Sometimes, life throws you a curveball that you might find a little difficult to avoid. These are the times when you can’t just up and leave. Because you need an excuse to give and pack your bags first. So with the New Year just settling in, and most of your resolutions hitting the dirt, you should not let your resolve to travel more just sit and collect dust on a forgotten shelf. And to help you, here are 16 airtight excuses that you can give to enjoy your long weekends in 2018 to their fullest.
Excuse #1- To Go See That Friend Who’s In A Bad Phase of Life
20th Jan- Sat
21st Jan- Sun
22nd Jan- Mon- Basant Panchami
You might all be going like “But that’s lying!” Well, on the contrary it’s not, if you are that friend to yourself.
Where to go- Auli, Uttarakhand
Auli would prove to be a paradise. It is a favorite destination among ski enthusiasts for being cheaper and more picturesque than its commercialized counterparts like Shimla and Gulmarg. Auli has a 360 degree view of snow clad Himalayas. You can also trek, play winter sports and take envious photographs. Still thinking of taking the road when you can fly to Auli?
Excuse #2- To Go To Your Convocation/Alumni Meet
26th Jan- Fri- Republic Day
27th Jan- Sat
28th Jan- Sun
Well, this is actually the way excuses work. You just say something with as less of any relevance to reality as possible. And that is not lying. The year cannot be any more generous than to give us a national holiday on a Friday, and you are here wasting time in discussing semantics.
Where to go- Jaipur, Rajasthan
Capital of India’s largest state, Jaipur has always been a favorite of travelers. Jaipur has everything that you would expect from a tourist destination. But beginning from 25th January is Jaipur’s main attraction of the year, Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF), the biggest lit fest of Asia. People come from the world to attend talks of some of the most prominent faces of literature.
Excuse #3- It’s My Anniversary
10th Feb- Sat
11th Feb- Sun
12th Feb- Mon- Just take a leave
13th Feb- Tue- Mahashivratri
It is going to be the valentine’s week, so there’s a great chance that one of these days, you might have some anniversary. If not, you can take a vacation and create memories to cherish for the years.
Where to go- Goa
Goa is the party capital of our country. A former Portuguese colony, this beautiful beach destination knows how to party. Goa has the best possible weather around this time, which is why you should consider spending a beautiful time with your partner here. Trek in Udaan Dongor, visit the Dudhsagar Falls, shop for souvenirs, try Goa’s Feni and cashews, consider getting a couple-tattoo, watch the sun set over the sea before you continue partying amidst Goa’s large night-crowd. Trust us; you wouldn’t mind bringing back a small amount of Goa’s sand in your boots when you rejoin your weekday life.
Excuse #4- It’s The New Year
16th Feb- Fri- Losar
17th Feb- Sat
18th Feb- Sun
The beginning of a new year translates into grand celebrations. And that is why you should be taking advantage of Losar falling on a Friday, which is the Ladakhi and Tibetan New Year. So, it is the new year, just for some other community.
Where to go- Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir
The best place to celebrate the Ladakhi New Year is Ladakh itself. It is a wondrously beautiful stretch of land, enveloped by mountains on all sides. You will find Ladakh on every Indian’s bucket list. Nothing can beat visiting Ladakh during Losar, because for the locals, it is the most important religious celebrations of their year. The procession of “Metho”, has an alluring charm. And when you come back with your camera full of images and a head full of memories, boast about the best New Year you ever had.
Excuse #5- You Have To Play Somewhere
1st Mar- Thu- Holika Dahan
2nd Mar- Fri- Holi
3rd Mar- Sat
4th Mar- Sun
Holi is one of the biggest of Indian festivals. If you have played Holi with your friends, then you know that nothing is off limits when it comes to fun. Nothing can be better than Holi coming on a Fri’yay’!
Where to go- Mathura and Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh
This place has been a part of legends. This is where the tradition of Holi first began. And although, you are late for ‘Lathmaar Holi’, you can still witness a beautiful spectacle at Vrindavan in Banke-Bihari temple. The celebrations go on for a week where the idol of Krishna is clad in white and brought near the devotees so they can “Play Holi with their lord”. So how about you play here this year?
Excuse #6- You Have To Visit Relatives Who Live Far Away
29th Mar- Thu- Mahavir Jayanti
30th Mar- Fri- Good Friday
31st Mar- Sat
1st Apr- Sun
We can all agree; everyone loves a long weekend. And it gets even lovelier when that weekend becomes even longer.
