Don’t tell me, you didn’t scan the official holiday calendar already, looking for a rare event that goes by the name, ‘long weekend’. I am aware that most of you keep a 5-day work week and enjoy your Saturdays and Sundays to the maximum after working like crazy through the week. What could be better than a public holiday falling on a Friday or a Monday! The rare event occurs once in a blue moon that promises to extend your joy by leaps and bounds. This is a welcome opportunity that you have been waiting for a few months and when it arrives it throws open endless surprises and avenues of happiness and pleasure. The first thought that comes to your mind is to go backpacking straight out of the city. Who wishes to remain tied back in a gas chamber especially when one has an opportunity to escape for an extended period of time? You would certainly not like to restrict or hold yourself back when such an opportunity erupts. There are not many opportunities that come your way during the entire year, but nevertheless those that come, offer great respite from your horrendous schedule. You like to explore other places that you have been dreaming of.
You want to make the most of the God sent opportunity by taking off to faraway places and cooling yourself off. Unfortunately, the holiday is not long enough for an out-of-the-country sojourn. Since long back you have made a short list of places that you wish to visit. Over the last few weeks you had been trying to zero in that one place that would perfectly match your tastes and satisfy your travel lust. Your partner or spouse could not agree with you on the place but eventually you had been successful at placating him or her and consequently you are all set to undertake the trip now. Will it be seaside, mountains, deserts, a place of historical importance like the Sun temple at Konark, Ajanta and Ellora caves, the Taj or the magnificent forts of Rajasthan.
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Not only that, I am sure you would have already done an hourly microplanning too. You have neatly listed down the spots you intend visiting on a day to day basis and where all would you quench your thirst and satiate your taste buds. All thanks to the travel sites and of course YouTube that tell you everything about all what you would ever want to know and that too at a mere click of a few keys. After all we are living in the age of technology, it simply amazes me to find how much one can accomplish in so little an effort and time frame. You can see the interiors of the hotel, the room, the lobby, the cafeteria, dining area, play area, lounge etc. as if you have already checked in there. You have a fairly good idea of what facilities will greet you there. A virtual tour of the city gives you a complete round-up of all the places that you might choose to visit. It serves to remind, what one should not miss out when in the city, to make it a wholesome visit. What you have handy is the schedule of all the days of your stay. From the serene snow-covered mountains to the endless views of open sea along the coastline both are as captivating as anything can be. Most would expect you to pick one and shun the other. However, you might love both the options in equal measure as both sound well enough. There is absolutely no harm in liking both and this is a perfectly normal behaviour.
There is a reason why it is important to consider where you are headed this weekend? Wherever you are headed, just be well aware that you can ill afford to fall sick or hurt yourself in the middle of all the festivities and joyous jaunt. You must be well acquainted with all that you should be attentive to and careful about. You should also know what can possibly go wrong and give you nightmares years later. I remember, the one thing that was onerous task in the yesteryears, which was safeguarding your travel tickets and documents since there was no online mode in which to save them. The paperless practice has caught up in every sphere big time, be it tickets, shares, driving license etc. So, somehow if you manage to lose your tickets or the hotel bookings, not much of a harm would come your way as all of it is safely retrievable on your mobile phones within seconds. The next thing to car about is the weather in the city. Remember to check the weather forecast of the city for the entire time period of your stay, you would least want to be caught unawares in the middle of pouring rains or scorching sun you would have halved your pleasure and fun too.
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Most of us go by the pictures and images of the hotels alone, not bothering to check the customer reviews and feedback. Choosing your hotels without proper research may land you in another big dilemma, that of unpalatable food, inadequate cleanliness, inconvenient location, lack of leisure activities. Therefore, it is very important to consider the food options that you are likely to get in the city where you are headed. If your stay does not turn out to be at a decent place, then you are likely face an uphill task of having to change hotels at the most inopportune time. Even if you get regular Dishes, these may not have been prepared with the right kind of ingredients including the spices and oils that might cause ill health or discomfort. Eating irregularly or too much can also upset your stomach and might prove to be a spoil sport rather than a shot in the arm. Then there are seasonal outbreaks at many places that you should be cognizant of, particularly in the city you are visiting.
My vacation usually alternates between a mountain locale and a city that I haven’t visited. This is a perfect way of getting acquainted with the cities that we know the least and at the same time those that offer a great visual treat and overall experience. A survey finds that most of us visit no more than ten cities in our entire lifetime. I feel lucky to have wandered on the streets of no less than 40 cities of the Indian Union and a few outside the country. I just hope that my hunger to explore lesser known and exotic places never recedes.