If one of your New Year resolutions involves travel travel and more travel to explore, experience and enjoy the romance of the road, forget flight bookings, and embrace the thrill of road trips. Best enjoyed solo or with your squad, road trips offer the perfect getaway for millennial travellers who are seeking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life at their own pace. For the adventurous, there's the thrill of discovering new and off beat places, taking up a challenging expedition and making new friends.
The need to just get up and take off without much pre-planning and rigid travel itineraries has never been stronger in India. From day trips to weekend destinations, to tap into the business potential that the urban travel enthusiasts present, Vineet Rajan and Deepak Ananth started The RoadTrips Co (RTC) and ScoutMyTrip (SMT).
Both Ananth and Rajan were busy workers as part of corporate India with a passion for long drives and exploration. Their travel experiences led them to create to distinctive products with like-minded travellers. "The RoadTrips Co (RTC) and ScoutMyTrip (SMT) are very different in the way they promote passion and travelling, they explain.”
While RTC is for people who like travelling in groups and exploring the countryside close to their place of residence, ScoutMyTrip is a journey planner for travellers, individuals and families anywhere in the country with the help of a local at the destination or along the route to the destination. “We realised that travelling in India is full of uncertainties and there is an overload of information before planning a trip,” the duo explain.
RTC allows you to discover a popular destination such as Lonavla from a very different lens. “Similarly, through the scout network at Scoutmytrip, the experiences are tailor-made for the traveller; what they like and what they want to do. Be it off beaten tracks or oft visited destinations, each trip is unique,” add Ananth and Rajan.
Both help you plan better with recommendations on local cuisine, home stays, culture and more to make every road trip memorable.
Rules to follow when going on a road trip
Plan ahead. A key thing that one must do is not leave your holiday planning to chance. It’s not just about booking hotels after every few kilometers but also understanding the routes, road conditions, etc. The best way is to talk to locals or people who have visited the destination before and understand what can be realistically done while on a road trip.
Be prepared for eventualities. Even after planning ahead, one needs to be prepared for contingencies with basics kits such as a functional tool kit, clearly marked alternative routes, food halts, fuel stops, etc. Nothing is more harrowing than being stuck in the middle of nowhere with no chance of rescue.
Follow the rule of the land. Always follow the traffic rules, local customs and otherwise while travelling. Remember that we are guests in the given land, so respect the locals there. One key thing that we ensure on all our trips is to leave the destination cleaner. Do not litter, and carry back any waste that you might have generated so that you may dispose of it responsibly.
5 favourite road trips in India
Leh-Ladakh region – The sheer raw beauty of nature in this region and simply experiencing the Himalayas in its full grandeur and magnificence is just breathtaking.
The Wildlife of Madhya Pradesh - From witnessing tigers in the wild to spotting other inhabitants of the jungles in the true heart of India, a drive through MP is a brilliant experience.
The Rann of Kutch - The ruins of the mighty Indus Valley Civilisation at Dhola Vira and seeing the vast white expanse of the salt plains, the undiscovered beauty of Kutch is worth a visit.
The Untouched North East – The one-horned rhinoceros at Kaziranga National Park in Assam, the pristine nature in Meghalaya and Nagaland, the first sunrise in India at Arunachal Pradesh, a drive through India’s north east is a powerful stimulant for the traveller.
Green Maharashtra – Monsoon in Maharashtra is a sight to behold! What is dry and barren in summer is lush green in different hues; the flowers at the annually blooming Kaas valley and the undulating coastal belt with hamlets to experience sumptuous food is an adventure best explored via roads.