With Drive-to Destinations, Travel Won't Be a Distant Dream With the onslaught of COVID-19, things changed for most businesses including theirs. However, the charm and high of running a business during a crisis may not be pleasant but can be hugely gratifying and they managed to do a fair bit of that

By Devendra Parulekar

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"It's no doubt that your next vacation will probably be a road trip, but the bigger question is when will we feel safe enough to even take a road trip.'

With the onslaught of COVID-19, things changed for most businesses including theirs. However, the charm and high of running a business during a crisis may not be pleasant but can be hugely gratifying and they managed to do a fair bit of that.

"Destinations to rule the game'

The way people's lives are panning out in the current scenario, it's like the library's dystopian section slyly moved to non-fiction. What else explains travelling with masks and face shields, waiting for 3 hours before onboarding a flight, and giving calculated hugs to those you love? And so, unless absolutely essential, one doesn't want to take a flight considering the number of touchpoints there may be on the way. Public transport, on the other hand, has a problem with the term itself. The probability of being exposed to the unknown is aplenty and the crowd doesn't help either. Keeping a tab on the travel history of those around is a herculean task, too, and one can never be sure. You're going to look at any stranger as an asymptomatic carrier of the virus.

But right now all everybody wishes for is to escape the traps of their daily household chores and somebody to pamper them. And so, they would ordinarily prefer driving to private vacation homes that are COVID-proof and are 2-6 hours from major cities like Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, and Delhi. Not only are they safer than hotels but also one can have the entire space to themselves. Putting together a combination of best hygiene practices, small groups, quick getaways, and safe accommodation spaces, drive-to destinations - or destinations - will pick up and how! To that effect, most of the homes they offer are perfectly poised.

How about doing nothing...

When it was said that 2020 is going to be "My Year', people should have really thought that through and completed the sentence. At the moment, it's turned out to be "My Year' of cleaning, "My Year' of doing the dishes, "My Year' of cooking...the list is endless. As they say, be careful what you wish for but more importantly, complete those sentences, guys!

Since everyone's been doing too much, how about doing nothing? People are craving for a real holiday where they're pampered, get a piece of some unhindered clear skies, put their feet in the pool, and surrender themselves to the place. Taking this thought ahead, people in this industry have introduced long-term stays and workstation packages where one does not have a checklist of things to see or do. There's no agenda apart from eating, sleep, pool, and repeat at these fully-serviced homes.

Devendra recalls a colleague telling him about how her pet, at the start of the lockdown, was tired of having them around and that the pet blatantly started ignoring his colleague. Point being, there should be renders pet-friendly homes for the guest's pets to have a fun time too.

...or maybe something

Remote working, for several firms, has already proven to be a success. Many have already announced their plans to make it a permanent model - case in point, Twitter. And so, if one is anyway working from home, why not work from a lovely pool villa where one has the entire home to themselves. And that's where the concept of workstation comes into the picture. Their work-friendly homes with inspiring settings, ideal working corners, high-speed internet will assure that this trend stays for good. Post work, you can play a game of TT, head for a swim, or just have a cup of coffee as you see the setting sun.

When life gives you Corona, make it destination or staycations or workstations.

Devendra Parulekar

Founder SaffronStays

An avid traveler, photographer and a hacker/ cyber security specialist, Mr. Devendra Parulekar is the Founder of SaffronStays – Where Families Bond, a micro-hospitality collective.

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