My memories of a trip, way back in the mid eighties to the paradise on Earth, Kashmir, is etched in gold and often I reminisce about the days of planning the itinerary, the long waits in queues to get the train tickets (airlines were expensive in those days and only the elite travelled by them and we as part of a public sector could not simply afford!), the snail mail letters to our loved ones staying in the same place for accommodation and arrangements of local transport for sightseeing. Yes, it was a tedious process and often nerve wracking too in terms of cost, time and energy. And there was no guarantee of a tension free holiday as sometimes the bookings may not just get through, one may not have the proper connects, the hotel booked may not suit one’s palate and budget and so on and eventually, the holiday that was meant to be, would turn out to a damn squib with groans and moans. Fortunately, our holiday then, did not have this unforeseen ending, thanks to my colonel uncle who was posted in the borders who gracefully took care of everything from start to finish. But one cannot expect knights in shining armour to do all and sundry to make our dreams come true, can we?
Cut to today and yes we can have samaritans in yatra and the digital era has ensured that each one of us enjoy our vacations that suit our style, locale, budget and travel. Holidays are planned by the clicks of buttons and are no longer cumbersome, and we soon land in our fairy tale destinations without frustrations, predicaments and hardships!
Without much ado, let me plan a trip for myself, a dream destination that I have longed to undertake for years, a place where I can unwind among the gigantic waterfalls, undulating rivers, massive mountains...no...I am not talking about the Swiss Alps or the Andes or the Australian reef but our own North eastern states, pristine unspoilt beauty of magnificent India with the mesmerizing Cherrapunji and bewitching Nohkalikai and Mawsmai cascades that is an experience to last a lifetime!
My flight to fantasy begins with the airlines that is going to take me there and who else but yatra to bank upon for the schedules, the options and the tariffs with special discounts! I check with availability on the dates and do a quick comparison of the different option on domestic airlines and narrow down on the one that matches my budget and requirements. Next on my do list comes the tour package deal that has to be obviously a steal and best in class and comfort. I have my tour partner to bank upon who will do everything in a jiffy and get the confirmation back in no time. So I can sit back, relax and think of the next item on the check list which is accommodation and food. The hassle free tour operator assures me of the best hotels that serve vegetarian fare in the seven sisters’ states with comfortable and affordable stay in a decent dwelling and a major aspect of travel woes is taken care of in style.
I manage a fair deal on a round trip with all the necessary ingredients of fun, frolic and fantasy that seals a fantastic holiday in the rains amidst nature’s bounty and planning one was never so easy as I found the perfect partner in airlines and schedules!
So folks, pack your bags and embark with me on a journey that will hold you to sway and you will thirst for more!