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Travellers are more mindful about following protocols of social distancing and ensuring proper sanitisation and hygiene at all times for a hassle-free travel experience in the current scenario. Caravans are considered a saviour in these times for those who want a comfortable road trip experience. The van becomes your home for the duration of the trip that helps to avoid the hassle of inflated flying and accommodation costs, local transport, safety and hygiene and minimizing human contact.
Caravan trips may seem like an expansive mode of travel. Jigyasu Joshi, Co-Founder, Carvaa Travelers Private Limited speaks to IANSlife and opens up about how the brand was conceived and his aim to make caravanning not only an intimate but an economical and viable option for all budget groups.
Q: Do you think the Caravan travelling as a trend is gaining ground and is the Indian traveller ready for the concept?
A: We started working on launching Carvaa Travelers back in 2019. It has been 2 years and when we see the overall current tourism market, there is a significant increase amongst travellers looking for road trips options. The pandemic has further fuelled the trend to minimise human contact and ensure safety and hygiene conditions.
People have now started to experiment with their road trips and that is where caravanning comes in. We have come in contact with numerous people who either want to rent the Caravan for their next trip or buy one for themselves. We have received an overwhelming response for our Caravans. Not just in terms of renting but also manufacturing.
So in a way, travelling in a caravan as a trend is surely and gradually picking up. The best part about travelling in a caravan is that it gives you an immense sense of liberty and that is the very essence of travelling. The freedom of stopping or staying at a point that offers a picturesque view of a place, the freedom of sleeping under the starry night sky, freedom of cooking a fresh meal while on the move are some of the many things that make caravan travelling a wonderful preference.
Q: As safety is still a major concern in India, how do you manage the upkeep and sanitisation of the Caravans?
A: Safety does remain a point of concern when you are travelling. In order to deal with it, we make sure that whichever place the travellers are halting the van is first reviewed by our caretaker-cum-driver that goes along with the vans. Only after speaking with the locals nearby the halting area, we stop at the place overnight.
Apart from this, we have certain associations with homestays, camping areas, hostels and resorts in some parts of India where a traveller can go and park the van safely within their premises. We also have a very efficient GPS system in our Caravans and there is also an SOS button in times of emergency.
In order to deal with it, we make sure that whichever place the travellers are halting the van is first reviewed by our caretaker-cum-driver that goes along with the vans. Photo by Tobias Rademacher on Unsplash
However, travelling in a caravan is a pretty safe experience as one is always in charge of their sanitisation plus you don't have to eat outside food as you can cook inside the van. Moreover, we have hosted many couples, families and groups of friends in our Caravans and none of them has faced any major inconveniences or trouble. In fact, on Women's Day this year, we did a Caravan pool trip where 7 girls from various parts of India travelled across Himachal Pradesh for 10 days.
Q: Is the popularity only restricted to metros, or do you get bookings from other cities as well?
A: When we launched Carvaa we expected that our major clientele would be from metropolitan cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, among others. However, it was a surprise for all of us that the bookings and the queries started coming from all parts of India in the initial days itself. This boosted our morals and made us realise that travellers from across the country are willing to explore and travel in caravans.
Our social media presence and reach, especially Instagram has also been instrumental in many ways to get bookings and queries from various parts of India.
Q: How is a caravan designed to make it comfortable for travellers and challenges faced in setting it up?
A: We're currently operating with two Caravans, called 'Fine' and 'Rare'. Both the caravans have been thoughtfully designed by us. We have engineered them keeping in mind the comfort of travellers within the limited space inside the vans. With a capacity to accommodate 5 people, caravan 'Fine' is equipped with most of the essentials one might need during a trip.
There is a well-stocked Kitchenette, Utensils, Drinking Water, 180 litres of water for other purposes, washroom, camping tents, a portable music speaker, pillows and quilts, among other things. While we choose to call it 'Fine', the travellers can call it by any name they feel sounds best for it. As for the sleeping space, the camper van has a master bed, 2 sofa-cum-beds and 2 berths.
