It’s been ages since we met, let’s catch up soon — isn’t this the most common sentence we heard amid the pandemic? But, rather than meeting up over a cup of coffee, many are now planning reunions away from the city, paving the way for reunion travel. Unable to meet for long owing to the Covid-19 crisis, travellers are booking private villas with large, isolated spaces that will allow them to move around in groups.
“We’ve noticed travellers, especially millennials, want to invest in moments that they can cherish, capture and share on social media. Along with safety and hygiene, they are looking for private villas that offer large living rooms, private pools, indoor and outdoor activities, including a live barbecue,” says Ankita Sheth, co-founder of Vista Rooms, a luxury holiday home chain.
Youngsters feel it’s a great way to catch up with their squad, instead of making separate plans with each individual. “We couldn’t meet for over two years, as a few of my buddies shifted to their hometowns, a couple of them got married and moved to different cities. But, we recently took a road trip, where almost everyone joined in from different cities. It was tough to plan, but worth the effort!” shares Rahul Mehta, 26, an entrepreneur from Delhi.
Travellers now prefer shorter but more frequent trips. Sheth says, “We’re seeing guests stay with us every month, as they look to go to drivable destinations. Since it’s a refreshing break from WFH, they want to soak in the experience of being in breathtaking surroundings.”
Not just millennials and Gen-Z, the trend of reunion travel is piquing the interest of middle-aged travellers as well. “We are 34 school friends who have planned a reunion in November this year,” says Nivedita Mohapatra, 50. “We have been friends for 45 years, and occasionally were in touch. Amid the pandemic, we helped each other combat isolation, loneliness. During one of our conversations, it struck us to plan a reunion. The best part that is our friends who’ve settled abroad are also coming for this reunion. We have booked a few villas and extra beds too, in case more people want to join,” adds the Mumbai-based dancer.