Bloggers tell you how to ace last minute holiday plan to welcome 2019
Haven't planned your New Year's Eve getaway yet? We invite four travel bloggers who tell you how to ace your last-minute holiday plan
Camp it out
We've grown up hoping to have a life like the family in Enid Blyton's Caravan Travels. But Ankita Kumar has taken that one step further. She spent 100 days around India in a caravan. So, when we ask her what her NYE plans are, we aren't surprised when she says, "I'll call some friends over and chill at home." Kumar, 27, is no stranger to last-minute trips.
Ankita Kumar inside the caravan at Wayanad in Kerala
"Prices tend to skyrocket, so I move away from hotels. Campsites always have standard rates irrespective of when you book, so CampMonk and White Collar Hippie are good options," she tells us, adding that booking a Zoomcar instead of flying also reduces costs. As packing a suitcase isn't everyone's forte, Kumar suggests bottling it down to the essentials. "If your feet are warm, then everything is. Carry a jacket and a beanie, and some running or hiking shoes."
According to Kaushal Karkhanis, 38, who runs the popular blog Exotic Gringo, early risers do have some luck. He set out to Maldives last year for NYE by booking an early morning flight from Mumbai. "Even as of today, you can fly to say, Goa under Rs 7,000 or Sri Lanka on NYE under Rs 15,000 return. Try using Kayak or Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights and if your dates are flexible, you could land even better deals," he advises.
Karkhanis is currently in Thailand, which also turned out to be a last-minute trip. "Thailand may seem way too touristy and familiar to seasoned travellers, but consider local secrets like Khao Yai, which has vineyards, sunflower fields and plenty of fairy-tale resorts. There are return flights under or around Rs20,000 still available, with free visa on arrival until January 15," he shares.
Be open to sharing
This weekend, I literally woke up and decided along with my friends that we want to head out to Alibaug. And so, we planned it in a few minutes," says Ganesh Vanare, 24, a popular travel Instagrammer with a following of over 1,17,000. Vanare suggests that while booking in a hurry, shared spaces often come to the rescue.
The zostel in Panchgani where Vanare stayed
"I'm always open to sharing my room with anyone and often opt for Zostels, a chain of backpackers' hostels, to avoid high rates. But always make sure that it is a safe space. Check if you can choose from multiple transport options to reach that point, and if food and sanitation facilities are available. You don't want any regrets."
Divyakshi Gupta aka The Quirky Wanderer reveals that annoying push notifications can actually be of great help when you're strapped for time. "I just enable notifications from apps like Make my trip or Cleartrip. And you'll find good combo deals i.e. hotel plus flight," she says. Another alternative, Gupta, 29, explains, is to opt for deviations within the trip.
Gupta stayed in a lakeside homestay called Double Dutch, run by a Dutch couple in Kamarajar valley near Madurai
"Driving down to places actually gives you greater flexibility. For instance, I set out on a Mumbai-Bengaluru trip last year but I deviated midway from Hubli. So, I visited Shimoga, Chikmagalur, Belur and Coorg along the way, and finally reached Bengaluru," she says, adding that the South is a good option during the winters, parts of which remain unexplored.
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