks due to underwater gorges.
* Radhanagar beach
* Snorkelling at Elephant beach, Havelock
* Bharatpur beach is famous for its coral reefs and white shores
* Also known as Kaala Paani, the cellular jail is perhaps one of the most infamous remnants of IndiaвЂ™s struggle
* Head to Jolly Buoy Island or Red Skin Island for the best view of those multi-coloured coral reefs Andamans is
so famous for
* Port Blair houses some fantastic museums like the Anthropological Museum, which portrays the islandsвЂ™ indigenous tribes
* Packages start from Rs 9,999 for three nights/four days