Do you need to travel for a vacation?

What is the farthest hotel booking you ever did for a vacation. 100 Kms, 200 Kms or more? 

Or can we have a vacation right in the city where you live? In my childhood, we went on picnics to parks & waterfalls; later in Delhi, we hiked through city forests & visited the likes of museums. But never did we stay away from home for a night, within the city!

The many reasons to travel!

Suman & I met for the first time to discuss a long distance travel. We traveled to Kasol few weeks later and then into one another’s life. During the first two years of our courtship, we traveled to hills and plains, almost every alternate months. And then there was June, when she travelled all alone for a month, at times away from any mobile network. During those days, I desperately wanted to travel, but only to be with her. 

Travel has many reasons & many meanings, i realised it then.

Author & partner at the pool of Umrao
Suman & Me by the Pool, our favourite place

Vacation woes of a married couple

Once we were married, we got so pre-occupied with settling down, our frequency of travel decreased. With more happening at work and less time to spend with each other, we traveled separately or with friends. 

Then, we traveled to explore new places together. But now that we are together every night, we wanted to travel to be away from what we were building – our daily life. It is probably then we understood what a vacation meant, in this phase of life. 

We were dying to go somewhere and do nothing since last many months! We desperately wanted a vacation. 

So when Suman told me about Travel Spice, few weeks back, my brain shouted ‘vacation’. We had just returned from Chindi (Karsog) two weeks back. As always we ended up deciding to explore the place than stay back at the hotel, after spending all that money to reach there – we are chindi  (meaning cheap in Hindi) like that 😉

How to steal a deal on your hotel booking 🙂

TravelSpice is an awesome concept, you choose a city & the kind of facilities you need in a hotel you wish to stay – and bid! That is it. TravelSpice will then get a room for you at a hotel which meets your expectation. You could reject & get a refund or go ahead and take that much-required vacation. 

We discussed & decided to try TravelSpice out. The daunting task was the ‘Where’! We had just returned from a 5 day trip and broke. It hardly made any sense to sped money to travel again, but we really needed a vacation – to sit & talk to each other. That bonding time which always eludes us.

So we chose Delhi as our destination & selected 4 star properties as our preference. INR 2,578 was spend and we waited for just two hours.

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We got The Umrao as our vacation destination – a semi-resort (4 star) property at the edge of Delhi, near the airport. I have always heard of Umrao as it is a much sought out location for weddings in Delhi. With sprawling lawns, a pool, restaurants & spa, it was a great choice. 

The nearest vacation in my life

As we checked in, the receptionist was not sure if the booking was legitimate! I couldn’t stop myself from chuckling, the poor chap had never heard of such low room rates at this property. A big win indeed, both the room rate & the cheap thrill in getting that deal!

The room was pretty spacious, though we had a twin bed joined together to form a double bed – but it didn’t matter. 

Umrao hotel room
Our hotel room at Umrao

We have never ever reached our destination so fast, and so fresh. To be honest, we didn’t know what to do. So we talked! – and it was a pleasant experience. It’s been many months since we had this kind of deep conversation.

We talked on & on, till it was time for a dip in the pool. They even had a Jacuzzi there, couldn’t get to use it since we were so focussed on the pool. For the next hour or two, we were just floating. 

Gorgeous sunset at The Umrao by the pool
Gorgeous sunset at The Umrao at our favourite location. Spot Suman? 😉

It was weird, even the camps near Parvati (where we fell in love) had never been so comfortable. They were comfortable in a different way, but never in this leisure fashion. We binge watched movies, slept like babies and woke up real late. 

Umrao also has an elite club and the breakfast had more people than it could accommodate in its rooms. The food was fine but the restaurant staff were very courteous. We wanted to spend some more time in the pool but decided against it & headed back to our room. After all it is a vacation!

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At about 11 AM, we checked out and headed home. An INR 80 and 30 minutes later, we were home with the same feeling of content & wanting (more) after every trip. Who would have thought that we could have a vacation by travelling just about 10 kms from our home!

What is the least you have travelled for a vacation?

disclaimer: The idea of using TravelSpice was suggested by a good friend of Suman. Travel Spice graciously arranged to reimburse our cost of travel for sharing our experience. Not that they had to, we would have surely shared this different kind of vacation with you. We accepted their offer, well it was the month end & we were travel-broke ;). 

author --
Doulos calls himself a 'desi', since he prefer to explore the vast lands within the Indian boundary... mostly clad in a dhoti. He is extremely passionate about people & their stories. In his travels, he is often caught flirting with rivers & can be seen dancing when it rains. History, heritage & environment are his causes; dogs are weakness.

61 thoughts on “Do you need to travel for a vacation?

  1. We love vacationing too. As a family of four it’s not always easy, but we do get away as much as possible. We love vacationing in our area too. It’s a quick drive and there’s always someplace new to visit.

  2. Lovely couple you are! I miss the days when we also travel on our own as a couple, but now the kids around, we feel guilty doing it without them although I know we shouldn’t be. 🙁

  3. Its hard to find time to take a vacation, with my husbands schedule and my sons school. But this app sounds awesome, Ill be looking into it soon because we are going somewhere this year. Thanks for sharing.

  4. You are lucky to get a travel partner. I can totally connect to this. It’s great to go for a staycation with your partner. Umrao seems really interesting. I enjoyed staycations last year at a 400-y old restored property in West Bengal.

  5. Of course we all deserve vacation! In my case when I can’t go out of the city I choose the nearest hotel for my next vacation. This helps to regain my energy and be inspired again.

  6. I don’t travel very often, but I do love travelling a lot. It’s a wonderful way to relax from everyday duties and stress. Sometimes you don’t need to travel far to have fun! 🙂

  7. I always travel for vacation a few times a year and to explore new lands, being hour an hour from mainland Europe, I am fortunate to be able to travel often

  8. Well, each one has his/her own way to take a break. For us, we travel to have a nice vacation. But we also call staying at home, relaxing, and working on our hobbies a vacation as well.

    That hotel looks very nice!

  9. While we don’t always travel far for a vacation, it certainly feels most like a vacation when we go somewhere warm during the winter months. We love Mexico and it is one of my favorite places!

  10. I think if more places locally offered terrific last minute deals like the one you found, they would see more locals enjoying their home town. I love how honest you are about your life and how important vacation time is.

  11. A relaxed vacation is ideal when you travel so much! And this is what I am looking for but every time I try to book a quite holiday I end by going on a real trip!

  12. We think we don’t travel for vacation. We travel to explore, to feel our core. Without travel we think we are empty, without know new places, new faces, we seems lost.

  13. Wow I didn’t know that there was an app for booking a top notch hotel :O but I will sure give it a try, also the best travel is the travel to recharge your batteries, and be with the person you adore or simply trying to find new energy during those dark days, glad you had fun, good luck on your next trips.

  14. I love to travel, but also enjoy a good staycation. Really, it is all in what you make of it! Exploring somewhere close by can be just as fun as a far away trip

  15. Staycation work really well if you live in a country or city where hotels are affordable. Many times my partner and I chose going abroad rather than staycating locally because it is simply cheaper to do it that way! PS. We are visiting Delhi in 10 days and already can’t wait to explore it.

  16. Staycation are fun indeed… Infact during my last trip to Leh and Delhi, a friend booked me a room at Ashok country resort (down the road from Umrao) for similar rate on MMT or booking.com.. apparently these properties are up for grabs when it is not wedding season…

    here’s to more fun together for you guys 😊😊😊.

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