If you’re looking for a value for money destination to take your family, India has much to offer. Whether you choose a beach vacation, a sightseeing tour or a wildlife safari, your children will be captivated by the culture, history and landscape.
With world-famous sights like the Taj Mahal, the blush palaces of ancient Jaipur and the magnificent Red Fort, your children will be inspired to learn history from real life rather than from a text book.
As well as the architectural sights, there is also a rich cultural heritage to explore. You could visit the backwaters of Kerala (a network of lagoons, canals and lakes which have long been used as a route of transportation), or perhaps you could visit a remote mountain village where life has remained the same for decades. There are many opportunities to get out and meet the people who each have a different story to share.
Trying different food when you travel is all part of the experience. Indian food is diverse, exotic and exciting, however, that isn’t always what children are looking for. If your children don’t take to it, there are places to get western staples like pizza, pasta and fish and chips. Breads and rice are plain and simple things for children to sample without being spicy, so don’t let the cuisine put you off taking your children.
After arriving in India, you will need to be ready to enter the frenetic streets of the city. One of the easier ways to do it is with Emirates, which offer flights to India in a daily basis.
Half the fun of travelling is the actual travel to and from each point. Whether you travel by train, rickshaw, elephant, boat or even camel, your journey in India can be as much fun as the destinations. Through the process of travel you get to experience the essence of the country and its people, and if you enjoy the process of travel, so will your children.
India is a fantastic destination to get up close and personal with the wildlife, as it has many national parks and nature reserves. Tigers, elephants, monkeys, leopards, lions and crocodiles all feature. Seeing animals in their natural habitat is such a privilege, especially when you come face to face with an endangered species.
Tigers are the main feature of safaris in India as there are as few as 3,200 remaining in the wild and half of those reside in India. The Bengal tiger is among the most critically endangered animals on the planet. Of the nine species of tiger, three are already extinct, so taking your children to see some in the wild will be a trip they will never forget.
Kanha National Park is one of India’s largest national parks. It’s an ideal place to go tiger spotting and you’ll see plenty of other wildlife around too. Corbett National Park stands in the foothills of the Himalayas, providing a dramatic backdrop to the wildlife as you search for elephant and track tigers. Bandhavgarth National Park has a high density of Bengal tigers, and again there are lots of other animals to keep you on your toes with your camera. If it’s Asiatic lions and mugger crocodiles you’re searching for, then Sasan Gir National Park is the place to go. Whichever park you choose, be sure to pre-book onto a tour as they can get busy as numbers are restricted to protect the animals.
Tips for traveling to India with children
- If you’ve never been to India before, make sure you book onto an organised tour rather than travelling alone with your children for the first time.
- Travel at a leisurely pace – don’t try to cram too much into your trip, otherwise the stress of rushing from one destination to another will spoil the experience.
- Take antibacterial handwash and wipes, and encourage your children to wash their hands more regularly than they may be used to.
- Take sunscreen, hats and sunglasses for all of you.
- Avoid buffet style food which may have been hanging around for a while
- Take your own mini medical kit so you’re ready for anything.
- Research areas you plan to visit and if you aren’t travelling as part of a tour, arrange everything before you arrive.
Plan your Indian adventure
Family travel in India is incredibly rewarding, but it’s worth being prepared and planning thoroughly before you go.
Good tips. Although we are fairly seasoned travelers, India has always been a place that intimidates us, and ultimately it might end up being one of the places where we actually do an “organized” tour. Safe travels!