The software industry has enabled more Indians to travel than ever before. This sudden increase in the number of travellers and the restrictions on time that all IT employees face, creates a unique set of problems for a software engineer interested in exploring the world.
Since holidays coincide across most companies in the software industry, the odds are high that you will be sharing your long weekend with a majority of people from the industry.
Around every major city, there are a few vacation spots that can be covered over a long weekend (about 3 to 4 days). This results in resorts, hotels and home stays increasing the price of the rooms. If you decide to drive down to the place, most times the drive ends up as a frustrating experience, because of the sheer number of vehicles on the road. In addition, most of the vacation spots would be crowded as well.
Long weekends are the only shared vacation time that engineer couples of today get. It is bad to waste away the vacation fighting crowds. One way of dealing with this, is to add a couple of days to your long weekend. If it is a 3 day holiday, if you can add one or two days, then you will be able to travel to destinations that are less crowded.
They say never judge a book but its cover. The same applies to booking resorts and hotels online. Please do not go by the pictures posted on the website. Every hotel or resort online has pristine views, clean and sanitized rooms with beautiful furniture, amazing food presented beautifully and staffed by people who are always smiling and look very happy. In reality, most resorts are badly maintained, have tasteless or bland food and staffed by people who really have no interest in the job at hand.
All is not lost though. Try to read online reviews of the resort. If you are planning to book a homestay, call them up. Ask them about the kind of food you are going to get. If you know friends who have travelled to the place, get their feedback. These simple steps can help you select a really good place for your vacation.
It is important to capture precious moments in our life, so that we can appreciate and reflect on them in future. The flip side of this argument is that, you should also enjoy these moments in the present. Most people with cameras, spend so much time behind the lens, trying to capture the present that they fail to truly enjoy the vacation. A good habit is to set aside your camera for at least one day of your vacation. It is alright if you don’t have a snap to show for it, you will remember these moments with joy.
With the range of devices at our disposal, and net connectivity to go with it, it is very hard to disconnect from the online world. Vacations, predominantly are times to bond and build shared memories. However, with the advent of hand held devices, each individual assumes he or she is in a private bubble, which they carry wherever they go. Unless we come out of these private bubble, we will not truly discover the world around us. Leave world news alone for a couple of days, and listen to birds sing to each other. There are stories here too, which are more enjoyable if you spend the time to hear them out.
(Photo from: http://www.indiatvnews.com/news/india/coin-shortage-leads-to-traffic-jam-at-dnd-flyway-11781.html)
As holidays are few and far between, the long weekend is almost like the holy grail of vacations. Most people try to pack in as much activity into these three or four days as possible. This results in the long weekend vacations almost becoming a chore. People come back from these vacations more stressed out than they were going in.
One way to get around this, is to set a limit on the number of things you want to do. However, if everyone's interests are varied, it would be a good idea to split up. This way everyone gets to see what they are interested in.
This is for the travellers who decide to drive down to their destination. Most times, resorts have a check in time, followed by set times for most activities in the resort or sightseeing trips. If we delay our arrival at the resort, we feel that we might be missing some of the activities that we have paid for anyways. As a result, we zoom from our home to the resort. Once the vacation ends, we are worried about the traffic condition on the drive home. So, we zoom back home, trying to get through the traffic as quickly as possible.
This does not have to be the case. Keep an eye open on the drive, there are always interesting places to stop. If nothing stop by the road side chai/tender coconut shop. Sit back enjoy a couple of sips. You will be amazed how quickly these pit stops help you get into vacation mode.