Travelling during the pandemic can be scary, more so when you’ve got a wheelchair-bound mother to accompany. However, this family’s vacation to Udaipur will help pack all those worries away in a suitcase. By Rupali Dean
Despite 2020 playing havoc in everyone’s lives, I still wanted to hug the time we had and make memories that last forever—by being brave as a family, acclimatising to amend, enduring to succeed in situational stress, overcoming hurdles, and accomplishing great things for the several escapades that lie ahead.
As a family that loves travelling, flying down to discover an Indian city to ring in the New Year has been a ritual. This time around, after several days of researching and pondering, we decided to plan this vacation post new year, once the celebrations subside. Hoping to minimise time at the airport and limiting contact with other travellers, we zeroed in on Udaipur as it was a short-haul flight from Delhi.
We chose IndiGo, based on our previous experiences and the care with which they had handled by wheelchair-bound mother in the past. Naturally, we were nervous about travelling during the pandemic. However, the assurance of all safety precautions in place calmed our nerves, including my mother’s. Plus, coming from a family of doctors—some even frontline workers—combined with her willpower made it easier for us to convince her to join us on this voyage. We web checked-in a day prior to the trip, selected our seats, filled out health insurance forms, and printed baggage tags to remain as contactless as possible.
Getting to the airport
We weren’t confident enough to take a public cab, and the ‘park and fly’ option didn’t work for us (we were to depart from Terminal 2 and arrive at Terminal 3). So, we booked a cab from Andaz Delhi. And it was the best decision! The driver arrived on time, and the car was well-sanitised. We wore our masks; and carried individual sanitiser, wipes and sprays. The hotel’s driver even went the extra mile to coordinate with IndiGo’s staff for a wheelchair at the airport’s entry point!
At the airport
We reached an hour-and-a-half prior to our scheduled departure time to leave enough room to comply with the new airport safety measures. My mother’s wheelchair was sanitised in front of us. Next, we dropped off our bags at the counter. IndiGo really impressed me as they were not only inexpensive but dependable too! The staff ensured all the lines flowed smoothly, safely and efficiently. We straightaway noticed hand sanitisers placed near all touchpoints. You’d be surprised to know how many things you tend to touch during a brief walk through the airport!
Everyone was given a safety kit comprising of a mask, shield and travel-size sanitiser. Wearing a mask and shield were compulsory throughout the journey, except when eating or drinking. The flight attendants were friendly and helpful. They kept checking in on my mother to see if she was doing okay. All of this helped ease our anxiety, making the hour-long flight extremely pleasant.
Where we stayed
Upon reaching, we checked-in at The Leela Palace Udaipur. Situated by the tranquil Lake Pichola and bordered by the visions of the Aravalli mountain range, the hotel is a modern-day palace that exudes the magnificence of Mewar. The Leela Suraksha Program, in association with Bureau Veritas India, defines The Leela’s rigorous cleaning procedures in the post-pandemic era. It intends on implementing sanitisation, cleanliness, and wellbeing measures to offer a safe atmosphere for every guest.