Do you want to celebrate Christmas and New Year by going on a road trip with a bunch of like-minded people but worry about how to plan the on-road journey with children and pets? Fret not. Road Trippers Club (RTC) gives you a unique concept of backpacking.
All you have to do is fill the gas tank of the car or bike and hit the road to your favourite destination. Just 11 months old, the club is now operational in 12 cities by Chapter leaders and have 3,000 volunteers.
How the idea came up? Vineet Ranjan, co-founder, RTC, says: “I have travelled a lot by road taking my car or bike instead of taking a flight or train. We have many biking clubs like Royal Enfield Club and Harley Davidson Club that promote solo bikers. There are clubs which restrict certain type of cars like Tata Safari, Renault Duster and Mahindra Scorpio. Moreover, you can’t travel with family and pets. Thus, we felt that there was a need to have a family-friendly and pet-friendly road trips.
“Second, there are a lot of people who are afraid to travel on the highway because they don’t know the roads, toilets and food options. These were the two primary reasons for starting a community irrespective of what they drive and with no restrictions, whether you want to travel with your spouse, kids or pets. We look for pet-friendly places so that people who own pets can come on a trip without any worry. In fact, we go to an extent and say that the pets are hosted for free by the resorts.”
The USP of this club is that it is a volunteer-driven. You can take any car or bike on the trip. “As it is community driven the costs are equally divided. If it is a day trip, there is no money paid. You spend on what you consume and on fuel. If it is an overnight trip, the curator of the trip books the resort in advance which is shared equally by the travellers. There are no extra costs,” Ranjan explains.
Coming from different career background, volunteers are united by their passion for road tripping and exploring new places. Driving on a highway comes with its own challenges but the group plans it well. “The speed of the convoy is decided by the slowest person in order. The idea is to not leave anyone behind and halts are given so that the driving doesn’t become tedious and tiring. A lot of solo travellers are joining the club realising that it is a close bunch of people which gives them the right kind of anonymity, at the same time there is an interaction that happens between the members. This works out well with all the members,” Ranjan says.
Travelling in a group with your family and pets is fun and when it is clubbed with social responsibility, it becomes all the more special. “Each Chapter looks at doing something that will benefit small budget travellers. We recently organised a road trip to Morni Hills and planned a visit Bal Niketan Orphanage at Panchkula. People contributed Rs 200 and above (as per their pocket), to donate the orphans books, stationery and eatables. In another trip to Guwahati, volunteers contributed 1,500 blankets to an oldage home,” Ranjan tells you.
From travelling the longest journey of 25 days from Hyderabad to Ladakh to going on a day trip or an overnight trip to a nearby location, the club plans it all. For Christmas, the members are heading to Tirthan Valley from Delhi and for New Years, people from different Chapters will be in Goa for a gala celebration.