Beautiful LEDs on the ceiling make for a perfect ambience at night. The van also has a washroom with a shower. The shower can be fitted outside the van as well for taking bath in the open. There is enough storage space inside the camper van that can fit all your stuff. The modular kitchen has a 5-kg LPG cylinder and all the utensils for cooking your meals. With a capacity to accommodate 3 people, caravan 'Rare' is an apt choice for the adventure seekers.
The van promises comfort and utility even on rugged routes. The caravan is equipped with almost all the essentials you might need during a trip. It comes with a well-stocked Kitchenette, Utensils, Drinking Water, 130 litres of water for other purposes, washroom, camping tents, a portable music speaker, pillows and quilts, among other things.
The modular kitchen has a 5 kg LPG cylinder and all the utensils for cooking your meals. Apart from a sofa-cum-bed for sleeping, the roof of the van opens up revealing a cosy bunk bed covered from all sides. There is enough storage space inside the camper van to fit all your stuff.
While we choose to call it 'Rare', the travellers can call the Caravan by any name they feel sounds best for it. Since we have modified the Caravans all by ourselves, there were numerous challenges that we faced. The biggest of them all was the challenge to arrange for required resources for building the interiors.
There was a dearth of dealers dealing in appropriate items that we needed for the modification when we started fabricating our vehicles. It was a Herculean task to find out the right equipment without compromising on its quality. Apart from the infrastructural hurdles, understanding the rules and regulations around Caravans was also a tedious job. We had to run from pillar to post in order to get the right paperwork done for the Caravans.
Q: Are Caravans an expensive or economical option for travelling? What are the costs involved and how does it compare to other modes of travel?
A: In my opinion, travelling in a van is the most sustainable way of travel. It is a way of travelling that allows you to manage your work in the most efficient ways. It allows you to keep that balance between working and exploring. You could be sitting by a river bank while working on your laptop at one point of time and you may be sitting in the middle of a green pasture while working the next moment. Travelling in a caravan can be a luxurious or an economical option based on one's comfort. We, at Carvaa Travelers, are aiming to make caravan tourism an affordable mode of travel in India.
So, we have two Caravans -- one in which 5 people (excluding driver) can comfortably sleep in and the other with a capacity to accommodate 3 people (excluding the driver). One doesn't need to book a separate accommodation as the vans can be their humble abode for the road trip. We charge on a per-day basis and the charges for a 5-person Caravan and 3-person Caravan is Rs 6,000 per-day and Rs 5,500 per-day respectively (inclusive of Driver and GST). The fuel, state and toll taxes are not included in this price and have to be borne by the travellers.
In terms of cost, the per-day per-person cost in our caravans is as low as Rs 2,400 that includes the stay, commute, fuel, state taxes, road taxes and also a caretaker-cum-driver. Travellers don't have to pay extra for the local commute they do for exploring the city. They do save a good amount of travelling in the caravans and apart from that, given the current pandemic-era we are living in, it is also a safe way of travelling to a place.
Q: Pros and cons of Caravan trips?
A: Pros of Caravan trips:
* Save big while travelling in a Caravan
* Travel within the comforts of a home
* Enjoy picturesque views at any time
* It makes you understand the importance of limited resources and how to use them judiciously
* Gives you a different perspective about a lot of things
Cons of Caravan trips:
* The limited space gets messy very easily
* Always have to keep an eye on your water refilling
* It gets real tough when a caravan gets stuck in dirt
* If the waste tank is not cleaned properly, it can cause immense foul odour.
Q: Do you have plans to expand the business PAN India?
A: In the coming few months, we are aiming to set up our own manufacturing unit wherein we will be making caravans for sale. We are currently looking for potential investors for the same. Amidst the pandemic, slow travel has become the trend of the season. Caravan tourism that is a common concept in the West has now seen a surge amongst travellers in the last one year.
