There is hardly any romance in a wild goose chase in the middle of the night. I wouldn’t like to land in a strange city after dark and then go running from one place to another to find the right place to spend the night in.

The traveller in me is generally lost when it comes to choosing a place to spend the night or a few nights anywhere I travel to. There are the B&Bs, the inns, the homestays, the luxury hotels, the guest houses, and the starred ones… but there also options of budget hotels and boutique hotels. It used to be terribly difficult to find the right place in a strange city. I mean, there is the cost involved and then there is the proximity to the heart of a city and also all the security issues. Most important used to be finding a place that matched all the definitions of comfort that was there in my mind.

Things are quite different now… and certainly more organised and disciplined and trustworthy. I had once said that ‘when searching for the right place becomes easy, travel becomes a joy!’ Take Delhi, for instance… the capital has increased a lot in girth and it is now no longer limited to being within the ring road. The mid-segment hotels in Delhi are no longer confined to Karol Bagh and Pahar Ganj. The boutique hotels in Delhi have found their way into areas like Greater Kailash and Sunder Nagar… and they aren’t limited to these areas. To search the right place, a tourist today might just have to rush from Rohini to Kalkaji and from Dwarka to Preet Vihar which would cover the entire city… and this can certainly be an exhausting experience.

I remember the trauma of hotel search when I was in Barcelona… I had a booking with me but the airport bus had dropped me a couple of miles away from the hotel and you can imagine the conversations my wife and I had with the cab drivers who understood only Catalan and we knew not even a smattering of Spanish. Now imagine the trauma if we had had no booking and had to actually search for a place that was good, economical, nicely located, away from goon influence… all in the middle of the night. Delhi is as huge as any of the big European capitals and has its own share of tourist scares. So if you happen to be a tourist coming into the city, hotel bookings in Delhi would be what you might want.

There are a lot of ways open to you as a tourist planning to come to Delhi… and so what is needed is an online option that is both a local search engine and also a sound one-stop destination to find the right hotels. The right portal need not take me for a ride and must simply offer me relevant contact details of the kind of hotels I am looking for. I will obviously prefer to get deals to widen the choice horizon, lots of heartfelt reviews and comments to help me form an opinion. As a person who is planning his trip I must have the choice to message or even call the hotel directly, share details on the social media with my family or friends so that I get their opinion as well. The no strings attached browsing for the right place to stay in Delhi is what I look for in a travel search portal.

The portal that I am talking about does make life easier for the lost traveller. And I think with my hotel bookings taken care of, I can easily get back to what I love doing, that is, day-dreaming. I can afford to day-dream, you see.

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The lost traveller

The lost traveller

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Arvind Passey
26 February 2015