The comfort of halting at your preferred location without the hassle of looking for accommodation. Not being bound by check-in or check-out rules, allowing for more flexibility to explore... All this and more prompted Jigyasu Joshi, Himanshu Jangid, Yogesh Kumar and Pranav Sharma to set up Carvaa Travelers Private Limited.
The four friends—with a passion for wanderlust—had just returned from a trip to Uttarakhand and knew they wanted to go on many such journeys. But they did not want the added worry of accommodation. The logical step was buying a caravan.
However, it turned out that there were very few caravan service providers in India and those who were there had exorbitant rates.
“We started researching about how to make it an affordable option for everyone. Caravanning is the most sustainable way of travelling,” says Joshi. Soon the four friends co-founded the caravan rental startup based out of Delhi. Launched amidst the pandemic, it aims to upgrade comfortable travel experience within the country at an affordable price.
Did the pandemic affect their plans? “While we had to postpone our launch due to the pandemic, the coronavirus also resulted in an increase in the number of people wanting to rent a caravan for their next trip,” says Sharma. The co-founders realised that the travel landscape had changed post the pandemic and travellers preferred taking road trips.
“Due to this change, the culture of caravanning in India has also started to catch on. We have received an overwhelming response not just in terms of renting but also manufacturing. Given the van-life ecosystem, it is safe to say that caravan renting will pick up pace in the Indian travel market,” says Kumar. Also, there is no compromise on hygiene.
After each trip, the vans are sent for a wash and basic servicing. “Before handing them over to a traveller, we sanitise all the spaces,” says Joshi. The co-founders remember how one of the first travellers to rent their caravan decided to explore the entire Konkan Coast and was looking at an 8,000km drive. In the beginning, he faced issues with adjusting in the van and was driven to frustration.
“He gave us a call on the fourth day saying he wanted to return the van. However, he decided to take a day off from driving the van and start afresh. Not only did he successfully complete his long journey, but he told us the journey had changed his perspective regarding travel. ‘It made me feel liberated,’ he said,” Jangid says with a smile.
The brand currently offers two options a caravan in which five people can be accommodated, and another for three people (excluding driver).
Both the vans are completely equipped with all the things that one might need in a room a well-stocked kitchenette, utensils, refrigerator, drinking water, water for other purposes, washroom, camping tents, a portable music speaker, pillows and quilts, among other things.
The charges are on a per-day basis for the larger van it is Rs 6,000 per day and Rs 5,500 per day for the smaller one. The fuel, state and toll taxes are to be borne by the travellers. The four friends are looking forward to setting up a manufacturing unit wherein they can design and customise caravans as per demand. The roadshow has just begun.