(Article originally written by N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Caravan, travel, space, money
By Prerana Agarwal Saxena
In all the wedding excitement, it's easy to overlook the impact a wedding has on the environment. While everyone is making their big fat Indian wedding dreams come true, they are also adding their carbon footprint and undue energy consumption. Modern couples are now looking for ways to have a wedding with a sustainably conscious mindset. It's become about incorporating less waste, locally sourced and seasonal food, natural materials over the use of plastic. Mindful wedding planning and decor includes the use of recycled paper and goods along with eco-friendly venue needs. Check out this quick guide to achieve a sustainably conscious wedding without compromising on luxury:
Choose locally sourced material to uplift artisans
Sustainable can be luxurious too, incorporate some native flavour into the decor and theme. With the use of locally sourced materials and local artisans coming into play, the wedding instantly becomes sustainable. Include the work of local vendors ensure minimal packaging requirements, thus saving on unnecessary plastic and lamination. It also decreases the need for transporting elements from other cities and hence lowers the carbon footprint. For instance, at one of our weddings, we made use of sand art for a setup in Jodhpur. This helped promote local work while also being environmentally friendly with zero wastage of other materials. In another instance from Rajasthan, the traditional glass-blown technique was used to build decor items while giving a cultural touch to the destination wedding.
Sustainable can be luxurious too, incorporate some native flavour into the decor and theme. | Photo by Jason Coudriet on Unsplash
Say yes to recycling
One should be mindful and avoid the use of plastic and other non-recyclable materials in decor wherever possible. It can be a small step such as making a conscious switch from plastic water bottles to copper jugs or glass bottles. Also use artificial floral decor thus minimising the wastage produced from real flowers. This recyclable decor is then donated to various NGOs, further ensuring sustainable use of resources. Such steps, however small they might be, keep the environment free from the release of any additional carbon footprint.
One should be mindful and avoid the use of plastic and other non-recyclable materials in decor wherever possible. | Photo by Ravin Rau on Unsplash
Go for zero-waste wedding decor
Make use of fabric as it enhances the elegance of the wedding while being sustainable. Include vibrant colours apt to the theme of the wedding and bring in bright sprightliness with breathable fabrics. Ensure to include LED lights for lighting. They can be incorporated as string lights or be used on passageways with innovative decor items. They also help conserve energy and bring in soulful energy for nighttime decor. Choose virtual invitations, keeping up with the digital times. Make a conscious choice of plated dinner menus rather than a buffet as they allow less wastage of food and ensure enough food for guests in attendance.
LEDs can be incorporated as string lights or be used on passageways with innovative decor items. | Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Include Sustainable Gifting
Gift sustainable wedding favours -- gifts that grow. Offering a plant or a succulent, is a great idea. One can also gift recycled organic fabrics and cutlery or zero-waste kitchen and bathroom essentials to use in their homes as some distinct gifting options.
Gift sustainable wedding favours -- gifts that grow. | Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash
Acting in the best interest of the environment and the society, Theme Weavers Designs has started a social cause, Weaving Hope, where a part of their earnings along with food and decor are donated to social communities. Royal Rendezvous, is an event started by us to put India on the Global Map, inviting international wedding planners to India to experience the rich culture and heritage, also employing and displaying the work of local artisans to this international audience.
By applying the values of sustainability, you can reduce the energy consumed and the resources used as much as possible. Go ahead and have a luxurious zero-waste wedding and navigate into the world of green living! (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Luxurious , Gift, sustainable, wedding favours, gifts that grow. Gifting, recycling, locally sourced, material. zero-waste
The Tamil Nadu health department has administered 16,43,879 lakh doses of vaccine in the second mega vaccination camp organised by it. The state public health department in a statement on Sunday said that this has taken the total vaccination to one crore since the beginning of September till date. The vaccination was administered from 7 a.m. till 7 p.m. and the compiled data was made available late at night.
The health department officials also said that as the state has almost exhausted its quota of vaccines, there would not be any vaccines on Monday. Regular vaccination will resume after the vaccine supplies arrive from New Delhi, officials said. The state health department had expected to vaccinate 15 lakh people on Sunday in 18,824 centres spread across primary health centres, anganwadis, noon meal centres, government hospitals, schools and some auditoriums.
