Back when we travelled in black and white
A few decades back, travel in India was largely confined to pilgrimages. A trip to the Himalayas perforce implied Haridwar, Kedarnath, Badrinath and Gangotri. In the same fashion, a visit to South India was nothing but an instance of “temple tourism”- an avaricious accumulation of karmic credit. Perhaps, the only sort of vacation that was an exception to this norm was the honeymoon. It was by definition, a private affair and parents and relatives were thankfully precluded from participating. But a marriage would come around once, and travelling was subsumed within the religious goals of the matriarch or the patriarch of the family. Access to information, routes and places of interest were through magazines and travel agents. Moreover, there were other factors, such as inadequate road connectivity, limited number of airports and a heavy reliance on the railways as the primary source of transportation. Air travel was quite expensive and very much the preserve of the wealthy. The middle class preferred the Indian Railways and buses.
How we got to where we are- the rise of the roads
Fast-forward to today and we see the travel landscape has been rendered almost unrecognizable in the light of the past. A complex of factors have facilitated these paradigmatic transformations over the last few decades. Atal Bihari Vajpayee laid the foundations for the golden quadrilateral connecting metropolitan hubs across the 4 corners of India. This inaugurated the golden age of infrastructure development and road travel in India. Travel time is now a fraction of what it had been and national highways and state highways have proliferated, connecting various cities that had been only accessible through railways or had only seasonal connectivity due to poorly constructed roads that would wash away during monsoons. In recent times, we have seen remarkable improvements in inter-city connectivity and in the past 4 years specifically, construction of roads has doubled. Concurrently, the liberal economic policy and efficiencies brought about by technological changes have allowed better vehicles to enter the market at more affordable rates.We have witnessed a boom in the job market with the arrival of the IT industry and the service sector has upped its contribution to 57.9% of the total GDP. This has created a huge middle class with a larger disposable income and a willingness to spend. All these factors have led to road travel becoming more feasible and more popular than ever before.
The dawn of a new era- #roadtripping dominates social media
These transformations have enabled a new form of travel, a new mode of travelling and a new breed of traveller. It is not just the economic landscape that has changed; there has also been a significant cultural and attitudinal shift brought about by unprecedented access to information and the pressures of social media. The modern traveller no longer relies on handbooks, guides, magazines or travel agents. Instead, they reach out to their circle of friends, coworkers, social media contacts, travel blogs etc. Travellers would rather create their own itineraries based on the information they acquire than rely on those antiquated packaged tours that tend to cram a million things into a few days. Moreover, travel lovers can conveniently book a cab through intercity car rental service providers with a click of a button. The ‘indie traveller’ has emerged out of this digital revolution, and in all likelihood, is here to stay.
The Savaari Philosophy- all roads lead to “experience”
Savaari too has emerged as an organic response to these changes with the mission of providing Indian travellers with a safe, hassle-free, comfortable and affordable means of transport. Savaari firmly believes that roadtrips are how travel should be done and the roadtrip experience is at the core of the modern traveller’s psyche. A roadtrip is not just about the destination, it’s about making memories, spending quality time with friends and family, having the freedom to wander without an agenda and escaping the stifling linearity of a fixed itinerary.
As an organization, Savaari firmly believes that a traveller’s time is his/her own and a chauffeur driven cab allows travellers to truly relax and make the most of their vacations. Being a country with immense cultural and socio-economic diversity, it becomes important to ensure that the needs of disparate milieus are adequately addressed. In the spirit of flexibility, Savaari offers a number of options in terms of the car type: from hatchbacks and sedans to SUVs and Tempo Travellers. Any specific requests, such as cars with luggage carriers or diesel vs. petrol vehicles are also duly attended to. Their presence in 98 cities and over 7500 destinations is a testament to their pan-India ethos. There is no discrimination against those locations considered ‘non-touristy’ because Savaari believes that the possibilities of travelling should be truly infinite. Customers will not be limited to this or that location or forced to follow a specific route. An extraordinarily comprehensive intercity network and complete flexibility in terms of itinerary are what truly differentiate Savaari in this unique space. If a customer wishes to travel from Delhi to Agra to Jaipur to Jodhpur to Delhi, Savaari will make it happen without breaking a sweat.Customers can even avail one-way services on specific routes, and they will be charged only for the distance travelled. The clincher is the complete transparency in billing while allowing customers the option to pay the full amount at the end of the trip.Further, there is considerable focus on the safety of the passengers with 24/7 support and drivers undergoing extensive training and sensitization towards this end.
For those of us who like to travel at our own pace, chart out our own course and truly experience the magic of vacations;roadtrips are the way to go. For those of us who cannot be bothered to drive, to suffer through the fatigue of a long journey, and yet, still wish to experience total freedom while travelling, Savaari’s expert chauffeurs and best-in-class service come as a welcome panacea.
The era of the Great Indian Roadtrip has truly arrived and Savaari takes great pride in being the frontrunner of this revolution. Happy tripping!