Travelling is always fun since it’s a great way to explore new places and meet new people. In 2008, parents decided to go to USA for a holiday since we have cousins staying there in San Jose, New York, Orlando, etc. The plan got finalized for parents & my sister with my eldest bhua and fufaji since both their children are settled in San Jose with their families. That time the internet booking system had begun but still the first choice of bookings were agents and since we had a family friend in the same field dad got the whole trip planned with them.
The plan was to fly Emirates on March 25 (which is coincidentally my birth date) and take a halt at Dubai for 4 days and then proceed to San Francisco. It turned out to be perfect since it saves cost also and covers one more country to visit In the same long trip. With emirates it was easy for them as they only issue VISA and then the stay and itinerary was planned with the agents. Kinnary & I were going to through the itinerary and she said why not give parents a surprise by flying to Dubai since it was my birthday. I also agreed that it will be fun and will be remembered always that we celebrated together in Dubai.
I started looking around the fares for international flights on Yatra and found Air India the cheapest and convenient option since we planned to reach after them. I spoke to the agent and booked the room in same hotel and also asked him to add us in the travel itinerary of Dubai too. We planned to stay couple of days more to explore and enjoy the city on our own. In couple of days he confirmed everything for us with same Hotel Royal Ascot and itinerary including half say Dubai city tour, Dhow cruise with dinner, desert safari, etc.
The plan was set and everything was in place. Parents flew early morning and then we flew in the afternoon with them not knowing obviously and the expressions on their face when we rang their hotel room bell were simply superb and unimaginable. Never in their dreams had they thought we will do something like this. They were elated and that evening was our Dhow Cruise with dinner where we also celebrated my birthday. The icing on the cake was hailstorm coming right when we were in the middle of the cruise. I can never forget that a place like Dubai having hailstorms.
We all were together till 28th March and then parents flew to San Francisco. The last 2 days we had fun exploring Dubai by day and night. We visited huge malls, nice restaurants and super lounges which we enjoyed thoroughly. Sometimes these impromptu or last minute plans work out better and more enjoyable. There are pros and cons of both – well planned trip and impromptu trip. With these many online portals it definitely has become much easier to plan and book everything. I always believe travelling helps to boost your energy levels because it not only gives you a break from monotonous routine but also adds the spice and excitement of something new – place, people, culture, food, etc.