The benefits of travel go beyond making memories and meeting new people; exploring a new place can have a remarkably positive impact on a person’s wellbeing. With 85% of Indian travellers saying their motivation to travel is to boost their mood*, taking a vacation is the ultimate way to feel good. From adventure sports to wellness therapies and mouth-watering food, travel can lift spirits and boost happiness levels for weeks after returning home.
On the occasion of International Day of Happiness on the 20th of March, Booking.com has selected five of the top destinations with the best mood-boosting activities based on traveller reviews. From scuba diving in the Andamans to calming yoga on the beach in Varkala, incorporate a mood-boosting activity into your next vacation to make it the most joyful yet.
- Outdoor activities in Neil Island
Blessed with magnificent biodiversity, unexplored coral reefs, white sandy beaches, and tropical woodlands, Neil Island is a perfect gem of the Andaman Islands. Officially referred to as ‘Shaheed Dweep’ – it’s among the top-recommended destinations for outdoor activities according to Booking.com travellers. From surfing to scuba diving and paddleboarding, it’s the perfect place to experience happiness, especially for those seeking adventure. Venture inland to explore the easy cycling trails immersed in nature, or head onto the beach to sunbathe, read, or just lay.
- Wellness in Auroville, Tamil Nadu
The quiet town of Auroville is an experimental township in Tamil Nadu. Known for hosting weekly workshops, therapies, and community yoga, it’s the ideal vacation for rest and relaxation – and among the top destinations for wellness according to Booking.com travellers which is a key factor to feeling content. Visitors can de-stress and relax with its wet and dry tropical climate and enjoy walks on its open roads to instill inner calm. The community of the township is very close-knit, and the atmosphere is very homely. Matrimandir is the town’s secular gathering spot for people to meditate and experience tranquillity in peaceful silence. This beautiful town has become synonymous with community healing and is an abode to many on the lookout for inner peace.
- Yoga in Varkala, Kerala
Home to palm-covered red cliffs, pristine golden beaches, and pilgrimage sites, the coastal town of Varkala in the southern part of Kerala is a hipster’s paradise. More a state of mind than a place, Varkala is guaranteed to raise the vibes and is among the top recommended destinations for yoga according to Booking.com travellers. Head to Papanasam Beach, ten kilometers away from Varkala, where travellers can enjoy sun salutations at sunset by a natural spring, or sunrise for early birds. Whether into Vinyasa or Bikram, a budding beginner or a yogi master will find a cool spot for a restorative trip.
- Waterfalls in Shillong, Meghalaya
Referred to as the “Scotland of the East”, Shillong is home to several scenic waterfalls, rated one of the best destinations for waterfalls by Booking.com travellers. The state of Meghalaya has 16 main waterfalls, out of which, Nohkalikai Falls at 1,115 ft, is said to be the tallest plunge waterfall in India. This waterfall is fed by the rainwater that collects on the top, making it hard to forget the once-in-a-lifetime sound of water plunging to the earth. The city also stands out with its tall pine conifers, pineapple shrubs, and undulating terrain. Alongside the mesmerising waterfalls, visitors can meander through Mawlynnong, known to be the cleanest village in Asia known for its wood carvings and traditional craftsmanship.
- Nature in Munnar, Kerala
At 1,600 m above sea level and a few hours away from Alleppey, Munnar is one of the most scenic areas in Kerala. Blessed with huge tea plantations, aesthetic cottages, and vibrant hiking trails, it’s no surprise the city is among the highly ranked destinations for nature walks amongst Booking.com travellers. Few visit the lush green mountains, indulge in authentic food, or treat themselves with an ayurvedic spa while continuing to embrace the sheer magnificence and raw natural beauty of this town.