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A different holiday

Package tours are passé. There are many options for interesting holidays which will take you away from dull and dreary choices - and people.

delhi Updated: May 05, 2012 01:59 IST
Pankaj Mullick

Package tours are passé. Being bundled along with a crowd with which you have little in common, ferried around from one local attraction to another could leave you feeling you could have done without the vacation all together.

But you needn't suffer staying at home either. There are many options for interesting holidays which will take you away from dull and dreary choices - and people.

If you were born in the golden era of music - the 60s and 70s - your kids would most likely be keeping you away from gigs and concerts. Needn't feel deprived any longer - you can immerse yourself in soul-stirring music and let your kids enjoy the lakeside resort at Naukuchiatal in Uttaranchal from May 18-20. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/5/05_05_12-metro11.jpg

There'll be enough for them to do at the Escape Festival of Art and Music, now in its fifth year.

"We've segregated the experience for the mature lot with artistes who play jazz, blues, classic rock and like at the lakeside stage. Bring your kids along - they might just have a great time imbibing the music you love," says Lalrinawma Tochhawng, who curates the Escape festival.

Making the event child-friendly is big on this family man's agenda - with adequate security, child minding marshalls and activities like boating, horse and camel riding being essentials. Expect artistes like Skinny Alley, Menwhopause, Scribe, Hari & Sukhmani, and Naysa to liven up the evenings.

For those who seek adventure sans kids in tow, you could start planning for a one of a kind motoring trip around the Himalayas.

Wobbly Wheels Rally, set to start on September 3, will be flagged off from Chandigarh and will cover 3000 km. Unique in that its vehicle of choice is the humble scooter, the rally is non-competitive but still carries serious bragging rights because both rider and vehicle will be put to the test across three weeks. The rally is being organised by a group called Unreasonable Journeys. How apt is that!

Care about nature? Combine conservation with a vacation with www.ruraltraveller.com. You could help count mahaseer (carp) in a Himalyan stream, be part of a butterfly count, or help with vulture conservation. An exciting option is learning to be a mahout, where you team up with an experienced handler and learn about making these gentle giants obey your commands. Isn't that a jumbo-sized treat?

Conservation could take you overseas too. TUI India is offering volunteer travel, called i-to-i, which let you work on community and environment projects. One exciting option is to help raise tiger and lion cubs at a big-cat breeding centre in South Africa. Be ready to shell out good money though

For those with budget on the mind, adventure needn't be denied. Gyaanexchange.com, along with Shaka Surf Club and White Collar Hippie, is offering surfing workshops in Manipal at reasonable rates. Get theory lessons in the day, and challenge the waves in the evenings when the surf's up.

This summer is set to be out of the ordinary.