2018 promises to be a great travel year. With 16 long weekends, get ready to do some serious travelling around India and the world. From Gujarat to Ladakh, Brazil to the Cayman Islands,Outlook Traveller has you covered. So what are you waiting for Get those bookings sorted for each month in 2018
Start 2018 by booking your tickets to Ahmedabad in Gujarat, located in the western part of India, to experience a traditional sport kite flying Every year on January 14, Makar Sankranti is celebrated which signifies the official day that winter has ended and spring has begun. Head to Ahmedabad to witness the skies come alive as beautiful coloured kites soar high. Its not all friendly mind you fierce battles are fought mid-air as to who can be crowned the kite master. Save your own kite while you bring down others is the only motto and taken to heart by hopefuls who gather on every rooftop, getting ready for the contest to begin.
South America is always a dream and why not make it come true in the second month of the year Head to Brazil, from February 9-14 to attend the fabulous Rio Carnival. Its a party alright as the streets of Rio de Janiero come alive with Samba, inspiring and outrageous costumes, feasts and revelry. The week-long party continues till Ash Wednesday that marks the beginning of Lent.
If you are a music lover, Austins famous South by Southwest must be on your travel bucket list. To be held from March 9-18, it is an annual conglomerate of music, film, comedy and interactive media festivals and conferences. Started in 1987, the festival has only grown in stature and is a top destination of music lovers. Held all over the beautiful city, make sure you book your tickets for Texas soon
Heard of the beautiful tulip and flower festival at Keukenhof, Amsterdam Well, guess what You dont have to go all the way to Holland to soak in the beauty of fresh blooming tulips. Head to Srinagar in Jammu & Kashmir and be amazed instead. Siraj Bagh is spread over five hectares and the garden boasts of various varieties of tulips which look beautiful when in bloom.
You don't need a reason to go to Leh. But in case you are looking for one, keep Leh for September because the roads will still be open and there's Ladakh Festival too. They call it lean tourist season but we guarantee that it is anything but. The annual 7-day Ladakh Festival draws in hordes of tourists to Leh as the town turns into a colourful display of the region's rich cultural heritage. Things to watch out fortraditional polo match, archery, monastic songs, dance and exhibitions.
Kolkata. Durga Puja. Need we say more They like to call the festival "a way of life" and there's so much happening around itbe it the shopping frenzy or the food or the masterpieces that we already know as puja pandals. The idol making is big so make sure to include Kumartuli in your pre-pujo itinerary (you'll probably need to make During & After Pujo itineraries). This year it falls on October 15-19 (Mon - Fri). The local artisans make clay come to life in the form of idols of the goddess Durga. There's the famous pandal-hopping that you must do. Move around the city and explore its themed pandalsthey vary from the traditional to quirky.
Now here's a bet we can safely placethat you will end up saying "Shiver me timbers" sooner than an "Ahoy, matey" at the Pirates Week Festival in George Town, Cayman Islands because it will be that exciting. A fun-filled week of costumes, parades, fireworks, mock pirate invasions and lots of traditional food and music at the festival and then a tour of the Cayman Islands's historical sights and white sand beaches. Fun guaranteed
Make the month all about great photo-ops, fiery food and zutho. Yes, because it's time to pay Nagaland a visit. The annual Hornbill Festival (December 1-10) is something one must experience because we all love good traditional dances, sports, food and colourful display of traditional attires. The 10-day festival showcases traditional dances from all 17 tribes of Nagaland, indigenous games, morung exhibitions, musical shows, among many other activities. Since Kohima also has a special place in the history of World War 2, history buffs will find the WWII exhibition pretty interesting and informative. And a special shout-out to motorbike enthusiaststhere's an annual motorbike ride from Dimapur, led by Nagaland Motorcycle Club to the festival venueKisama. Apart from the festival, take out a day or two from your schedule to explore the neighbouring village of Khonoma (20km from Kohima). This little hamlet has made a name for itself by adopting the principle of "No Hunting No Cutting Trees". Makes sense to go see a place like that in times like these