Sunday, September 1, 2013

Creating Happiness Through Travel

If you could take your family or friends to any place on the planet, where would that be and how would you make your trip the happiest one ever?

This post is my entry to Indiblogger’s contest Creating Happy Travellers, in association with

The year was 2007 and it was my birthday. It was a cold, rainy day and I was standing inside Old Trafford, England. I had absolutely no clue about Manchester United and only the most rudimentary knowledge about football itself. Yet, there I was, in the dressing room of one of the most famous football stadiums in the world, thinking, “So this is where Beckham sits,” as he was the only English football player I knew and that too only because of the movie Bend It Like Beckham. I even picked up an outrageously overpriced souvenir in the gift shop and eventually gave it away to a friend because it was not something which held a lot of importance to me.
Me @ Old Trafford, Manchester
Fast forward to 2009. Lo and behold! I found myself married to a die-hard Manchester United fan. The sound of live sports commentary and a cheering crowd became a constant background noise in our house. I sat glass eyed through endless football matches as the husband whooped or cursed aloud depending on how the “red devils” were performing. I got caught in the middle of vociferous arguments about who is going to win, who actually won and who really deserved to win.

I did not miss the irony. Here I was - someone who didn’t care two hoots about football and much less about Man U – and I had gone on a tour of their turf, which hardly meant anything to me to be frank, and here was my husband, to whom the same experience would have been a dream come true. Honestly, if it was possible, I would gladly go back in time and trade places with him, because I know that it would be one of the happiest moments in his life.

In the dressing room @Old Trafford
However, as far as I know, time travel has not yet come of age. But what has come of age are online travel planning websites which make life so much simple and quick! No more running behind travel agents and breaking our heads over our travel plans. 

Having said that, one also needs to ensure that the online travel company that we deal with is trustworthy and reliable. With a number of such ecommerce websites popping up, it is easy to get swindled. One is then left chasing the company and thus begins a never ending saga of calls to their so-called customer service. In the end, what is supposed to become a dream holiday ends up becoming a nightmare instead. This is why it is vital that we do our research and groundwork before zeroing in on any deals. Sometimes, a deal might look really attractive, but remember, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

A close friend recently got married and he spent a lot of time comparing different travel planning websites, to pick a honeymoon package. Finally he decided to go with because he was really impressed with their offers and service. He and his fiancé settled on a lovely honeymoon trip to Mauritius where they had a great time, thanks to Yatra.Com. Everything, including the flights, hotel stay and sightseeing excursions went smoothly and according to plan. They were quite pleased with and strongly recommended them to us as well. I decided to check them out for myself and I could immediately see why my friend was all praises for offers a variety of travel packages to a number of interesting destinations across the world. The website is user friendly and easy to navigate. Whether you are looking for a honeymoon package or a family holiday or something adventurous, rest assured that will have the right options for you! You can plan and book your holiday at the click of your mouse. Easy-peasy!

Old Trafford Museum
In our case, my husband’s sister is living in Manchester. Plus, since I was working in England a few years back, I also have a bunch of friends who would be glad to put us up for a few days. So we don’t really need to worry about booking hotels. And with the current state of the rupee, not having to spend on accommodation is a great plus indeed! I would take care of the visa formalities and go to to book flight tickets to Manchester. Then I would book a personalised tour of the stadium for my husband so that he can take his time to savour the experience. 

Inside the Man U stadium
The English Premiere League has just started. So I would make sure to get front row tickets to a Man U match and give my husband the opportunity to watch his football heroes in action right in front of him. As the crowd erupts into a deafening roar, complete with stomping feet and waving flags, I will sit back and bask in the glory of knowing that I was responsible for creating one of the most memorable moments in his life that he will never forget – even if he gets Alzheimer’s (God forbid!) This will be an experience that he will cherish forever!


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