Professional retirement doesn’t mark retirement from life itself – in fact, it often marks a ‘second childhood’ for many. As they say, the business of life isn’t business, but life. What better way to mark a new phase of their life than with a relaxing vacation?
Here are a few hand-picked ideas selected keeping in mind their health and priorities.
Luxurious journeys across the breadth of India
When you were young, your parents accompanied you on train journeys far and wide to show you the country – now its chance to return the favour. Jaipur offers luxury trains that criss-cross the royal state of Rajasthan, stocked with the finest amenities and the greatest cuisine from the subcontinent, as well as the finest furnishing. Your options include Palace on Wheels, Maharajas’ Express, Royals Rajasthan on Wheels and the Golden Chariot.
Or, you could take a 12 day trip aboard the Deccan Odyssey train, a trip that begins in Mumbai, taking you across Jaipur and Delhi, to see ancient temples, grand palaces and centers of culture and history. The itinerary includes a few hours at Taj Mahal, a Lake Pichola boating trip, and an educational trip to Gujarat’s UNESCO World Heritage Site of Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park.
Green and beautiful Kerala
In the 80’s and 90’s, vacation often meant a North Indian hill station itinerary. If your parents are die-hard fans of the mountains, you can give them a change of scenery with a visit to Kerala. Munnar, which rests 1,600m above sea level, is one of the most beautiful hill stations you’ll ever visit. The region is called the ‘Green Capital of India’, and is known for scenic vistas, hilltops, plantations of tea and coffee, making it truly magical.
Since you have more time than a rushed weekend (or a quick extended holiday jaunt), you must take a trip to Thekaddy. Considered the state’s best hill station town, you must dedicate a day to visit the Periyar National Park, home to a verdant thick green forest, which is also home to rare wildlife.
Jammu & Kashmir: the ‘classic’ vacation destination
Nothing defined beauty, romance and adventure for our parents’ generation like Jammu & Kashmir. Srinagar is a must-see option, where they will experience boating on the Jhelum and the Dal Lake, shikara’ rides across gardens, and a serenity that will remind them of their childhood. Nearby is Gulmarg, the meadow of flowers. The destination blooms in spring, and then suddenly takes on a pristine white glow as winter comes. If they’re feeling adventurous, you can take your parents ice-skating, or a lazy ride on the second highest cable car in the world. Yusmarg is another lesser-known option, known for its soaring vistas in every direction, a variety of adventure experiences for all ages, and homely residential lodges.
Of course, you can also gift them the Mana Ranakpur experience! Nestled in the greener parts of the Aravallis, the fresh air, history, religion and peace in Ranakpur is ideal for those looking for quiet getaway!