When life is a highway
Surupasree Sarmmah, DH News Service, Jun 9 2017, 0:03 IST
adventurous Youngsters are increasingly taking to road trips and services like self-driving cars are fuelling the trend. (Above) Aditya (left) with his friend in Munnar.
With many youngsters taking to road trips for an ideal vacation, the phrase — ‘Some beautiful paths can't be discovered without getting lost’ seems quite apt here.
Till a few years ago, chauffered cars were the ‘in thing’. Today it is all about self-driving cars, a booming trend among millennials especially for long drives or vacations. The concept is about renting car and taking off on your own without a driver.
“The idea of road trips is to get away from the concrete jungle and pollution. Be it for celebrating a friend’s birthday or heading out for a long weekend, we just need an excuse to hit the roads,” says Mario Pradeep Raj, a chef. He adds, “We mostly do road trips to places like Goa, Coorg, Hampi, Munnar and Kerala if it is a longer vacation and Sakleshpur, Nagarbhavi, B R Hills and even Ooty for shorter trips, once every three months.”
Considering the saying, ‘more the merrier’, Mario and his friends prefer a group of around eight to 20 people for a trip. He points out that it’s during these times when self-driven cars come as a blessing. “As most of us don’t have our own vehicles, the option of self-driving cars comes in handy. The easy access and choice of cars is a plus point. Though it is always great to book a bus or cab, driving a vehicle on your own and finding your own paths while exploring different places adds to the experience,” adds Mario.
With most of these self-drive platforms have on-road services and the total expense includes that of fuel too, the total expense of the road trip is cut down by half when compared to taking out one’s own vehicle. Aditya Premchandra, a Research Assistant at IISc often goes for road trips with his friends. “Road trips are a connecting point in my group. We do a trip once in every two months. The drive through nature, the picturesque landscapes and a pollution-free experience is refreshing. We usually do a road trip to explore a new place, so we don’t visit the same place again,” says Aditya.
Most of the time there are at least five people and his pet dogs accompanying him. Recalling one of their most memorable journeys, he says, “We did a trip to Bisle Ghat and saw the onset of monsoon. It was a beautiful experience.”
Shiivani Aggarwal, the Chief Operating Officer at Formula2Ride, a self-driven car rental platform, says that since road trips are becoming popular, self-driving gives one an opportunity to travel at their own pace. This is helpful especially for those who are not from the city. “We have seen that youngsters these days are very adventurous and experimental. Since Bengaluru is a city where many people come for education or professional reasons, many of them don’t have a car of their own and prefer to avail services like these,” she says.
Ooty, Goa, Puducherry and Tirupati are some of the places where people often head to. “Road trips have increased in India in the last few years. Now it is not just about experiencing the place but also about enjoying the journey,” adds Shiivani.