Resolution 2020: Here’s How to Plan Your Travel For the Long Weekends of the Year
What’s the most often repeated statement every December? ‘The year went by so quickly!’ And isn’t that really true, every year? 2019 was no different. There we were, recovering from the excesses of the New Year party of 2019, making plans for the coming year, making resolutions and what not. And lo, it’s time for another New Year party in just a few days.
As the year comes to an end, let’s renew our pledge to travel more and travel further. And it would seem like the year 2020 is going to be super helpful. We glanced through the calendar and saw that there is an abundance of long weekends that the year is peppered with.
Let’s jump in and see how the weekends are stacked up in your favour. To make it easier for you, we’ve split the year into four quarters. This way you can plan at least one vacation per quarter and make four fantastic trips to unseen, unexplored, untouched parts of the world.
January to March :
What do the first three months get us?
February 21st – Friday, Mahashivratri
March 10th – Tuesday, Holi
It’s the Indian winter, which means it is the perfect time to head to the coast where the weather is pleasant and welcoming. Let’s kick start the year with some idyllic coastal tours.
Allow the first month of the year to pass you by. Get down to serious work and show your boss what a dedicated employee you are. So that when you inform him about taking off for a long weekend, your boss is unlikely to object. There are two options for you to choose from. The first is in February, around Mahashivratri, which is on a Friday. You can just stick to the three days or tag on a Thursday or a Monday. Then there is Holi on March 10th, which is a Tuesday. If you’ve been a good worker, then you can surely take the Monday off and turn the weekend into a 4-day break.
The next question is where do you go? Luckily for us, India is a peninsula with numerous coastal options to choose from. There is everybody’s favourite holiday destination, Goa. Idyllic beaches, inviting shacks, perfect weather and delicious food. What’s to say no to?
However, if you want to beat the crowds, how about traveling to some other states this time? You can head to the east and pick coastal Odisha or West Bengal. Walk along the charming lanes of Kolkatta and take a drive down the Howrah Bridge. In Odisha, you can visit the famous Konark Temple and also enjoy long walks along the beaches of Puri.
In the south, the states of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu will envelop you in their welcoming embrace. If you wish, you can plan for an adventure-filled holiday in Andaman. Snorkelling, undersea walks and endless days swimming in the beautiful waters – that’s the real stuff holidays and memories are made of.
Before you know it, three months of the year have already passed you by. Summer is making its presence felt and it’s time to bid adieu to the sweet chills of winter. There are numerous long weekend possibilities coming up and you better start working on getting your boss on your side.
Just look at the number of long weekends available:
April 2nd – Thursday, Ram Navami
April 6th – Monday, Mahavir Jayanti
April 10th – Friday, Good Friday
May 1st – Friday, Labour Day
May 7th – Thursday, Buddha Poornima
May 25th – Monday, Eid-ul-Fitr
Which is the best destination to enjoy an Indian summer holiday? Heed the call of the hills; this is the ideal time to visit as winter is starting to lose its bite and summer is yet to make a full appearance. India is a blessed land and some of the most amazing hill stations are scattered across this beautiful country.
The mountain ranges of Himachal Pradesh have long appealed to the discerning traveller. Pack your bags and head to the hills to take a break from the mundane and the ordinary. Take your pick from the more than 20 hill stations, each one prettier than the other. The crisp cold air, blue skies, pristine environs and a breath-taking landscape awaits you.
Further west, you have the picturesque holiday destinations of Darjeeling and Sikkim. Gossamer wisps and sun-kissed mountains will be your companions as you walk along narrow mountain trails. The mountains of Jammu need no description, do they? Even in summer, the snow-capped peaks remain white, and are a spectacular backdrop to your vacation.
Head on south where you can lose yourself in the quaint hill stations of Kodaikanal and Ooty. The verdant slopes and the stunning silence are your only travel partners along this journey into the unknown.
A summer vacation to international lands might be a great way to give the kids a change. Singapore and Dubai are both fantastic family destinations and there are several value-for-money travel packages available with Thomas Cook.
The winds of change are sweeping across the nation and bringing along much respite from the summer heat. Say hello to the monsoon. Most of us dream of piping cups of tea and hot pakodas, but why do you need to sit at home or work for that? Step out and drench your soul in the rich monsoon that India is famous for. We wouldn’t recommend it, but you can always call in sick, can’t you? Sick of work and the routine, that is.
August 3rd – Monday, Raksha Bandhan
August 31st – Monday, Onam
The monsoon in India takes over everything – the skies are heavy with rain; and everywhere people are eagerly waiting for the splash of water to rejuvenate and revive the parched earth. The glory of the monsoon is best experienced outdoors, that too by heading out to trails that will allow you to immerse yourself completely in the delight of the shower. It doesn’t just rain in India; it pours. Lakes and rivers overflow; streams spring forth from the land; the brown earth turns green overnight; birds chirp nonstop and the earth seems to be dancing in joy.
Where can you go to join in the celebration? There are numerous monsoon trails to explore in these three months, but here are our recommendations.
Take a short monsoon break to Goa. It’s not peak tourist season so that makes it perfect for a quick family getaway or with someone special. Even if you choose to stay indoors, you can simply relax as you watch the rain cascade down the glass windows of your room. Unwind with a book and some hot tea and pakodas, and you are set for a spectacular vacation.
In the southern parts of India, you can choose between Gokarna, Kerala or Tamil Nadu. The monsoon has an entirely different charm there and you can lose yourself in the swaying trees or slow down the pace of life in a houseboat.
Up in the north, Nainital and Shimla make for perfect getaways in the monsoon. Carry some light woollens as it can get a bit nippy at night. The towns are quite popular during this season, so you might not get the place to yourself, but don’t let that deter you from making the most of the vacation.
Before you know it, the next year will be rushing to an end, and we will say to ourselves (once again), ‘That year went by fast’. And it definitely will, when you know that you spent a good time of it travelling and enjoying yourself to the fullest. If your boss turns around and wonders where you went, don’t worry. The last quarter of 2020 has a lot of holidays on Mondays and Fridays, which means you don’t even need permission to pamper yourself a bit.
This is what the long weekends look like:
October 2nd – Friday, Gandhi Jayanti
November 16th – Monday, Bhai Dooj
November 30th – Monday, Guru Nanak Jayanti
December 25th – Friday, Christmas
End the year on a wild note, and no, we don’t just mean a New Year party! There are several wildlife parks and destinations that are just perfect for this time of the year.
When one thinks of wildlife sanctuaries, some more popular names come to mind immediately. But there are numerous other places that you can visit too. In the south, you can plan to delve deep into the forests of Munnar or Thekkady. Dream destinations for any wildlife enthusiast, this is a great way to spend an exciting weekend. In the western corridor of India lies Tadoba, home to India’s national animal, the tiger. Take a trip into the jungle and perhaps you might spot the elusive creature as it comes out for a drink of water. Sunderbans in the east offer you yet another opportunity to spot the tiger. The mangrove islands are silent and give you a glimpse of the wild side of nature.
For those of you who live in the north, a trip to Jim Corbett seems just right. The nation’s first national park, this is a protected tiger reserve and you can take a jeep safari right into the jungle where you might spot the majestic cat.
This year might be coming to an end soon, but there’s always the next one. And with these dates in mind, you can start planning for the whole year right away, and make sure you don’t miss a single opportunity to see the world.