Travelling is not just a leisure activity, for many people it is a way of life, a necessity to suffice innate cravings. With the pandemic-induced lockdown and subsequent lull in the tourism sector finally nearing an end, we have witnessed those bitten by travel bugs across the world rushing to pack their bags.
'Revenge tourism' or travelling with a “vengeance” after getting cooped up indoors for two years due to COVID-19 became the norm in early 2022.
By the time the year comes to an end, this sudden boost in post-Covid travelling gives way to a more stable trend that has seen the industry easing back to pre-Covid levels.
What changed in those two years is the attitude of travellers. With the world getting further digitalised, many mental borders have eroded and the world has come closer than ever. Travelling abroad for leisure, once considered an elite practice, became more common. The number of middle-classers and solo travellers looking for a foreign vacation that wouldn't burn a hole in their pockets has surged leading to the discovery of new favourite locations.
More than half of the Bollywood celebrities headed to the serene blue beaches of Maldives to taste a luxurious tropical getaway, while many Indian globetrotters filled their Instagram with similar beach pics but from a much more affordable destination – Bali.
This love for affordable foreign locations have contributed in a spike in the number of travellers to many Southeast Asian countries from India this year.
Here is a list of some of the most popular budget-friendly foreign destinations that Indians went holidaying in 2022:
Bali, an island in Indonesia, is a popular destination on many people's bucket lists for a good reason. Bali sings of a harmonious fusion of people and food, green and blue water bodies, primitive culture and environment, etc. The paradise island is full of varieties; within a few hours, you can travel from a beach to a rainforest to a mountain.
Along with taking advantage of Bali's nightlife, you can explore Uluwatu, Ubud, Jimbaran, and many islands. You can also check out some of Bali's top eateries because there aren't many places to get a bad meal on the island. Additionally, the neighbourhood "warungs" frequently have very low prices and serve Balinese specialities like NasiGoreng (fried rice) and Mie Goreng (fried noodles).
And, four days of accommodation in Bali will cost you around Rs 20,000.
Thailand is the most popular tourist destination for travellers on a tight budget since it allows you to mingle with gregarious and friendly locals and offers a variety of activities to do. The night skyline, authentic spas to soothe your senses, clubbing, swimming in turquoise waters, affordable street food, and high street markets of Bangkok and Pattaya are those fun activities in Thailand where you can discover anything you're interested in. And last but not least, the friendly and laid-back Thai people are the best hosts to make your journey memorable.
Bangkok for its city parties, Pattaya for its nightlife, Chiang Rai for mountain hiking, Koh Samui, and Krabi for their gorgeous, undeveloped beaches are just a few of the destinations that one must visit.
Additionally, accommodation for a four-day trip to Thailand will run you about Rs 12,000 in total.
One of the most well-known places in the world for travellers and is also one of the pocket-friendly countries to visit from India. With its abundant natural beauty, cultural legacy, and history, you will surely leave with a satisfied soul.
Tourists are drawn to adventure activities such as sightseeing, yacht or boat cruises, local market tours, caving, cultural tours, island tours, and wildlife tours. Some must-visit places in Vietnam are Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Sapa, Nha Trang, Mekong Delta, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ha Long Bay.
Furthermore, a quality trip to Vietnam for three to four nights will cost you somewhere around Rs 25,000.
Malaysia is a Southeast Asian country that includes the Malay Peninsula as well as the island of Borneo. It is famous for its beaches, rainforests, and a cultural blend of Malay, Chinese, Indian, and European influences. Lodging for three to four days trip to Malaysia will cost you around Rs 12,000.
Trekking in Taman Negara National Park, seeing the culture of Kota Bharu, and observing orangutans at Sepilok are all options to explore the beauty of Malaysia. Also, make sure a refreshing sunbathe in Langkawi, Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, and escape to Genting Highlands.
One of the most exciting new tourist attractions is Baku, the capital and commercial hub of Azerbaijan, an exciting fusion of oil-driven modernity and Asian traditions. Modern skyscrapers contrast with the historic mosques and other local features in the city, which gives a beautiful blend of old and contemporary architecture. It is the perfect unexplored tourist destination, and there are many things to do there, such as trying the local cuisine, touring mediaeval palaces, or taking a stroll through the city to take in the more modern architecture.
You can visit the Palace of the Shirvanshahs and the renowned stone Maiden Tower, both of which are located in the mediaeval-walled old city. Also, you can explore and witness the contemporary landmarks, which include the Zaha Hadid's designed Heydar Aliyev Center and the Flame Towers, three-pointed skyscrapers covered with LED screens.
Overall, the four-day stay in Baku will somewhere cost you Rs 18,000.
(With inputs from IANSlife)