Backpacker hostel bookings are surging ahead of Durga Puja, Diwali! How to find affordable housing this festive season

Travel can open up turning points in life, which is why young Indians love to opt for the best hostels to thrive with their kind of “tribe”!

Big boost in the confidence of young backpackers in India! Demand for backpacker hostels this festive season is seeing a huge surge with bookings up 50-60%. Travel can open up turning points in life, which is why young Indians love to opt for the best hostels to thrive with their kind of “tribe”!

How to find affordable housing was easy to decide before COVID-19. In fact, there was a time when all travelers could plan their trips hassle-free. For students and young travelers, the pandemic has shaken their travel wish lists like never before.

Safety and affordability have become even more important, which is why the holiday season now sees an interesting shift in their preferences – from how they travel to where they are headed now.

Staying in a backpacker hostel in Europe was the turning point for Pankaj Parwanda, co-founder of goSTOPS, as he felt the opportunity to fill an important market need – bringing backpacker hostels to India. Simply put, this meant that the country’s young people could access affordable, high-quality housing that had previously been out of their reach. His business vision is simply this: the young Indian traveler deserves the best accommodation experience, wherever he goes, without having to increase his budget.

Common questions related to backpacker hostels in India include: Are backpacker hostels safe in India? How much money do you need to be a backpacker?

Stay in a safe and regularly sanitized backpacker dorm

Wondering what it takes to be a backpacker in India?

According to Pankaj Parwanda, “With vaccination rates above 50% among 69 million people now vaccinated with their first vaccine, we are seeing a return of travel confidence. But safety and hygiene have become a top priority in the traveler’s mind, to the point where they have become non-negotiable. Travelers are looking for affordable accommodation that does not worry them about these aspects. They prefer to stay in a safe and regularly disinfected dormitory rather than in unsafe and unsanitary private rooms. »

Indeed, the pandemic has brought the travel industry to a halt as people were initially confined to their homes. However, with the Covid situation in recovery mode, the country is tiptoeing back to normal while following covid safety protocols.

Choose motorable destinations during this festive season

Pankaj Parwanda points out that goSTOPS has seen a significant increase in inquiries and bookings in metros and mini-metros, especially in driveable destinations with an almost 1000% increase in demand.

Go for flexible bookings with hassle-free cancellation options

There is also a significant shift towards people preferring flexible bookings, as rigid bookings with a strict cancellation policy do not work for them.

Unusual leisure venues are gaining momentum

“The holiday season turns out to be a boon for us. In recent days, we have started to receive many inquiries for the festival weeks around Ganesh Chaturthi, Durga Puja and Diwali, with a peak of 50-60% of daily bookings. An important trend to observe is the growing preference of travelers and booking requests for offbeat leisure destinations, due to lesser chances of overcrowding, as these are not so popular on travellers’ bucket lists. Destinations such as Jaipur and Udaipur are favorites of travelers and Pushkar is becoming the preferred choice of travelers. Business cities such as Mumbai, Amritsar and Delhi have also done very well,” observes Pankaj Parwanda.

Notably, a key trend that catches Parwanda’s attention is the prominent shift in traveler preferences from nature to culture or more specifically, from hills to plains.

The hills are a favorite destination for young Indians

He adds. “During Ganesh Chaturthi, we saw a push towards the lowland areas as people rushed to take advantage of the monsoon showers. Considering the terrible landslides that hit the hilly areas, there was a noticeable drop in reservations to otherwise popular hill stations such as Manali.However, with the onset of the Diwali season, the hills have straightened up after landslides, especially in scenic spots of Uttarakhand and Himachal. Leh, a beautiful rainless desert, continues to do fabulously well in this season, even through rains and landslides.

Face masks and safety protocols have become fully integrated into our daily lives, there is no doubt. But there is something about travel that continues to attract Indians. And in this festive season, nothing can stop the growing number of travel bookings and reservations. Stay safe, travel safe and remember that no country is out of the woods yet!

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Linda G. Ibarra