The health department officials also said that as the state has almost exhausted its quota of vaccines, there would not be any vaccines on Monday. | Photo by Mat Napo on Unsplash
Of the 16,43,879 people who were inoculated, a total of 10,85,097 received their first dose and 5,58,782 their second dose of vaccine, the statement said, A total of 9,66,568 people in the age group of 18-44 were vaccinated on Sunday and vaccines were administered on 5,02,578 people aged between 45- 59 in the mega vaccine camps.
State health minister Ma Subramanian, who inaugurated the vaccination at Pollachi, also visited the centres in six districts -- Coimbatore, Erode, Namakkal, Tiruppur, Dharmapuri and Salem. The state government, according to the health minister, is to receive the next allotment of vaccines on September 21. Minister while speaking to IANS said, "We will be receiving the next allotment of vaccines on September 21 itself and we will resume vaccinations immediately. The state has already touched one crore vaccine-mark in the month of September till date." (IANS/MBI)
Keywords: COVID, vaccine, vaccination camp, Tamil Nadu, India, vaccinated, mega camp
Festivals are just around the corner and while you brainstorm about OOTDs (outfit of the day), don't forget the right makeup. Hanisha Kapoor, COO, ArchiesBeauty.com shares makeup trends experimented by these Bollywood divas throughout 2021 for inspiration. While some stuck to the classics, others mixed it up... take a look:
The Classic Red Lip
We don't see a future where classic red lips go out of fashion. The right way to achieve this celebrity look is to focus on accentuating your lips and keeping the rest of the face minimal. Give your lips a good scrub to plump them, moisturize and follow it up with a red lip liner to define the shape of your lips. Now go on with the perfect shade of red and finish your look with a slick of eyeliner, minimal concealer, and foundation.
We don't see a future where classic red lips go out of fashion. | Photo by Ina Garbé on Unsplash
No Makeup Look
Deepika Padukon is the perfect example of a no-makeup look. This natural beauty does a wonderful job of achieving the minimal soft look by softly cover any dark spots or blemishes and highlighting features she's most proud of. To achieve this start with concealer and use small dots to brighten your darker areas like under eye, corner of the nose or upper lip, and any visible spots, and set it up with loose powder. Apply a soft pink lipstick, light blush, and mascara.
Deepika Padukon is the perfect example of a no-makeup look | Wikimedia Commons
This look shouts pink. When it comes to rosy looks, Janhavi Kapoor does a phenomenal job. Everyone should try a rosy look once in a while. As we are focusing on only one shade, this look is pretty easy to achieve. Bring out your favourite pink lipstick, favourite pink blush, and a matching shade of eye shadow. Start with the base - concealer, and foundation and set it up with loose powder. Follow it up with eyeshadow, lipstick, and blush. Remember to draw a line by not using any pink mascara, eyeliner, or a bold shade of lipstick, as this is meant to be soft on the eyes.
When it comes to rosy looks, Janhavi Kapoor does a phenomenal job. | Wikimedia Commons
Glass Skin Makeup
The glass skin makeup is inspired by Korean skincare. This look is slightly complex with an equal focus on skin before makeup, so slather on those moisturizing serums and creams to prep your skin first. Start with a highlighting primer, keep your foundation and concealer minimal to avoid looking cakey. Follow it up with soft blush & nude lips and lots and lots of highlighter. Use the highlighter on the main points of your face, like upper cheekbones, the centre of the forehead, the tip of the nose, cupid bone, and chin. If you are feeling a bit extra, don't hesitate to put some on your shoulders and collar bones. This celebrity makeup look makes your skin glow without the need for a spotlight.
The glass skin makeup is inspired by Korean skincare. | Photo by 邱 严 on Unsplash
Pop It Up
Put a zing to your party look with the pop of funky colour. This look is meant to get you in the mood of partying all night. This works with your eye makeup while keeping the rest of the face minimal. Start with the base - concealer, apply a bit extra on your eyelids to make the colour pop. Don't mind going the extra mile and colour blocking your eyes with complementary colours on eyelids and under the eye. Apply nude lipstick and a soft blush to balance your look.
This look is meant to get you in the mood of partying all night. | Pixabay
(Article originally published by N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Celebrity, makeup, Deepika, Jhanavi, Korean, Red Lipstick, Glass Makeup, Pop makeup