That phrase sends a tingle up my spine. And if you spend any time on social media (d’uh!) you must have seen it popping up with a few ads, for good measure. Then, of course, it becomes mandatory to take a quick fantasy vacation “just to see what is there”. No harm looking , right? If you enjoy travel, you have a growing wish list of favorite destinations. The only thing stopping you from booking those tickets, is the high price. What a spoiler!
Yet, with summer vacation around the corner—yes, the final exams will finish in March, followed by almost three months of summer holidays—it would be really nice to take a break and go on a family vacation. But there is also the thought of those heavy expenses looming overhead, when the new academic year begins in June.
Now is the time to start planning, stop envying all those vacation pictures on Facebook and Instagram, and figure out the best way to make it happen, and make some memories of your own!
But first, lets look at the “why”
Why should you go on a family vacation?
Because it is fun to get away from the routine and breathe.
With hectic lives being the order of the day, for both parents and children, it isn’t always possible to spend as much time together as we’d like to. So yes, most families make it a point to eat together, but connecting at the dinner table alone is not enough.
There are weekends, of course; but if you are anything like our family, you’re busy getting ready for the week ahead and promise yourself that when the next weekend comes, you’ll definitely plan something. A wonderful thought that takes its own sweet time to convert into action.
Truth is, your family and you need a change of place to forget about the daily chores and routine and stress, at least for a short while.
Imagine taking off to a destination you always wanted to visit. What a breather, right? Whether you are the sort that prefers an adventurous holiday or want to just sit back and relax, the idea is to spend time together, rejoicing in each other’s company.
India has no dearth of exotic locations to explore with family. Last year, with this very thought in mind, we sat down to discuss possibilities. Since Sury had a conference coming up in Goa, we saw it as a nice chance to go along and spend 2-3 days together. We started looking at OYO Budget hotels in Goa.
I’ve stayed in three OYO hotels and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The website itself has enough filters to narrow it down to exactly what one wants, and more often than not, you end up with an almost premium room at budget rates. In addition, they offer standardized facilities, like free Wi-Fi, power backup, comfortable bed, complimentary breakfast, etc., without charging you a fortune, making them a great choice. In fact, OYO, which is India’s largest branded network of hotels, offers economical stay options without compromising on room facilities, with standardized and affordable accommodation.
For us, that took care of the budget side of it, because obstacle to vacations is the exorbitant cost of accommodation. Here is what we learned to do, to enjoy our family vacation on a budget.
Book a hotel that provides standard amenities in your budget
I remember, during one of our trips, we made the mistake of booking a special tourist package that explicitly mentioned three star accommodations, including names of the hotels. However, reality was different. They offered a rather poor alternative and our family vacation turned out to be a dreadful experience in terms of stay, since we had no choice but to take a room on the third floor, with no elevator. Basic amenities like hot water were unavailable and the beds . . . the less said the better. We couldn’t wait to get away! Looking for another place on our own was not an option as it was late at night in a strange place—so we just stuck it out. We decided that next time, we’d plan our own itinerary and stay options, since choice of hotel matters a lot.
Luckily, one can book a nice budget hotel that treats you like a guest. We see OYO Rooms as the ideal choice of those in terms of budget and quality of stay. It is interesting how OYO Rooms work. There are thousands of hotels registered at OYO Rooms across the country. So while looking for hotels on the OYO website, one can go through the amenities section of different hotels to zero in on the best stay option. When I went to Calcutta last year in December, that’s exactly what I did. I looked for a decent hotel that was not only comfortable, but also reasonably priced, and close to my place of work. Which brings me to the next point.
Look for hotels that are located close to major attractions of a tourist place
A vacation obviously means the joy of exploring all the major attractions. Imagine booking a hotel that’s far off and you have to spend half your time travelling back and forth! You can avoid the stress and strain, and of course, save money by booking a hotel that is close to major attractions, and with easy access to transportation. When I booked my hotel with OYO Rooms, I was able to filter choices by distance from my preferred locations. I also looked for restaurants, markets and other interesting spots, and I must say it was good value for money.
Make use of discount coupons
One of the best things today is the sheer competition in the hospitality sector, with the customer emerging winner, what with lucrative discounts and offers. You’ll agree that discounts are like added benefits, so why let them go unused? Different discount options can save a significant amount of money with hotel bookings, which is good, especially for those on a budget.
Book a hotel in advance to avoid peak time rush
If you are planning your vacation to a tourist place in peak time, it is best to make your hotel booking well in advance, since peak time demand is high, and it becomes difficult to get the hotel of your choice, and within your budget. When you plan ahead, you enjoy both availability and more options.
So, rather than giving up on the idea of a family vacation because of the cost, it is better to plan ahead, and book your accommodation within your budget. Once that is done, the only thing left to do is pack up and go, enjoy quality time with your family, even if it is for a couple of days. I am already busy exploring places to go, as April is just around the corner and I want to beat the rush by making plans.
How often do you go on vacation? Would love to hear it in the comments.
Don’t skip your family vacation just because you are on a budget!