When you go on a family vacation, you’re in it for the experiences and the memories. Vacations abroad offer one of the most intense and beautiful ways to bond with your loved ones.
You’re all out of your comfort zone and in an entirely new place, so will grow closer while learning how to navigate your new environment. A family vacation, when done right, should be more than a couple of weeks lying in the sun and taking a dip in the pool. It should be a real adventure. An immersion in an unknown culture, full of new faces, foods, and activities.
This is why India may well be the perfect destination for your next family trip. It may not be the first place that springs to mind when booking a family getaway. It is usually most popular with students and backpackers and is often associated with stays in hostels and gap year travel stories.
While there are aspects of this in the country, India has so much more to offer to people of a much larger age range and of much broader interests. Here are a few things that should make you consider heading to the planet’s seventh largest country on your next journey.
You might think that planning a trip to India is intense and high-pressure. Especially when you’re responsible for organising the trip for your dependents too. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Planning for India is relatively simple, as long as you focus on arrangements sooner rather than later.
With online reviews for almost any destination nowadays, you can easily check out family-friendly hotels of high quality on travel comparison sites and TripAdvisor pages. Flights are just as easy to book: it’s as simple as searching for the best deal and clicking purchase.
If you are considering a package holiday, pop into your local travel agent. The staff here will be able to recommend the best packages available to suit all of your needs. You will need to submit an Indian Visa Application for each person intending to travel. However, this is simple and can also be carried out online within a matter of minutes.
A final necessity is ensuring that everyone has had their vaccinations. Little ones won’t enjoy this much, but it’s an essential part of getting ready to travel. Your family’s health and safety are priority, so it’s important that you prevent any of your family members from contracting any sickness or disease. Check in with your local GP to work out which vaccines you will need and book an appointment to have them administered as soon as possible.
When a family is traveling, things can end up getting particularly heavy. Lots of little cases mount up in weight. However, India is a hot destination, and consequently, you will all be able to pack relatively lightly. You will need enough outfits to see you all through the trip, but these should be quite lightweight and breathe easy. The heavier items that must be packed will be toiletries, so keep these to a minimum. There are some items that are indispensable though: sunscreens and insect repellants may weigh a lot, but they are a must. Leave plenty of room in suitcases for little trinkets and souvenirs that you are likely to pick up on your journeys.
There are so many activities for families in India. What you choose to do will depend on your interests and tastes, but here are a few ideas to get the ball rolling.
India is renowned for its elephants. Most kids won’t be able to see an elephant in its natural environment, so consider taking a day of your vacation out to visit an elephant sanctuary or reserve. These are animal-friendly places that have the elephants’ best interests in mind.
Avoid paying for things like elephant rides. It’s best to keep your little ones out of direct contact with such huge, majestic beasts. But there’s no harm in looking at them revealing in their home environment. If you have an interest in big cats, you can take this opportunity to see tigers in their natural habitat too. Northern India has plenty of expeditions where you can see the majestic animals roaming free. This is better than any zoo or safari that you can take your kids to back home.
The Taj Mahal is visited by millions of people every year. This might sound extreme, but there’s a reason why. It’s one of the most famous pieces of architecture in the world. Built by an emperor as a mausoleum for his favourite wife, it is a romantic location for you and your partner to visit. But your children will enjoy it too. Get a perfect postcard picture of your little ones in front of the world famous UNESCO heritage site.
Enjoy your trip! (“apanee yaatra ka aanand len” in Hindi)
*This is a collaborative post.