by Rehana Thu Feb 13, 2014 5:33 am
Single or a couple, with family or friends - Valentine's Day is a Friday, which means Gurgaon's going places, quite literally!
Love may or may not be the reason, but Gurgaonwallahs are definitely taking advantange of the fact that Valentine's Day is a Friday this time. Which means taking one day's leave ensures that people can plan a three-day trip, plus have a reason to celebrate - be it with friends, family or your loved one. In any case, when was V-day celebration restricted to couples only, eh?
Planned leaves was the only alternative
"Since you can't fall sick on a Friday especially when it's Valentines Day, this year I had to take a planned leave in time, although I wasn't even sure if my girlfriend would want to go out with me. I am still trying to pursuade her to come to Jaipur with me. If she agrees in the end, I would happily go with her, or else just spend the weekend with my buddies who are single and are praying hard that my plan gets canned," says Vikas Chawla, 29, who works with an MNC. "I am going to be in Kashmir with my wife for the Valentine's weekend - we're leaving on 13th and returning on 16th. We plan to stay in Srinagar for the first night and the rest two in Gulmarg. Thankfully I had pending leaves and had planned this trip well in advance in December, so my boss also didn't mind. Moreover, my wife, who works as a teacher, had applied for leaves in time and her leaves were sanctioned long ago," says Abhishek Mohanty, 30, a resident of Phase II.
Valentine's in Gurgaon means the usual drinking and dancing
"Being in Gurgaon, there's only one way to celebrate any occasion, which is hitting the bar. My fiance and I didn't want to pay for unnecessary packages to drink and dine in those same lounges and bars that we go to on every weekend anyway. Our plan was to celebrate this V-Day with each other and spend some quality time and come back rejuvenated, so Manali is happening for us," says Rakhi Bose, 28, a communication professional.
"Although I feel that V-Day is just another day and you don't typically make your partner feel loved on just one day in the year, but coincidentally, my office has a chhutti on that day, giving us a long weekend. And let me tell you that long weekends are priceless and you can't waste them by staying at home or in the same city, so we're going to Jim Corbett and Nainital that weekend with family and friends. So you can call it Valentine's Day weekend or just another, it doesn't matter as long as you're with your loved ones," says Sonya Thakur, 27, a fashion professional.
Sick of wearing winter clothes, I want to hit the beach
"I am glad that it's a Friday this time and one chhutti gives you a three-day weekend. Plus it's cold here anyway, so Goa would be more fun and we can get rid of the sweaters and jackets at least for a few days. Moreover, staying in Gurgaon would've meant the same drinks and DJ arrangement with red-themed everything. We needed a change and romance needs a setting," says Kanika Arora, 27, corporate professional.
Unwinding at luxury resorts
Dinesh Popli, 32, a resident of Palam Vihar, said, "We are going to spend the Valentine's weekend in Goa because we had heard good things about a particular luxury resort. We were tempted to visit it, and this was the right time. The idea is to relax and unwind over the weekend, so we booked a package in advance and are leaving on Friday and returning on Monday."
Bookings from Gurgaon have gone up: Travel agents
"This year Valentine's Day falls on a Friday, so many couples are finding this a perfect opportunity to take an extended weekend break. We have witnessed an increased demand for long weekend travel during this period. Destinations that are catching the attention of couples from Gurgaon are Goa, Manali, Shimla, Ooty, Agra and Srinagar. Alleppey, Corbett and Jaipur are also emerging as popular destinations for Valentine's Day travel from Gurgaon. While Delhi is a known travel hub, Gurgaon is making its mark. Almost 18% of our leisure travel bookings for this Valentine's Day are from Gurgaon. Though Valentine's Day bookings are mostly last minute, early trends suggest a 15-25% spike in booking numbers for most of the destinations this year," says Mohit Gupta, chief business officer - holidays, MakeMyTrip.
"Out of my clients, around 65% couples are travelling on the Valentine's Day weekend, and the top destinations this time are Goa, Jaipur and Manesar. In fact, people are also travelling to Jaipur and other nearby spots to unwind at luxury resort properties with some people also travelling to Amritsar and Wagah border with families," said Sarika Dutta, owner of Genesis Travel Services.
"Basically, these Valentine's Day plans depend on the weekend falling closer to the day, and this time it's a Friday, so Goa, Kerala and Kashmir are the top destinations this year. Out of our clients, at least 50% are going to Goa, 30% to Kerala and 20% to Kashmir. They are taking a leave on Friday and returning on Monday morning," says Reena Chopra, co-founder, Magical Holidays