Chase These Long Weekends to Make 2020 The Year for Road Trips

2020 will bring with it not just a new year, but a new decade! Filled with several long weekends and tons of new places to explore, the coming year offers several opportunities to #DiscoverMore of Incredible India. So, put your travel gear in order, mark your calendar and get ready for a year that has some exciting travel ideas for every month.

January: Kick Off A Cultural Fest

New Year Weekend
Date: 1st to 5th January
Duration: 5 Days

As the cold January wind blows over the expansive salt marsh, the Great Rann of Kutch brings with it a whiff of culture and joy. Hit snooze and continue your New Year celebrations with excitement and all things merry still lingering in the air. Skip office on Thursday and Friday to extend your New Year’s holiday for five days, and head to Gujrat’s Rann Utsav, a carnival of music and dance.

For an adventurous experience, live in the specially built ‘tent city’ set up on the outskirts of the village of Dhorad, and spend the evenings watching folk dances, music performances and artisans at work. You can also contribute to the local art by shopping directly from village co-operatives. If you are up for some thrill, try ATV rides, camel cart excursions and para-motoring.

Make your trip more enjoyable with a trip to the historic city of Ahmedabad – a UNESCO World Heritage Centre – and a shopping hub for traditional, beautiful Bandhani sarees. Your Ford Aspire will have no problem navigating through the bustling city.

Alternatively, you can head to any one of India’s many culture-rich cities that are ideal for learning more about India’s heritage.

February: A Love-Filled February

Maha Shivratri Weekend
Date: 21st to 23rd February
Duration: 3 Days

If you don’t mind pushing your Valentine’s Day plans, you can turn a regular dinner date into a memorable road trip. Whether you love the uphill drive to the mountains or get a thrill out of winding coastal roads, India’s diverse terrain offers a road trip for every kind of traveller.

Take a road trip to Shrivardhan – a seaside resort in Maharashtra where you can watch a beautiful sunset, or Gandikota in Andhra Pradesh where India’s “Grand Canyon” will leave you mesmerised. Or to truly deliver the ultimate romantic experience, surprise your partner with a getaway to these stargazing places. As you gaze into the stars through your Ford EcoSport’s sun-roof, its SYNC 3 system will make the mood romantic by playing your favourite songs, at your simple command.

March: Off-Roading Escapades

Holi Weekend
Dates: 7th to 10th March
Duration: 4 Days

While the year is still young, indulge in new experiences and do things you have never done before. Off-roading is a head-turning, nerve-wracking and exhilarating travel experience that is gaining popularity in India. This adrenaline-pumping adventure lets you drive through wild terrains, dirt tracks, mountain paths, desert trails and riverbeds to explore places in a way you haven’t before. Though Holi falls on a Tuesday, take leave on Monday and extend your weekend to four days to try something new.

From spectacular off-roading paths in the vicinity of the Himalayas to the wide and vast sandy stretches of Rajasthan, there’s an adventure just waiting for you. The sand dunes in the cities of Jodhpur, Nagaur, Bikaner and Jaisalmer offer some thrilling off-roading opportunities. You can find a number of other excellent off-roading trails in India.

Snow, Mud, Sand or Slush, with your Ford Endeavour’s class-leading Terrain Management System, you will be able to tackle surprises the trail might throw at you. Check out this video to witness Ford Endeavour’s on-road versatility and off-road mastery:

If you are new to off-roading, make sure you are always accompanied by an expert.

April: Trip to The Hills

Good Friday Weekend
Date – 10th to 12th April
Duration: 3 Days

Make the most of the beauty of Himalayas during this time, when the sun shines and hill states bloom with touring opportunities. Between April and June, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh & Kashmir become the perfect destinations for sightseeing, shopping, eating, trekking, and of course, paragliding.

With a plethora of activities to do throughout the year, Solang Valley in Himachal Pradesh offers experiences for all age groups. April is perfect for paragliding with weather conditions permitting you to spend about three hours in the vast, clear sky. A sought after site for paragliding is Bir-Biling in Kangra. These are two popular sites among campers. With longer days & pleasant skies, it’s an ideal month for a camping trip.

Other hill stations that offer an escape from the summer heat include Mussoorie in Uttarakhand, Ooty in Tamil Nadu, Darjeeling in West Bengal, Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu and Munnar in Kerala.

With plenty of boot space, load your camping gear in your Ford Endeavour and head to the hills for a quick getaway. And here are more exciting camping ideas for all those adventurous souls.

May: A Fruity Affair

Labour Day Weekend
Date: 1st to 3rd May
Duration: 3 Days

Summers are here, and so is the mango season! Whether it’s relishing the juicy fruit, eating zesty Mango pickle, slurping on Mango milkshakes or devouring ice cream, mangoes are the one thing on everyone’s minds. And with May being peak summer, skip the regular beach-destination plan, pick your Ford & head out on a Mango tour. There are some pretty interesting Mango trails where you can #DiscoverMore about the king of fruits.

June: Rejuvenate Body and Soul

With half the year gone by, it’s time to rejuvenate your body and mind and get pumped up for the other half of the year to come. While June doesn’t have any long weekends, there’s nothing to stop you from cashing in a few casual leave days. Head out on a relaxing excursion to a wellness centre that uses the principles of Ayurveda to heal your chakras and impart a balance in your life. There are various centres across the country, surrounded by greenery that are sure to provide the revitalisation you need.

