Saurabh Shukla, popular Bollywood character actor, talks about his unplanned driving holiday. Saurabh loves unplanned holidays for the surprise element and the eagerness to explore a new place, the driving pleasure that road trips offer, staying at quaint lodges and rest houses, and for the local cuisine.
He says, “A holiday to me means going on an unplanned journey where I get to discover a new place or destination.”
Q: Where did you go on your latest trip?
Saurabh Shukla: The last trip was a very interesting journey. It happened on January 1. My wife woke up early on December 31, we had tea together, and then out of the blue, with no plans or bookings, we decided to go on a vacation. We stuffed our clothes inside a suitcase and with no idea about our destination, we started driving. We tossed a coin and started heading towards the south. After driving 850 km from Mumbai, we reached Mysore. The next day we started again and reached Coimbatore. And on the third day, we reached Munnar which is 1,650 km. After a stay at Munnar, we headed back. It is only after reaching Mumbai that I noticed that we had travelled 4,500 km!
Q: Where did you stay?
Saurabh Shukla: We stayed at a plethora of places ranging from lodges, Dak Bungalows to Forest Guest Houses.
Q: Did you do any shopping?
Saurabh Shukla: All the shopping we did was for food. These days, everything is standardised and you get the same things in Mumbai as in Mysore. But local souvenirs and artefacts are good buys.
Q: Any Sightseeing recommendations?
Saurabh Shukla: I travelled on NH-24 that connects Mumbai to Bengaluru. This whole stretch is beautiful and worth a visit. You get breathtaking views on the smaller roads that divert from the highway.
Q: Any travel tips?
Saurabh Shukla: Travel light, do not carry too many clothes, just the essential ones, and carry plastic money. Do not stay in five hotels but in the local accommodation or heritage resorts. They give you a better experience and feel of the destination. To enjoy the local cuisines of a place.
Q: You’d love to visit?
Saurabh Shukla: I would love to see Ladakh, firstly because it’s so very beautiful, and secondly, because it’s a very long drive from Mumbai and I love driving. It would give a chance to drive through so many diverse states and experiences.