As someone who lived in Mumbai for two years, I can tell you there were numerous weekends when I just wanted to get away from the blaring car horns, insane traffic, and “go go go” mentality of India‘s most populous city. I relied on guidebooks and word-of-mouth to find out about nearby hill stations, such as Matheran (pictured at right), and beach-side resorts that were suitable for a day trip or weekend excursion. But even with those resources at my disposal, I knew that there had to be scores of other places that my friends didn’t know about or that guidebook writers didn’t have room to cover.
Thankfully, there’s a new website that is trying to take the mystery out of planning a short jaunt from Mumbai. A Break Please (www.abreakplease.com) recommends places to go depending on how much time you have (one, two, or three days), how many travelers are in your group, your budget, and whether or not you have a car (not a given in a country where the per capita income hovers around $1,050). Somewhat akin to Wanderfly, A Break Please also makes travel suggestions based on the type of trip you want to take. Select from beach, hill station, fort, pilgrimage, and four other options.
Having just launched a few weeks ago, A Break Please is very much a work in progress. For example, you can’t book directly from the site and options such as choosing the type of company you will be traveling with (as mentioned on the website’s blog) are not yet available. But even just a quick search on the site returned dozens of accommodations ideas, complete with contact info, nearby activities, and, for the carless, a train schedule detailing fares and departure times.
While A Break Please may not be practical for many travelers to Mumbai, it does appear to be a useful tool for locals and expats who may just need a break from the frenetic pace of Bombay.