Think of holidays and vacations today, you will instantly picture flying by airplanes, taking the railways or driving to your destination. Infact, the COVID-19 pandemic brought back the road trip trend as most people chose to travel in their safe bubbles with family and trusted friends. In India, the pandemic also brought a new road trip culture- the caravan!
The COVID-19 pandemic brought the entire world to a halt. While some industries struggled to resume their services after countries and cities unlocked during the pandemic, the travel industry was the most affected and continues to be so. Though hotels and homestays began opening their doors to the vaccinated and those with negative RTPCR reports, the mode of transport was still heavily impacted. “Adversity is the mother of all inventions”, they say and that’s what happened with a few travel startups in India who launched caravans and campervans to allure the homebound, travel-deprived people of India.
When we think back, the word ‘caravan’ conjures up an image of vagabonds or wanderers who had no permanent homes, lived in this large motor vehicle and travelled from one place to the other selling their wares and doing small jobs as they went by. Later, the caravan became a family vehicle that was ideal for vacations. Did you know that the history of caravans dates back to 1885? What is more surprising is that the first caravan was owned by Dr William Gordon Stables, a medical doctor who was a popular writer in the Victorian Era. His caravan, rightfully named ‘The Wanderer,’ travelled 1400 miles during the summer of 1885.
The earlier caravans were horse-powered and slowly got converted into motorised vehicles. In the initial days, the caravan was a home-on-wheels pulled by a car. The first such caravan was used in Eccles (in the UK) in 1919. Since these initial models, caravans have come a long long way today!
Caravans today are plush, luxurious and ideal for glamorous camping or glamping. They have impeccable interiors, and are equipped with private washrooms, a state-of-the-art kitchen, comfortable beds, modern entertainment options and lots more!
We often believe that technology and trends reach India much later than the more-developed countries. While this is largely true for caravan travel too, we can vouch for the fact that the quality and facilities are at par with global caravan travel companies.
Indian travellers are unique– they love to travel, are extremely mindful about the money they spend and vacations are a family event that makes them travel in large groups. Come the pandemic, people were bound to their homes. Not only was travel expensive but it became extremely risky. While some chose to drive their way to different parts of the country, others chose to wait for the pandemic to mysteriously disappear. However, some sought an adventurous and unique travel experience, while keeping in mind the social distancing norms. Enter – Caravan travel!
Plenty of Companies
There are plenty of caravan travel companies in the country today. Some popular ones that are highly recommended by travellers are:
Though the number of caravan companies was limited before the pandemic, this number has significantly increased during the pandemic. Many companies like Wacation on Wheels and Luxe Camper have seen a significant rise in the number of enquiries and bookings in 2020 and 2021. Apart from vacationers who wanted to travel safe, a large number of enquiries for caravans also came from people with senior parents and infants, who did not want to take other more risky modes of transport.
Why Caravan Travel in India?
Companies that were already ready with their caravans jumped at the opportunity of revenge travel taken by people in the past 18 months. There are many reasons why people today are opting for caravan travel in India:
To live and travel in a luxurious home on wheels may sound heavy on your pocket. However, we cannot generalise it. Many travel companies today operate in a wide price range of INR 3,000 to INR 70,000, depending upon the type of vehicle, its size, amenities, the distance you wish to travel and the city of origin.
Most caravan companies offer various packages for different types of tourists. Some bigger companies with multiple vehicles offer varying packages to give travellers attractive deals. So, if you wish to experience caravan travel in India, fix a budget and explore the many companies and routes they offer. To attract more people to experience caravan travel, many of these caravan companies have tied up with state governments.
Travelling gives us a perspective about life that we can never get by staying home. If you are an adventure-seeker who doesn’t mind travelling in smaller spaces and with no rigid travel plan, caravan travel is for you! Be it a special occasion that you wish to celebrate or just wander with loved ones, experiencing caravan travel is highly recommended, atleast once in your lifetime! Are you all set to rock where your home rolls?