The Telegraph
Thursday , May 8 , 2014
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Escape from sultry summer, far-off
Travel bug takes flight to hills

The travel bug has bit the residents, hard.

“I got married on May 1 and I am planning to go on honeymoon to Dalhousie. I cannot take leave for too many days, so I am planning a two day-three night trip,” said Sheikhpura Mor resident Piyush Pandey, working with a private firm in Calcutta.

With the elections nearing its close and schools closing for vacations in a few days, people in the city are busy making vacation plans. The recent marriage season has led to queries for honeymoon destinations too. The favourites are hill stations in Himachal Pradesh (Shimla, Dalhousie), Bengal (Darjeeling) and Sikkim.

Naresh Arora, the co-proprietor of Sewak Tour and Travel, said: “This is the time for the last-minute queries. People are in the midst of making final decisions on where to go for the summer vacations. We are expecting good business in the next fortnight.”

Several tour and travel agents in Patna told The Telegraph that for the past few weeks they have registered queries for vacation packages.

On the trend, Arora said: “Hill stations look like the most preferred destination. People are opting for places like Shimla and Manali in Himachal Pradesh, apart from Sikkim and Darjeeling in Bengal.”

Those in a mind to fly for a Shimla-Kullu-Manali trip would have to shell out Rs 12,000-13,000 for a Patna-Delhi-Chandigarh (the nearest airport to Shimla) flight. An AC three-tier ticket would come at Rs 1,200. Arora said: “Airfare at this time is quite high, so there is a demand for train tickets to the destinations. But seats are not available till June by when the schools would reopen.”

Upendra Nath Mishra, the chief executive officer of Jatak Travels, said most of his clients are looking forward to the end of general election to indulge their travelling urges.

The tariff for a four day-three night vacation in hill stations like Gangtok and Shimla ranges between Rs 10,000 and Rs 13,000 a person. A week-long stay in Kerala and Goa would come for Rs 22,000-25,000 for each person. Bookings are aplenty for tourist hotspots in the southeast Asian countries too.

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