Monday, February 27, 2023
HometravelTreading the road less taken | Travel

Treading the road less taken | Travel

Road trips and quick getaways often go hand in hand. But over the last two years, there’s been a rise in the number of family trips and group travels, with people traversing the lengths and breadths of the country in a bid to grasp culture, traditions and flavours. With extensive road trips that cover corners, travellers have now unearthed a new meaning to road travel. “Road trips let you experience places deeper, allow flexibility to explore places at your own pace and take breaks wherever you feel like. And, they’re pet-friendly,” says Chhavi Chaddha, founder, Bespoke Travels.

Seamless travel

A number of highway projects are in the works, poised to make road travel easier. Recently, the 246km-stretch of a 1,386-km New Delhi-Mumbai expressway was inaugurated. The eight-lane route, on completion, will cut travel time between the cities by at least 12 hours. Similarly, the 1,257km-long Amritsar–Jamnagar expressway will reduce travel time between Amritsar and Jamnagar from 26 hours to 13 hours.

“Improved infrastructure and facilities like FASTag have made it easier to plan a road trip to explore scenic routes and offbeat destinations. With the introduction of new expressways connecting major cities, extended road trips are more accessible than ever before,” says Malayanil Singh, senior VP, Trail Blazer Tours India Private Limited.

Schooling on the go

Experiential learning was on the mind of Hyderabad-based couple Gangadhar Krishnan and Ramya Laxminath, when they pulled their kids — twins Ananya and Amulya (12) — out of school. The couple has journeyed across 15 states in a car while road-schooling their kids. “The children learn a lot. They meet different people, stay in various environments, see Nature so close, making them more adaptive and respectful towards people from various walks of life,” says Laxminath. While on the move, the family follows a minimal way of living, eating what they find, resting in their car, tents or hotels and homestays. They don’t have a fixed itinerary; just start and end dates and destinations.

Of self-sustainability

When a group of travellers decided to embark on an overlanding trip — exploring new places, in a self-reliant fashion — things got both beautiful and tough. On a nine-day journey, travel vlogger Devang Sethi, along with seven friends, travelled around 2,000km with the idea of being self-sustainable. The journey began from Patiala in Punjab and on to Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh, crossing 11 mountain passes. “Most of the trip involved us driving through places that didn’t have proper roads and even required crossing rivulets in cars,” says Sethi, whose group was equipped with food supplies, fuel, a stove, sleeping bags and tents. Sethi, who hails from Kapurthala (Punjab), suggests, “Travel with people you know and can rely on as things can be challenging. Also, when going to such offbeat places, go with at least two vehicles. In case one breaks down, the other can be used to get help.”

“During our ride from Delhi to Spiti, we crossed villages covered in snow. That meant clearing snow from bikes every morning, dealing with broken gears and slippery roads,” says Shubham Saini,Biker-travel curator from Delhi.

Chasing cultures

With the sole purpose of taking her son, Narayan, across various villages for him to witness India’s rich culture, Kochi-based travel writer Mitra Satheesh embarked on a road trip from Kochi in Kerala, covering around 16,800km in 51 days, during April-May 2021. “The idea was to explore village crafts, culture, cuisines and lesser-known facets of India,” says Satheesh.

Boxes to check before you hit the road

Carry sanitary hygiene products like toilet seat covers and sprays, in case of dirty toilets.

When overlanding or camping, stock up on basic allergy medicines, sprays and ointments, in case of bug bites, itches or infections.

If you tend to feel nauseous, take enough breaks. Also, try to sit in the front seat.

Get your vehicle fully serviced before you hit the road. Watch online tutorials on how to fix flat tyres, punctures, etc.

Keep emergency contacts handy for times when you lose connectivity.

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