Internationally, families or a group of friends heading out for a self-driven or chauffeured caravan holidays is quite the norm. Caravans have been around in India for a while now. All things considered, when the country opens up to travelling again, perhaps these caravans would be a great way to take a safe holiday. Here’s a look at what they have to offer.
Campervan Camps and Holidays India Pvt Ltd, a Bengaluru-based start-up recently introduced India’s first commercially-approved premium motorhome, LuxeCamper. These motorhomes focus on comfort, with living and sleeping areas designed within a compact space that can accommodate up to four people. It is equipped with a fully functional kitchenette too.
Powered by rooftop solar panels, LuxeCampers use solar energy for charging the inverter batteries and powering equipment, including heating and cooling, making it energy-efficient and environment-friendly. Fitted with a stylish skylight, five bi-directional fans, hot/cold shower, modern toilet, two smart televisions and Bluetooth music system, it is a great blend of adventure and relaxation.
As part of the initial trails offered, the company has tied-up for camping sites at locations such as Aanejari, Bandipur, Bheemeshwari, Hampi, Kabini, Kodagu, Kudremukha, Sadashivgad, Sakleshpur, Sakrebyle, and Sitanandi.
“LuxeCamper has received approval from the Automotive Research Association of India (Govt. of India undertaking) as per AIS 124 standards, with an All India Tourism license to commercially ply their caravans. With these beautifully designed LuxeCampers, our aim is to provide travellers with the opportunity to deep dive into unexplored destinations by personalising their travel trails and activities,” Tiger Ramesh, founder, Campervan Camps and Holidays India Pvt Ltd.
Price: Trails begin at Rs 39,000 for two (conditions apply)
Wacation on Wheels offers you the ability to take a vacation without an itinerary. Caravans available at Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Bhopal, and Indore can head out to any tourist location in Central and Western India. These are full-fledged homes on wheels, with beds/seats for all passengers. It comes with amenities like a toilet, shower, hot and cold running water, and a washbasin inside. Cooking facilities include a four-burner LPG range, gas-fired barbeque, full set of utensils for 12 people, fridge, and microwave.
Trained drivers and cleaners take care of the caravan and facilities while you enjoy the drive. Currently, the brand has five caravans – three sleeping 8-9 people and two sleeping 2-3 people. Parking tie-ups are available across destinations in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Goa.
“The experience we want to offer is to travel without an itinerary – be closer to nature, park on a beach or sleep under the stars at a lakeside or riverside parking. We offer all the comforts you need for safe travel even in COVID times,” says Neha Soman, co-founder, Wacation on Wheels.
Price: For 2-3 sleeper caravan: Rs 15,000 per day (inclusive of diesel for 250km, driver allowance, and GST)
For 8-9 sleeper caravan: Rs 25,000 per day (inclusive of 250km travel, driver, cleaner allowance, and GST)
Caravanning is an adventurous experience, and since you have a home travelling with you, your itinerary can remain flexible. This the premise of Motorhome Adventures. The brand currently has three caravans based in Delhi and three more being customised for use. They also have caravans available in Bengaluru and Madhya Pradesh. The configurations for each are varied, to accommodate small as well as large groups. With facilities for sleeping, sitting, cooking and showering – you have all you need in a compact, comfortable space. In fact, you could also check out their luxurious additions like a bathtub in some caravans, as well as their concepts of Bar on Wheels or Club on Wheels as well as a conference room/ election express.
Motorhomes offers customised itineraries for destinations like Himachal, Uttarakhand, Goa, Rajasthan, and Ladakh. Guests are welcome to create their own itineraries as well. “With each of our trips we want people to stop worrying about the destination and enjoy the journey. We want them to unwind and experience the beauty of nature,” says Vidushi Saini, marketing head, Motorhome Adventures.
Price: Rs 10,000 onwards (based on choices made)
Bengaluru-based Camper Trails launched in 2018 with a one-of-its-kind-in-India imported trailer by the brand US brand Jayco. This five-sleeper trailer is centrally air-conditioned and comes outfitted with a toilet, a small tub with shower facility, a mini-fridge, microwave oven, TV/radio, a kitchenette (two-burner stove and a sink) and an awning. The trailer is pulled by a Tata Xenon Pickup truck. A driver and an assistant will be part of the trip when booked. Besides the trailer, travellers also get camping chairs/table, a four-sleeper tent, portable shower, indoor games, a movie collection, everything needed for a game of cricket, badminton, archery and football, BBQ grill.
Camper Trails runs trips to Sakleshpur, Chikmagalur, Coorg, Gokarna, Kabini, Mangalore, Mysore/ Bandipur, Dandeli. Routes are suggested to travellers based on tie-ups.
“We are offering not just alternative accommodation or mode of transport, but an experience for a family to be together, bond during the journey without worrying about driving,” says Chandrakanth Ramoji, founder, Camper Trails.
Price: Weekdays: Rs 8,000 per day / Weekends: Rs 10,000 per day (inclusive of driver and assistant; exclusive of fuel, toll, and food.
“The true spirit of caravanning is not about what’s in the van, but the experience of freedom you take with it on the road. You can pick a caravan, travel for days on end without having to think about booking rooms, restaurants, etc. You find a beautiful place, you can just stay there for the night or as long as you wish,” says Sanjana Hangal, co-founder Trippy Wheels
The centrally air-conditioned caravans come with sleeping facilities, storage unit, and kitchenette with a stove, utensils, cutlery and basic ingredients; camping tent and chair, picnic mats, fans, lights and charging points, indoor games and outdoor games, BBQ facilities, and a music system
Trails originating in Bengaluru head to a destination like Belur/Halebeedu, BR Hills – Bangalore, Hirekolale lake, Dubare Forest Camp, Kundapura, Bhadra Sanctuary, Sakkrebayalu, Tala Kaveri, Dandeli, Yana – with several stops at locations in between. These itineraries can be spread over two to five days.
Price: Rs 2,000/ day/ head for a family of four.
All images: Courtesy brands