BENGALURU: Young couples aren’t happy hanging about in different corners of the city, even if it means a private dinner on a helipad or being driven around in a vintage car while being toasted with champagne. They would rather make an impromptu trip to a far-off country where they can share simple experiences together.
The hospitality sector is making experience packages around specific interests such as for music, dance or art. Ahmed Hussain, Assistant Manager – Marketing in a leading hospitality firm, says that they collaborate with firms and people who offer services aligned to these interests, and curate packages. He adds that people now even plan V-day experience trips with friends, co-workers and pets, and not just with romantic partners.
Travel agents note that few couples want to head out of the city because they find all the ‘romance in the air’ too stifling. Maithli Trivedi, a branch manager at an agency, says, “On V Day, every place is overbooked and the city is crowded with promotional offers. People these days want to get away from all of this and make it a Valentine’s week. We target this crowd, of 25- 40 years, and plan trips that do not burn a hole in the pocket. A week-long trip abroad can cost anywhere between `1 to 3 lakhs, while a packaged trip to a quaint hill station might range from `50,000 to `80,000.”
Sharath Nair and Gayatri Maskai are travel enthusiasts, and bloggers, at navybluepassports.com. “Last Valentine’s Day, Sharath had planned the usual Valentine’s dinner. However, when we got to talking, we decided to simply take off to some place, and booked an impromptu trip to Cyprus. It was completely worth it,” says Gayatri.
Perhaps, the availability of easy and cheap travel has changed romantic getaways. “We are indeed a blessed generation, to have these countless travel options. Ever since we got married, we have relied extensively on Airbnb and have embraced this revolution wholeheartedly,” says Sharath, Strategy and Business Development Manager in the retail sector. His wife, Gayatri Maskai, a Marketing Manager with the largest bank in Dubai, says, “We usually look for an experience and there isn’t any dearth of it now. Our trips together help us escape the monotony of the 9-5 life; travel is now a part of life, very much like going to the mall.”
Deepti Kundra and Shan Patel, both architects, combined their love for work and passion for travel and visited the American Natural History Museum in New York and the Art Institute of Chicago.
“This was our annual vacation plan and we decided to make a trip to the US on Valentine’s Day. We have been planning and preparing for it for a year and wanted to visit all the places we are interested in. We booked a Valentine’s Day package through a travel agent who customised it according to our love for art. The package also included other services such as wine, chocolates, dinner and so on,” says Deepti.