Where to go- Ooty, Tamil Nadu
“Queen of the Nilgiris”, Ooty is the breath of fresh air for South India. Ooty will be at its best weather, which is not unbearably cold, neither under a constant downpour. Ooty is famous for its tea gardens, the Nilgiri Toy Train, and the Pykara lake. The view from the Doddabetta peak is one to die for, while the factories that prepare the famous Ooty tea offer tours. You should definitely ride from Ooty to Conoor in the well-known Nilgiri Toy Train, to see the entire valley from a different angle. You can buy woodwork, tea, chocolates, spices and essential oil blends in Ooty.
Excuse #7- Children (Any) Want To Go On A Summer Time Getaway
27th Apr- Fri- You will be taking an off
28th Apr- Sat
29th Apr- Sun
30th Apr- Buddha Purnima
31st Apr- Maharashtra Day
Well you can just say that you need to take your own children (or someone else’s; who cares?). Like every other Indian in summers, we can also head straight for the hills.
Where to go- Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir
Hills? Srinagar! Surrounded by snow capped mountains, with the most beautiful gardens, temples and examples of culture. The Shalimar bagh, the Chashm-E-Shahi and the Nishat Bhag are beautiful. Apart from these, the Shankracharya temple is another attraction. Visible from almost everywhere in the city is the famous Dal Lake that gives a Venetian feel to Srinagar. The shikaras are your vehicles and houseboats your beds. Kashmir is especially famous for its handicrafts. This weekend is the best to connect to the inner child in you and visit Srinagar.
Excuse #8- The Religious Leader (Dharamguru) Who Is In Town
15th Jun- Friday- Eid-Ul-Fitr
16th Jun- Sat
17th Jun- Sun
All you are claiming is that the religious leader is in town. Which religious leader and which town are you talking about, nobody really has to know.
Where to go- Dharamshala and McLeodganj, Himachal Pradesh
Dharamshala and McLeodganj village, almost everyone in the country has heard about these brilliant hill stations. Situated in the upper region of Himalayas, the scenic beauty that these have to offer is beyond words. Dharamshala has a huge population of Tibetan people, and so does McLeodganj, also referred to as Little Lhasa. Home to the 14th Dalai Lama, there are many places to see in mcleodganj and it is famous for treks nearby, like the Triund trek, and Guna Devi trek. So if the heat in the plains is troubling you, come here just like the British did.
ALSO CHECK: Activities you can do in Mcleodganj
Excuse #9- I have a doctor’s appointment
15th Aug- Wed- Independence day
16th Aug- Thu- You might want to take this day off
17th Aug- Fri- Parsi New Year
18th Aug- Sat
19th Aug- Sun
Well, you know what they say about travel being the best medicine. Or was it laughter? Whatever it is, all we need is an excuse to travel.
Where to go- Mt. Abu, Rajasthan
People call Mt. Abu an oasis in the desert because of its lakes, rivers, forests, cliffs and waterfalls. August, however, brings about a brilliant addition of colors to Mt. Abu. You can rent vehicles and drive around on your own. The major attraction of Mt. Abu is Guru Shikhar. Also falling on the way is the beautiful marble façade of Dilwara, the Jain temple. Another really beautiful part of Mt. Abu is the culture and cuisine, both of which carry with them the best of Rajasthan, as well as Gujarat.
Excuse #10- Have To Visit My Sister/Brother This Rakshabandhan.
22nd Aug- Wed- Eid-Ul-Zuha
23rd Aug- Thu- That’s on you
24th Aug- Fri- First day of Onam
25th Aug- Sat
26th Aug- Sun- Rakshabhandan
With one of India’s favorite festivals is falling on a Sunday, what is even worse that you wouldn’t like it if you celebrated it away from your sibling(s).
Where to go- Zanskar and Suru valley, Jammu and Kashmir
Zanskar and Suru valley fall into the Kargil district of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Zanskar lies in the rain shadow region so is surprisingly pleasant in the month of August. There are breathtaking views, steep valleys, beautiful rivers, mighty glaciers and mountain passes waiting to be discovered. Amongst various locations, Zanskar valley, Zanskar river, Padum, Zonghkul, Suru river in the Suru valley and Panikhar are major attractions of this region.
Excuse #11- I will be fasting the whole day
1st Sep- Sat
2nd Sep- Sun
3rd Sep- Janmashtami
The Janmashtami fast can be a good excuse; the monsoons are about to be over to give way to a beautiful time of the year.
Where to go- Khandala and Lonavala, Maharashtra
Khandala and Lonavala are called the twin hill stations with unparalleled beauty when it comes to the landscape. The roads here are a must to drive. And the month of September should be your preference, because the monsoons have just gone by, leaving the hills greener. The road between Lonavala and Khandala becomes the best place to be, when the hills are surrounded by clouds. Places like Rajmachi fort, Tiger’s leap, Lion’s point, Bhushi dam and Lohaghad are a must visit. You can fast while you are here, and let your eyes feast on the scenic beauty.
