Amit Jain, 36, a chartered accountant in a multinational company in Mumbai, likes to make spontaneous travel plans for weekends with his wife Poonam and 4-year-old daughter Riva.
“As both me and my wife work and our daughter is in the daycare for the week, getaways around Mumbai, in resorts and private properties, help us in reconnecting as a family," he said. Jain also makes such plans with friends and their families. “We went to this private bungalow last weekend, with the families of five of my former colleagues. It had food arrangements and a swimming pool. Such trips can cost anywhere between 5,000 and 10,000 per family per day, depending on the facilities" he added.
A lot of young couples, like the Jains, like to take travel breaks during their weekly holidays. And these breaks are not confined to domestic getaways like Mussoorie or Goa anymore, but include Thailand and Dubai too.
Unlike earlier, when couples mostly travelled for their honeymoon, now couples at various stages in life are choosing travel as an important part of their time together.
“This trend of couples taking frequent breaks, to cut the stress from their fast-paced lives, has picked up sharply in the last couple of years," said Sharat Dhall, president of travel portal Yatra.com.
“According to a trend analysis by Thomas Cook (India) Ltd, couple travel is not limited to just honeymooners, but also extends to three new traveller segments: working millennial and double income no kids (Dinks) segment; empty nesters with grown up kids and hence free from family responsibilities; and Gen S or senior citizens with disposable income and leisure time," said Rajeev D. Kale, president and country head, leisure travel, MICE, Thomas Cook.
“Today, the retirees in India are well-off financially and have more free time. They also go for long foreign packages to Europe, Dubai and Southeast Asia," added Dhall.
Travel and adventure
Many couples want to experience adventure-related activities together. Activities such as trekking, camping and hiking are also becoming popular among them.
Mumbai-based TrekMates Outbound Services Pvt. Ltd organises short trekking expeditions in and around Mumbai and Pune, and longer ones in the Himalayas.
“We see a lot of groups and individuals coming for our trekking events, which include couples as well. We organise short 1-2 days treks around Mumbai and longer ones of around 9 days in the Himalayas, which includes place like Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh and the Northeastern states," said Nilesh Patil, owner, TrekMates.
He added that such treks are also a popular with individuals, who have similar interests, to meet and plan in future expeditions together. Many of its more than 28,000 Facebook members also meet and plan such events. Usually, the prices of these treks start from 550 for one-day events and go up to 60,000 for 15-day treks.
A lot of destination resorts also offer in-house adventure activities, which adds to the popularity of the property.
“Apart from swimming pools, some of the resorts we have stayed in also have adventure corners with facilities such as rope climbing and wall climbing," said Jain.
Rafting and trekking are popular with couples, while cycling and bike trips are opted by more niche individual groups, said Dhall.
So the next time there is a long weekend, just get together and head out. The next long weekend starts on 13 August.