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On holiday road

Rajitha Menon, DH News Service, Dec 5 2017, 20:40 IST

It's December! And if you are among the majority of Earthlings who can't figure out where 2017 vanished to and are cribbing about how time flies, pack your bags and head out! There is no better way to ring out the old and ring in the new than being at a new place and with the holiday season officially here, many people are looking forward to well-deserved vacations.

Says Nayan Basu, an instructional designer with Accenture, "It's that time of the year when most roads lead to either hilltops or seashores. While places like Gokarna, Goa, Visakhapatnam and the Andaman Islands remain the top choices for travellers, states like Kerala and Pondicherry attract a lot of foot-fall during the Christmas and New Year season as well."

Nayan does not wish to be a part of the crowd this year though. "During Christmas, I will be away from the hustle and bustle of the city. I will be going to a tribal village in West Medinipur, West Bengal. I want to explore the local history of the place and surrounding attractions like a palace, a fort and an old terracotta temple."

Advance planning is the key when it comes to making your December plans, points out Ami Bhat, a travel blogger who doles out travel advice and tips through her portal 'thrilling travel'. "I look at the cost before I decide to travel anywhere during this time. It is the peak season the world over and all the popular places are extremely costly and extremely crowded. So you have to book well in advance, ideally by September or so. But even then, they have special rates for December. Or the other option is to go on a road trip which is what I am doing with my friends this time."

Flying out is no more an impossible dream and more and more travellers are heading to foreign locales to soak in the merriment. Says Ami, "Winter in Europe is a huge thing, I know a lot of people who go there. I also get a lot of queries about Indonesia, typically Bali, and Mauritius. Within India, beach destinations seem to be the trend. There are some people who love the extreme winters and even head for the Himachal region and surrounding areas during this time."

Shruthi Gowda swears by Christmas in Sri Lanka, an unlikely combination but a magical one at that! "Sri Lanka is beautiful; the locals are helpful and the place is pristine and not too crowded. The country is lit up for Christmas and there is wonderful bonhomie in the air. The water is crystalline, warm and inviting and the white sand beaches are a great way to spend a different kind of 'white Christmas'. And the spicy cuisine is fantastic."

Having been to Mysuru and Gokarna during December over the past few years, Shruthi has now set her sights farther away. "I wish to hit the beaches in Seychelles or Mauritius during Christmas next," she says.

Putting things in perspective, Amit Taneja, Chief Revenue Officer at Cleartrip says, "When it comes to the winter travel trends, the top domestic destinations are Goa, Lucknow, Udaipur and Jaipur while preferred international destinations are Dubai, Bangkok, Singapore, Colombo, London and Hongkong. Adventure tourism also has caught on in the country and skiing is the most sought-after activity by adventure travellers in the season. Shimla, Auli and Kathmandu are places that are gaining the fancy of such people."

Forget Christmas goodies, it is a world of Christmas getaways out there. Season's greetings are in order then!

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