On the road with the Kapoors: Lessons from our post-lockdown family road trip
Last month, after days of being overwhelmed with non-stop work and managing life in times of Covid, my wife decided to go out of town with our family for a short getaway. We had just announced the surprise holiday on 17th August at work, giving us a long weekend to just relax and rejuvenate.
We couldn’t wait to hit the road. Travelling for the first time post-lockdown came with its own set of challenges, but we were ready to set out with caution. We now had just three unanswered questions -- ‘Where?’, ‘How?’ and ‘What?’ to do on this getaway.
All roads lead to…
The answer to ‘Where?’ to go for the weekend was fairly straightforward. We had to pick a place where we could easily drive to.
A trip in times like these is best enjoyed in the safety of your own car. While there are so many fantastic destinations near Delhi, we choose Udaipur and Jaipur in Rajasthan for this break.
This was primarily because of Rajasthan’s close proximity to Delhi and hassle-free entry and exit for tourists visiting the state. Conventional travelling and sightseeing was completely out of bounds and a safe, socially distant staycation to break free from the daily grind was what we needed as a family.
The ‘stay’ in your staycation
The most crucial aspect of any road trip and staycation is the actual stay in itself. As parents, we needed to ensure that we picked a property where all safety and sanitation measures were in place. Honestly, it wasn’t such a Herculean task to pick a property in both Udaipur and Jaipur as we first imagined it would be. We shortlisted two stunning properties with strict safety and sanitation measures in place.
Digital payments, contactless check-in, check-out and service at the property was seamlessly executed and just what we needed while travelling with kids. Handling and sanitisation of our luggage, car and the room in itself build the confidence we need on this trip.
Pro Tip: Avoid crowded common areas such as hotel lobbies, restaurants and make the best use of their outdoor facilities and order room service when it comes to food.
Road trip checklist
We live in times where a grocery run feels like a pre-planned and elaborate affair. One can only imagine how a road trip outside the state would feel. Travelling in times of Covid-19 calls for a meticulously planned trip.
Here’s how we did it:
- We planned our trip in detail and also made reservations ahead of time. Most hotels require a pre-confirmed booking before your arrival so that you have a hassle-free check-in and service
- We started our trip early in the morning so that we did not miss the beautiful drive and the sunrise
- Joys of travelling includes stopping at famous highway eateries for a meal. We did find that a lot of restaurants on the highway were following protocols and that was a comfortable feeling. We were carrying our food but was not needed
- To entertain the kids, we made sure that we took their favourite books, board games and toys with us
- If you a lens junky like me, pack your camera and get ready to capture some fun moments from what will definitely go down memory lane
When on the road...
- Stay alert and download the contact tracing app, Aarogya Setu for more information on the spread of Covid-19
- Make sure you have FastTag in your car so that you can pass through highway tolls without stopping. Don’t forget to pre-load your payment wallet linked to FastTag so that the toll tax gets auto-debited from your account
- Before you start your journey train your children on all safety practices and make sure that you pack their bags with everything they need to keep them safe and sanitised at all times
- Needless to say, carry your safety and sanitisation gear with you all times, including tissues, hand sanitisers, masks, disinfectant wipes and sprays for your car. Make sure you are stocked up and you do not run out of it during the trip
The best part about the vacation was the sheer joy of spending uninterrupted time with family without being bogged down by zoom calls, cooking and household chores. The amazing food in Rajasthan was one of the best parts of our trip.
We tried new things for the first time like aloe vera curry and missi pancake. Each meal was a delight!
While the stress of travelling post-lockdown and numerous suggestions pouring in from all quarters was overwhelming at times, the sheer joy of a break with the family was worth all the pre-planning and effort. I urge everyone to take this opportunity to rest, recuperate and reconnect with the great outdoors with due safety and caution, of course.
This entire pandemic situation has reminded me of something important -- we live in a country that is so beautiful and culturally rich; there is just so much to see and experience just a stone's throw away from where we live!
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)