As we gaze out our windows, the far away mountains call out to us for a visit. The rustling of dusty leaves below our building remind us of the dense forests and luscious greenery waiting just outside the city.
Travelling has become an important part of our lives. Trekking, camping, staycations, cultural trips, road trips, food travel — all forms of travel breaks actually went on a break during the pandemic.
We waited patiently for the lockdown to stop, for the coronavirus to go away from our lives, but patience had its limits. For Mumbaikers, as monsoon hit the city with its full force, the itch to bask in nature started growing stronger and stronger each day.
And now all of us know of family, or relatives, or friends who have come back refreshed from weekend trips, narrating stories of their languorous stays and beautiful sights.
However long it has been though, it is prudent to still be conscious of the ongoing pandemic, and take all the precautions when outside.
Here are 3 kind of travel activities that one can do in these times with certain amount of safety:
With a group of your closest friends, cousins, and relatives, trekking can be done with a good measure of safety. Travel in personally owned cars, with own water bottles and refreshments to avoid stopping at a restaurant or food joint.
It’s October, but, since rains haven’t receded completely, driving to an off-road location, a few kms outside the city, will help you find small waterfalls and streams that are not too crowded, and where you can have a nice picnic.
You can also pick trails which are less frequented by trekkers and campers.
For popular trekking points & trails, make sure masks are worn if you come in contact with another group. Travel during a time when chances of a crowd are less. Make sure you always have a sanitizer with you.
2. Villa Stay
This option is my favorite and something which I did recently with my cousins. We had an amazing and completely safe stay at Arowana Villa, Igatpuri.
The good thing about Villa stay is there is only your group who is present. Apart from the cook and the help (who always wear a mask and stay to themselves in their quarters most of the time), there are not many strangers who you come in contact with.
You can find some great villas on Saffron Stays, Booking.com, and Vista Rooms. However, make sure to read all the safety measures taken at the villa, read reviews of people who have traveled there recently, personally confirm with the villa owner about the measures taken.
Also, and this is very important, due to the uncertain times, check what are the refund or rescheduling policies. You wouldn’t want thousands of rupees to go down the drain due to someone getting infected or quarantined.
3. Staycation at a luxury hotel
There is an assurance that a 5-star hotel like Taj or ITC will definitely take all the safety measures required. So, if traveling outside the city seems difficult, a staycation at a 5-star hotel is always an option.
There are some amazing deals running on these properties where you get a room with a half board/full board.
Check out these amazing deals for Taj Lands End, Bandra on Booking.com for instance.
In conclusion, I would say that staying indoors is definitely the best thing to do right now. But, not all of us can remain sane holed up in our houses for months end. Hence, if you must travel, do it with all the precautions that you can take, after all, you are not just risking yourself, but also the people with who you come in contact.