If you’re looking for an exciting family holiday in a vibrant country, that will leave you and your children with amazing memories, then look no further than India. This multi-faceted country crackles with energy and colour and is totally unique: from cities like Mumbai and Delhi, to forts and palaces, desert ranges, tiger reserves, the beaches of Kerala and Goa, and astonishing sights like the iconic Taj Mahal. But, with so much to see and do and long distances to travel between many of the sights, you really don’t want to bite off more than you can chew in one trip, unless you want to spend the whole time in planes, trains and automobiles. And believe me, once experienced, India will captivate you and you will want to return.
The key to a great family holiday in India is all in the planning; getting the balance right between immersion in the cultural extravaganza and sinking in it. With every family trip I arrange, I start by understanding the dynamics of the family, their interests and how they like to travel. I then design an itinerary that works for parents and children alike - exposing the family to the intoxicating whirl of the history, culture and sights of India, but stops short of traumatising the children with sensory overload and ensures there’s plenty of pool time. I work with an excellent team on the ground, who know the difference between merely seeing a country and actually experiencing it. They have wonderful intuitive guides who are able to engage you and your children in the right level of detail, but can also gauge when a child’s (or even your) eyes are glazing over, whilst they have the flexibility to respond to one of the absolute joys of India, the things you just stumble across on your travels, in a place where the locals are just as interested in you as you are in them.
Rajasthan is a treasure trove for families: you can stay in a palace and meet a real life Maharaja; take a camel ride out in the desert; speed around the blue city of Jodhpur in a customised tuk-tuk; play a cricket match against the children of a local Rajasthani village; head out on safari in search of Bengali tigers; or try your hand at being a mahout for a day, bathing elephants and painting them in local Jaipuri style, before a ride into the forest for dinner.
In Kerala in the tropical south, life moves at a much slower pace and is perfect for a relaxing introduction to India. In Kerala you can cycle down quiet lanes where locals greet you warmly; watch the Chinese fishermen at work with their complex nets; sail the backwaters, maybe spending the night on a house boat; travel inland to the blissfully cool tea country; or just loll on the beaches.
For something totally unique, head up to the high Himalayas and walk between local villages, staying in your own beautifully renovated traditional houses (with all mod cons of course). Here away from the well-trodden paths you will gain a more intimate experience of India’s incredibly diverse landscape, people and living cultures.
Discovering India has also got even easier with the introduction of a new e-Visa system, which can be applied for online making the whole process quicker and cheaper. Whilst the remake of The Jungle Book (the forests near Seoni in Madhya Pradesh were reputedly Kipling’s inspiration), which hits the big screen in April, will surely have every child (and adult) wanting to try and find Shere Khan for themselves.
If you would like more information on a bespoke family holiday to India please do contact me.