If it is rejuvenation for your travelling soul (and not your body) that you want, go on an expedition to some hidden lakes in India. For instance, the Lonar Crater Lake, which was formed when a meteorite hit Maharashtra some 52,000 years ago, or the Khecheoparli Lake in Sikkim, which is located at 6,000-feet above sea level. So, give the usual a skip and catch a glimpse of these offbeat destinations in your trusted Ford Freestyle.

July: Trek The Monsoons Away

Bakr-id Weekend
Date: 31st July to 2nd August
Duration: 3 Days

During the months of monsoon, Maharashtra transforms into a hotbed of treks and hikes. The Kalsubai Peak trek, with an elevation of 5,400-feet, is not just the most challenging, but is a feast for the eyes with beautiful streams and pools through the trail. Other popular treks include Rajmachi Fort trek, Harishchandragad trek and Sandhan Valley trek. And with easy access from Mumbai and Pune, they make for a perfect weekend trip.

If you are up for a little more adventure, head north to Uttarakhand for the Valley of Flowers trek. From Govindghat to Hemakund Sahib Gurudwara, the trail is adorned with flowers of many hues. Or head to the Kashmir for the Great Lakes Trek that goes across seven gorgeous water bodies and blooming meadows. It starts at Sonmarg, and you pass Nichnai, Vishnusar, Kishansar and many other beautiful places along the way before ending the trek at Naranag.

With your Ford Endeavour, swerving through narrow hilly lanes will be a glide. Its Hill Launch Assist & Hill Descent Control will help you manoeuvre any steep uphill or downhill roads at ease.

On the other hand, if a trek is not your cup of tea, there are other travel ideas you can try in your city to make the most of the season.

August: Indulge in The Festivities

Ganesh Chaturthi & Onam Weekend
Date: 29th to 31st August
Duration: 3 Days

Across the country, the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with pomp and zeal. Long processions, colourful decorations and dancing crowds are some familiar sights during this event. Although the main puja takes place only on one day, celebrations go on for ten days, from the Ganesh Sthapana to the Visarjan. And you can get a glimpse of the extravagance of this festival at these places in India.

August also brings the festival of Onam, which makes it a perfect time to head to Kerala, whether to witness the famous boat races or cultural performances like the Kaikottikali Dance.

September: Travel for Food

With the rains subsiding and fewer festivals, dedicate this month to exploring the diversity of food in India. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari and Gujarat to Arunachal Pradesh, you will find a diverse palate with distinct flavours. The style of cooking, spices used and food staples differ from region to region. Even within the same state, you can find tons of different cuisines, each as exciting and delicious as the other. For instance, in Gujarat, you will be treated with Kathiyadi and Jamnagari cuisines. Explore tastes you haven’t before with a food trail and make the most of India’s diversity.

Since September doesn’t have any long weekends, consider clubbing a Friday or Monday along with the weekend to make the most of your food explorations.

October: Call of the Wild

Gandhi Jayanti Weekend
Date: 2nd to 4th October
Duration: 3 Days

Come October, the various national parks and sanctuaries in the country throw their doors open to visitors after a brief break during the monsoon season. The parks organise exclusive safaris and tours to spot the wild in their natural habitat.

From Tigers and Elephants to one-horned Rhino and Langurs, the states of Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Assam and Rajasthan, are dotted with natural reserves where you can witness nature in all its glory. In addition to this, various pockets in the country play host to winter migratory birds. The star guests include the greater Flamingoes, Amur Falcon, Bar-Headed Goose, Yellow Wagtail, Black-Winged Stilt and many more. And if you are a wildlife enthusiast, here’s a list of tiger reserves that you must visit.

Your compact and capable Ford Freestyle is sure to make the journey a pleasant one with its great ground clearance, powerful engine & sporty suspension.

November: Culture, Tradition and Indulgences

Dhanteras Weekend
Date: 13th to 16th November
Duration: 4 Days

This month brings the festivities of Diwali and Dhanteras with it. This time is not just for colours and lights; it’s also about friends, family and celebrating new beginnings. And the beauty of these celebrations varies from region to region, offerings avid travellers and culture-seekers the best opportunity to discover more of India and its traditions.

So, head to cities like Varanasi, Kolkata, Udaipur and Amritsar to witness the grandeur of these auspicious occasions. With several regional delicacies on offer, this is also the perfect time to plan a sweet trail and indulge your taste-buds.

December: Make the most of the year-end

Christmas Weekend
Date: 25th to 27th December
Duration: 3 Days

With Christmas and New Year’s Eve around the corner, the festive spirit is high during the month of December. There are music festivals and cultural fairs that offer something for every kind of traveler. And there’s no better time than the end of the year to plan vacation to a unique destination. Or welcome 2021 with a bang by celebrating New Year’s Eve at these places.

Now that you have something interesting to do every month, you can look forward to an enriching and interesting 2020; one full of travel adventures merely waiting to be had. Happy exploring!

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Driving Ford
Driving Ford is the official blog of Ford India. Established in 1995, Ford in India manufactures and exports automobiles and engines made at its integrated manufacturing facility in Chennai, Tamil Nadu and Sanand, Gujarat. Ford’s current range of award-winning products in India includes the Ford Mustang, Ford EcoSport, Ford Figo, Ford Aspire, and Ford Endeavour.