Staying in Delhi NCR, It was really a long time since our last family vacation either due to the academics of my son or due to complete lockdown due to a pandemic and later followed with fear of pandemic. We stayed mostly indoors like many others globally.
During the last few months, some of the closely known also experienced Corona and recovered luckily without much damage.
In December’2020, when academics were over and started hearing about medicines, we also started thinking about some short family vacation before we start the new year with renowned energy and enthusiasm.
It was really a long-awaited break by the family but was not easy to decide and plan due to constant fear on the back of our mind about Pandemic and Protest.
Here are the 5 steps that helped us in deciding a short family vacation in December 2020 amidst fear of Pandemic & Protest
1 Decision: What Type of Location to Choose
The very first and important decision was as to where to go during this pandemic fear and what type of location to choose. This is how we decided:
- Hills stations: Winters already started and it's pretty cold so ruled out for vacation now
- City travel: Expected to be crowded and there is always a temptation to go shopping in city areas like Jaipur like Cities in Rajasthan & Cities in Gujarat.
- Far off place: Beach vacations and other far off places requires either train or air travel which again was not on agenda due to pandemic fear so ruled out
Final decision: Decided on a forest holiday within driveable distance from Delhi NCR and it was evergreen Jim Corbett. This type of location matches all our criteria as
- Less winter impact and open areas
- Less crowded and resulting in less point of contacts
- Drivable and going out of Delhi is not a problem due to protest
2 Decision: What kind of accommodation to search for
As there was fear of pandemics, the bigger question was, what kind of accommodation to look out for.
- Hotels: They seem to be crowded with more touchpoints. Also, there are fewer hotels in Corbett
- City accommodation: Again they seem to be crowded with more touch points and fear of pandemic transmission
- Resorts: Resorts has much more open space and less contact point
Important checkpoint if the hotels/resorts are taking all Pandemic safety and precautions to ensure a safe stay in the accommodation
Final decision: We opted for resort accommodation in Corbett that is also taking all pandemic safety and precautions. We checked with the resort also and went thru users feedback online
3 Decision: Drivable routes, state level covid requirements and timings
Once the location is decided, other important decisions are the micro-planning for the destination including
1. Pandemic requirements at the state level
- Browsed the Govt. website and online formalities of declarations completed. Luckily there were no requirements for the covid test reports for Corbett.
2. Drivable route
- We started following the newspaper and the latest situation on farmers protest
- research routes on the google map
- weather forecast if any heavy rains etc
- Since we need to cross the river Ganga enroute, we checked if there are any special events as it becomes very crowded on special days when lots of devotees come for a holy bath in the river Ganga
3. Timings to start the journey
- Too much early leaving will cause fog problem a
- Too late leaving will hit the local city traffic at most of the location enroute
Final decision: Finally decided as below:
- Target to leave by 5.30 am but finally left at 6 am. Largely the route was fine except for some fog at some stretches due to farms all around
- Return journey was a bit troublesome due to hitting the office traffic and local city traffic. The farmer's protest site was totally avoided to avoid getting stuck in unnecessary jam around that area. So took a diversion much before and take alternative routes to reach back home
4 Decision: Highway break for breakfast and snacks and other meals in the resort
This was another decision to be made as to where and how to manage breakfast. Choice was:
- Own arrangements from home: Too early to prepare things for a morning start
- Highway break at popular destinations
- Highway Break at popular but alternative destinations
- What about other meals in the resort
Final decision: We opted for a popular but alternative destination for a highway break for breakfast while going to Corbett and took a small tea break while returning home.
Such locations were also taking care of covid guidelines and are less crowded.
Inside the resort also, we took the buffet meal package and it was really taken care of well as the restaurant team themselves were serving the food and there was social distancing being maintained while serving the food. Guest by themselves cannot serve the food from a buffet.
5 Decision: Activities during Vacation
Though it was decided that we will have a leisure vacation but some activities were necessary to spend a good time thru out the day. The options:
- Jeep safari
- Enjoy nature and sit on the banks of the river
- Resort group activities
- Using resort club facilities etc
- We decided for a day to go for a Jeep safari to avoid the crowd with less or no touchpoint and enjoy the forest beauty in the middle of it.
- We also spent time near the river and felt the flowing water of the river with feet with open sunshine
- We avoided all group activities in the resort to avoid pandemic transmission
Finally, we could execute our vacation as per plan and reach back home safely.
It was surely a good break before the start of the new year and can start the year with fresh energy and hopes...
I wish you all Happy Travelling in the years to come...enjoy every bit of it...