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Travel market uplifts as long holi weekend approaches

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New Delhi: The long holi weekend has got people planning about their 4 day holiday as Holi this year falls on a Thursday and Good Friday the next day.

Mansav Sethi, an IT professional, is very excited. For the father of two children, a long weekend with his family is always a bonanza.

According to travel experts, many Indians are travelling during the long weekend, from March 24 to Easter Sunday on March 27, within the country and abroad.

An increased demand for travelling places during the long weekend is witnessed, says Ranjeet Oak, Chief Business Officer-Holiday of MakeMyTrip.com, India’s leading online travel company.

“We are witnessing an increased demand for Holi long weekend travel. So far, we have seen a 25-30 percent increase in bookings for different destinations and we expect a further increase in demand in the next week or so,” Oak said.

Goa, Kashmir, Himalayan hill stations, Corbett National Park, Ooty, Udaipur and Puducherry remained the main attractions during vacations, he said.

“MakeMyTrip is offering a comprehensive product bouquet to cater to this demand for popular destinations like Kashmir, Himachal, Goa, North East, Rajasthan and Karnataka,” he added.

Arti Vij, a housewife, feels that a short getaway during the long Holi holiday is the best way to unwind.

“It is not often that one gets such a long weekend. I feel this is the best time to holiday as the weather is also good,” said Vij, who is planning a holiday in Manali.

She added that even her children, two daughters, are really excited about it and looking forward to a break.

“They are really studying hard for their exams and they will get over by March 15. The atmosphere at home is stressful for them as well as for us. The new session will begin from April and then they will get busy with their classes.

“So we all planned to go out of the city during this long weekend, which suits my husband too as he won’t have to take leave from office,” added Vij, whose husband is a government servant.

According to Sharat Dhall, President, Yatra.com, a lot of people are planning a quick getaway because it is one of the longest weekends this year.

“Yatra has seen a tremendous pick up in hotel bookings and packages for the four-day weekend from all the major cities. We are expecting hotels and packages bookings to increase by three-fold as we get closer to the weekend,” said Dhall.

Besides Goa, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and other domestic locations, travelers are also opting for international destinations such as Dubai and Singapore for short getaway, he added.

Hari Nair, founder and CEO of Holiday IQ, feels that Indians are holidaying like never before and festival tourism had taken off in the country in a major way.

“Every possible occasion is now a reason to travel. Till a couple of years ago, festival celebrations were limited to family homes. Today, entire families travel together for the celebration,” Nair said.

Nair said destinations like Gangtok and Darjeeling were also much in demand.(IANS)(Image courtesy: blog.travelogyindia.com)

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The Very Best Things to do on Vacation in Hawaii

There are many different activities taking place every day in Hawaii, but the above 5 activities are some of the very best

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Hawaii is famous for its exotic beaches. Wikimedia Commons

When you’re planning your vacation in Hawaii you no doubt want to make sure you spend a lot of time in the sun and have a lot of fun. Once you’ve sorted out your rental house in Hawaii, and you’ve decided how long you’re going to stay you will need to start making plans. The good news is that we can give you a helping hand.

Hawaii is full of places to visit. VOA

Below you will find details of some of the very best things to do in Hawaii, helping to make your vacation one to remember:

Enjoy a Spot of Snorkelling

Why not dive into the blue waters and enjoy a spot of snorkelling? The seas in this part of the world are home to some turtles, beautiful fish and some incredible sights. Book a Turtle Canyon Snorkel Cruise, and head off on your tour which comes complete with snorkelling equipment that is suitable for anyone to use. If you’ve never snorkelled before, do not worry, the helpful and friendly instructors will assist you so you can dive into the water with ease.

As part of the cruise, you will be offered a couple of alcoholic drinks and unlimited alcohol-free drinks to enjoy as you make your way to Waikiki and Diamond head on a 16-foot catamaran, where you can take as many photographs as you wish.  Departing from hotels in Waikiki or the Kewalo Basin Harbour, this snorkelling tour should not be missed!

Visit Waikiki Beach

Most people go on vacation to Hawaii so they can enjoy the beautiful beaches and the stunning sunshine.  While you’re visiting this part of the world why not take a trip to Waikiki Beach and relax in the sun or under a palm tree? Listen as the clear blue waters brush up against the shore, and watch as boats, canoes, and divers enjoy their time on and in the water.

Apart from visiting beaches, there are many other things one can do in Hawaii. Wikimedia Commons

 

If you would like to avoid the beach when it’s busy, you may want to think about visiting early in the morning or as the sun is about to go down. Alternatively, you may also want to visit during the cooler months as there are fewer people on the beach then. Whenever you do decide to visit, you can be sure that you’ll have an amazing time on a beach that is known for its beauty and tropical feel.

Go Whale Spotting

We humans are not the only ones who enjoy the waters off the coast of Hawaii, whales love it too, and they can be spotted off the coast of Maui. Why not take the opportunity to hop on board a Maui Whale Watch Cruise and spend two whole hours spotting whales? Not only are you practically guaranteed to spot some of these magnificent mammals, but you will also get the chance to see them via an underwater webcam and a hydrophone, which is a type of listening device that picks up underwater sounds.

Also Read: Taking the Ancient Hawaii Dance form ‘Hula’ to 21st Century Art in US

Hawaii is also famous for its nightlife. Wikimedia Commons

Make sure you take a camera with you so you can get snap-happy when you spot a whale or two. The tour operates from December to May when the whales venture into the waters to breed, which is why you’re almost guaranteed to see them. With many different departure times and setting off from Lahaina, whale spotting will prove to be an unforgettable part of your vacation.

Take a trip to a Coconut Farm

Punakea Palms Coconut Farm is the ideal destination if you want to do something a little different while you’re in Hawaii. Walk around the farm and learn about how it works, how to get into a coconut, and enjoy its bounty. Understand how to cultivate coconuts and learn why they are so important to the local area. Located just outside of Lahaina, the coconut farm also gives you the chance to taste some very fresh coconuts. You will have to book a place on a 2.5-hour tour around the farm, but it is worth it as it’s a lot of fun.

Visit Princeville Botanical Gardens

If you have decided to spend a little time away from the beach and you want to visit somewhere peaceful Princeville Botanical Gardens is the right place for you. Owned and operated by the Robertson family who works hard to create a botanical paradise, the gardens are really beautiful. You will need to make a reservation before you can visit the gardens, but once you get here you’ll enjoy the breathtaking landscape and native Hawaiian plants.

Monsoon, Garden Lovers
Hawaii has some great gardens as well.

While you’re walking around the lush gardens you may notice that honey and fruit are grown in the area, and you’ll get the chance to sample some. Chocolate lovers will also enjoy tasting some locally produced chocolate that tastes divine. Open for tours on Mondays and Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, the Princeville Botanical Gardens need to be seen to be believed.

There are many different activities taking place every day in Hawaii, but the above 5 activities are some of the very best. If you’ve had enough of lounging on the beach for now, why not take a trip to a coconut farm, spot some whales as you cruise on a catamaran, and make your way around some magnificent botanical gardens. Finish off with a spot of snorkelling before you head to Waikiki Beach and relax in the sunshine as you feel the sand in between your toes, and feel a fresh breeze hit you as the sun beats down.