Summer vacations are time to make travel plans. A few popular destinations are emerging as hot favourites of holiday-makers in the city. The local fun-seekers are budget-based groups looking for domestic or international destinations besides the ones who travel either with the family or in big groups.

“Singapore and Malaysia were very popular holiday destinations about a decade ago, but people’s current tilt is towards Thailand,” says G. Srinivas, a government employee. People went in large groups for sightseeing and shopping to these countries but now many are looking for new places, he says.

Domestic travellers have good options like Leh and Ladakh, especially in summer, according to travel agent J. J. Singh.

“ Places like Leh and Ladakh are the best options to escape the summer heat. The weather there is great for relaxing but one has to put up with mountain sickness for the first couple of days. The scenic beauty of the area is overwhelming and tourists are exposed to a combination of Tibetan, Kashmiri and Islamic cultures. The Pangong Lake that falls partially in India and partially in China is breathtaking,” says city-based psychiatrist Vishal Indla, who recently visited the places.

Mr. Singh says people who are not comfortable with heights and extreme cold prefer hill stations like Munnar in Kerala.

“Hong Kong is the new Singapore for enthusiasts eager to get away from the blazing sun,” says Sreenivas Surapaneni, a city-based travel agent. Having worked in Thailand for many years, Mr. Sreenivas feels that hotels in Hong Kong and Macau offer attractive comforts to international tourists who throng the place in large numbers. Domestic travellers coming from China are a huge source of tourist income,” he says.

Package tours to Europe, Mr. Sreenivas says, are losing charm, as tourists accommodated in hotels in outskirts of cities due to price factor lose precious time in commuting. The planning often misses out on the different time zones leading to avoidable exhaustion to the travellers. At times, some of them get a chance to sleep only after 48 hours, he says.

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