The rush to get away

The rush to get away

Most schools and colleges will soon close for Dasara and it seems like people have already chalked out elaborate plans to make the most of the holidays.

Seats on buses, trains and planes have been booked well in advance and those lining up at the last minute to book tickets have been left in the lurch.

Trains to Kerala, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai have registered the maximum number of bookings. A senior station master at City Railway Station, who didn’t want to be quoted, observes that Bangaloreans travel as soon as there’s a long weekend.|

“People have begun travelling a lot and don’t mind taking an extra day, just to get away from the City. We have registered bookings four months in advance to Kerala, Howrah, Mumbai and Andhra Pradesh and we have introduced a couple of extra trains to accommodate the rush to these places.

But we see more rush during Christmas, New Year and the summer vacations. It is comparatively less now,” says the station master. He adds that the unreserved compartment is always overflowing with people. “There are people who travel sitting on the floor, hanging on the door and sometimes, even sitting on the bogie, unmindful of the dangers involved,” he points out. 

Buses too have been booked up — but there isn’t as much of a rush in this case. Those heading to Goa get a 20 per cent discount on weekdays. Dayanand Pai, booking in-charge for Goa from Bangalore at KSRTC, says, “We have the maximum number of bookings in December and January. This is actually the off-season in Goa but there are some people who prefer to holiday there during Dasara.”

The seats on buses to Kerala have been booked too. Lancy, on duty at the KSRTC booking counter, says that bookings to places such as Kannur, Kozhikode, Kottayam and Cochin are full. “There’s a last minute rush from college students, who come asking for tickets as soon as their colleges close. The hike in KSRTC fares has not made a difference to the booking,” Lancy observes. Buses to Chennai, Erode, Coimbatore and Velankanni are similarly full.

“We see a lot of families travel at this time. Bookings are done only one week in advance,” says Balachandra, who manages the Tamil Nadu booking counter.

There are a couple of Dasara travel package tours introduced by the department of tourism, Karnataka from Bangalore to Mysore Botanical Gardens, Madikeri, Ooty, Bandipur and Belur, which cost anything from Rs 210 to Rs 605 a day. 
 
The airlines too have registered a sizeable number of reservations. “We have a lot of people who travel for business purposes almost everyday but during Dasara, Christmas and New Year, we do see a slight variation in bookings, especially to Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata,” says a source in BIAL. 

People who have travel plans say they book a month or two in advance because it’s easier to get bus and train tickets and hotel rooms as well.

C Ramachandra, a professional who travels across the country quite often on work, says, “During the holidays, it is a bit difficult to get tickets. But if you book in advance, it’s not so bad. I usually take a flight to Delhi and then take a bus to holiday in the surrounding places.”

Jagadish, who travels only by KSRTC, says, “I usually get tickets pretty quickly and I plan in advance to avoid last-minute tension.”

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