NEW DELHI: This Independence Day, Delhi is set to witness an exodus. With August 15 being a Tuesday, an off day on Monday means an extended weekend spanning four days, starting August 12.
A large number of Delhiites are planning getaways during the extended weekend and if you too are planning a short vacation but haven’t booked your travel tickets and accommodation yet, better hurry.
Air fares from Delhi to hot-favourite tourist destinations like Goa, Kerala and Rajasthan are
already touching the sky. For instance, while the usual air fare from Delhi to Goa is around Rs 3,000 for other days in August, the figure goes up to Rs 9,000 during the extended weekend. According to travel agents and tour operators, hotel rooms at most tourist destinations are also getting booked at a speedy rate.
“We usually see an upside in bookings for long weekends and are witnessing a nice uptake for August 15 extended weekend as well,” said Mohit Gupta, chief operating officer of travel portal makemytrip.com. “The air fare on peak days during long weekends always tend to be high as people book tickets months in advance,” he added.
However, if you haven’t booked your tickets yet, there is still hope though. “We are expecting the peak of booking to happen in the next week or so. We are still not seeing a sold out situation and peak booking usually comes a little closer to such weekends,” Gupta said. “August 12 and 13 are the big check-in dates and we are expecting peak bookings from August 2 and going on till August 9,” he added.
Gupta, however, said that weekend leisure destinations closer to Delhi and with fewer inventories, such as Shimla and McLeod Ganj, might prove to be a problem for those looking for accommodation.
“It is going to be a choked weekend and getting accommodation anywhere would be a big problem even if travel tickets are available,” said Rajji Rai of Travel Agents Association of India. “People should go for a complete tour package instead of just booking tickets and wait till they reach the destination to book a hotel,” he said.
While Rai said that Goa, Kerala and Rajasthan are the hot favourites, Subhash Goel, chairman of Stic Travel Group said that many people are traveling to southeast Asia and eastern Europe also. “There is a huge rush for destinations in these areas and it is getting very difficult to get flight seats. Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore are the most preferred destinations for the extended weekend,” added Goel.