Excuse #12- Your House Has Turned Into A Boat, There Is Water All Around
13th Sep- Thu- Ganesh Chaturthi
14th Sep- Fri- Ask Lord Ganesh for forgiveness for taking an off
15th Sep- Sat
16th Sep- Sun
Well, problems in the plumbing of a house can happen anytime and not much is in our hands at that time apart from getting things fixed.
Where to go- Alleppey, Kerala
Alleppey, is what many consider to be Goa’s competition in Kerala, also called “Venice of the East”. It is the poster boy for Kerala. The brilliant sandy beaches can easily give Goa a run for its money, literally. You can easily visit almost all of the major attractions of Alleppey by hiring a boat on the backwaters. And for a taste of true hospitality, book for a homestay. Or hire a houseboat on the Alleppey backwaters to live and take you around. See? Your house turning in a boat and having water all around!
Excuse #13- It’s your father’s birthday
29th Sep- Sat
30th Sep- Sun
1st Oct- Mon- Submit your leave application
2nd Oct- Tue- Gandhi Jayanti
Because we did call him ‘Baapu’ (father), didn’t we?
Where to go- Wayanad, Kerala
Wayanad is located at a minimum elevation of 700 meters on the Western Ghats and is a place loaded with natural beauty, wildlife and scenic locations for trekking. The best things to do here are visiting the Edakkal caves and Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary, boating on the Banasura Sagar Dam, and touring on bicycles. Trekking on the spice trail, Chembra Peak, Sahibkkunu, Valley of Clouds and Kalladi Forest are unforgettable experiences. Wayanad has picturesque tea estates, where you can opt for a home-stay in the middle of a plantation.
Excuse #14- Have to take your spouse/partner out
18th Oct- Thu- Ram Nawami
19th Oct- Fri- Dussehra
20th Oct- Sat
21st Oct- Sun
Well, the irony of taking your partner “out” on the “auspicious” day of Dussehra must not have lost on you, at all.
Where to go- Mysore, Karnataka
In Mysore, Dusshera has such high importance that celebrations go on for a total of 10 days. It has been a part of the Mysore culture since the 15th century. The whole city, especially the Mysore Palace, is dolled up while the procession in the streets will snatch away all your attention. Mysore also has many other amazing attractions. The Mysore zoo is a must visit, you can go to Shivansamudram and Gaganchukki falls, or spot a real Tiger in Bandipur National Park.
Excuse #15- Have to go home/ancestral home for Diwali celebrations
3rd Nov- Sat
4th Nov- Sun
5th Nov- Mon- Dhanteras
6th Nov- Tue- Take a leave
7th Nov- Wed- Diwali
8th Nov- Thu- Govardhan Puja
9th Nov- Fri- Bhai Duj
10th Nov- Sat
11th Nov- Sun
The longest weekend of the year is here, and people working for the whole year have kept their hopes high to survive till this time.
Where to go- Andaman and Nicobar islands
Andaman and Nicobar islands have earned their reputation as a favorite for honeymooners. About things to do here, the list is endless, another reason to visit this island haven; to strike off as many items from your bucket list. Andaman and Nicobar islands are ideal for water sports and activities. And beaches too. This group of islands is the only place in India where you can witness bioluminescence on the island when there is no moon in the sky. And you know what day has no moon? Diwali!
Excuse #16- It’s Christmas
22nd Dec- Sat
23rd Dec- Sun
24th Dec- Mon- It’s Christmas tomorrow, so you won’t go
25th Dec- Tue- Christmas day
It’s Christmas. And that’s enough of an excuse to take a leave from whatever is holding you like an anchor.
Where to go- Daman and Diu
Daman and Diu is bordered by Gujarat on one side and Arabian Sea on the other. It is a beacon of Portuguese architecture like forts, ruins and churches. Daman, especially Nani Daman, is well known for its leather products. The Bom Jesus Church in Moti Daman, which is a feast for tourists’ eyes. Best attraction on the day of Christmas is the Portuguese dance. The main Church of Daman and Diu, St Paul’s church has a midnight mass on Christmas, which is followed by elaborate late night parties.
Life rarely knocks on your door to tell you that this is an opportunity you should definitely take. So make sure when it does, you answer it with exuberance instead of crashing on the bed “because you are too tired”. So these are all the chances that 2018 is offering to you on a silver platter which you should not let go of. Who knows how long you will have to wait in exhausting frustration for the next long weekend to come by?