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Family Adventure Holiday

 

India has a family-orientated society, is most welcoming of children and offers sights to engage even the shortest attention-span:

                     Animals (elephants, monkeys, cows galore)
                     Vivid colours
                     Interesting sights & smells 
                     Noisy rickshaws
                     Puppet shows to watch
                     Forts & Palaces, houseboats and beaches to explore

And there’s always the hotel swimming pool to cool off after a day of activity.


Where to visit?

Exploring the Golden Triangle sights can be hectic even for grown-ups.  It is often better to stick to one area to enjoy and appreciate fully rather than dragging the kids around on a ‘tick-box exercise’ of the sights. 

Kerala with its slower-pace and relaxing atmosphere is perhaps a better option for families with young children.

And taking advantage of India’s extensive and reasonably priced internal flights can allow you to combine destinations more easily and avoid arduous car journeys.


Properties such as Kumarakom Lake Resort and the Taj Mahal Hotel offer supervised ‘dens’ full of toys, books and games.  Older children will love the adventure of heading out on safari from Cicada –

Kabini to spot elephants, birdlife and perhaps even India’s most famous animal, the tiger.  A desert safari will allow them to impress their friends with stories of riding camels named after the popstar Michael Jackson, or footballer Raul! 

Even properties you perhaps wouldn’t normally associate as being ‘child-friendly’ can offer hours of entertainment for an imaginative child.

 

Hints & Tips

Anything you might be concerned about yourself - the heat, the water, food and its repercussions - will be exaggerated in children, so it's best to be prepared.  Don’t wrap them into cotton wool, but be realistic – even we can find Fort after Fort, and Palace after Palace tiring!


• Some hotels may offer a selection of Western dishes like pasta, chicken escallops and omelettes, although options like baked beans, fish fingers and burgers are best forgotten.  Traditional Indian curry dishes can be very hot, although most chefs will happily turn down the spiceometer for children.  Indian savouries such as pakoras and samosas are ideal snacks, and a plate of cheese sandwiches can always be conjured-up.


• Cots and extra beds are readily available at a small fee and often complimentary for under 5yrs.  Children under 12 yrs sharing with parents will usually stay for free and get 50% discount on meals.


• Amentities like disposable nappies and Calpol are difficult to find except in the major supermarkets in major

cities like Delhi.


• Suncream and hats are a must.


• Responsible babysitting services are available in some hotels and payment is usually at your discretion.  A couple hundred rupees would be very well received and a small price to pay for a “night off” or “dinner à-deux”.


• Children's facilities tend to consist of beaches, swimming pools, nature and wildlife.  Indian children are extremely resourceful and run around happily and they will never shy away from a new Western friend.


• Some of the larger hotels have facilities to entertain the children.  If they fail to be impressed by the Taj Mahal, perhaps the bowling alley and video games at Jaypee Palace hotel will be of more interest!


• Blonde haired children are rarely seen and will attract harmless interest & curiosity.


• Pushchairs or backpacks for very young children should be packed as they will tire more quickly in the heat. 


• Many animals roam the streets.  Most are harmless but cleanliness is not apparent and children should be deterred from making “furry friends”.

• Cars and 1st class trains are suitable for young children.  Buses are overcrowded and should definitely be avoided.