That’s the way to go
Deepak Ananth, core member, The Road Trips Co, says that the need to get away from the fast-paced, stress-filled life in the city has contributed to the growth of road tripping communities
Road trips became a popular trend in the country some time ago. But now, people are coming forward to create communities who plan such trips. The Road Trips Co (RTC), is one such community which has been formed to discover new places, meet new people and seek unique experiences through such trips.
The community was formed last year in Mumbai by Ruchik Gandhi, Deepak Ananth and Vineet Rajan. In the last one year, they have reached more than 18 cities. Their road trips include everything from day drives to weekend getaways, which are both child-friendly and pet-friendly. RTC travels together in a convoy.
It was a group of like-minded people with the passion to travel, who started RTC. “The idea was to bring together travel enthusiasts to experience new places and meet like-minded people. RTC plans fun and exciting road-trips and also teaches the members what highway driving is all about,” says Deepak Ananth, core member, The Road Trips Co.
They have planned Dandeli Jungle Rumble, a weekend road-trip getaway from Pune between April 19-21. Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary, located in Karnataka is a popular destination. It is famous as a bird watchers’ paradise and is especially known for its exquisite hornbill population. There are around 200 different species of birds that can be found here that include black panther, sloth bear, Indian pangolin, Indian jackal and so on. The trip also includes jungle treks, bonfire, coracle ride and plenty of fun activities to engage both kids and adults.
The growth of the community
Ananth says that they have travelled with over 5000 members in the last one year through 400 unique trips. “From witnessing the blooming Neelakurinji flower in Kodaikanal to trekking through the beautiful valleys in the north-east, RTC is exploring many things in various parts of the country,” he says.
The Road Trips Co is now present in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Guwahati, Bhopal, Nashik, Aurangabad, Nagpur, Pune, Indore, Kochi, Chandigarh, Mysore and Jaipur and they are looking to expand further.
Creating memorable trips
For Ananth, it’s hard to pinpoint any particular trip which is memorable, because ‘the next trip is always as good as the previous one’. “We have created so many memories from each and every trip that no single trip can qualify as the ‘most memorable’ one,” he says.
Weekend road-trip getaways
When it comes to weekend road trip as a trend, Ananth says that for today’s traveller, it is all about the experience. “Along with seeing beautiful landscapes and visiting historical places, travellers want to indulge in new and exciting activities that give them an opportunity to explore the local food and culture while road-tripping,” he says.
“Moreover, there has been a considerable shift in the type of participants. Young individuals and friends in the age group of 20 and 30 are showing great interest in road-trips and expeditions.
With a rise in solo women travellers in India, who are opting for weekend road-trip getaways to nearby destinations, there is also a rise in the number of single parents going for trips with their children and pets,” he adds.
Factors they focus on
There are certain factors that need to be considered while travelling with a large number of people on the road. “Firstly, the community looks at the safety and convenience of all travellers while planning the trips. Once that is in place, the itinerary is planned which includes the route, food, stay, activities and so on. It is ensured that there is something to do for every one, be it a 70-year or a toddler,” says Ananth.
The growth of road tripping communities
Ananth says that several factors have contributed to the growth of such communities. “The need to get away from the fast-paced and stress-filled life in the city is felt by all, but not everyone can take a long vacation due to lack of leaves or the expense involved,” he says. “RTC caters to the needs of all and offers people affordable trips that they can take to nearby destinations which is the need of the hour for the working masses. I think that could be one of the main reasons behind the growth in road tripping,” he concludes.