"Are we there yet, mum?"
Whether she's enjoying the English countryside, jetsetting or trying to navigate an airport with kids and four suitcases in tow, Travel Mum knows her way around the globe and is on hand to help us all have stress-free travels.
A family guide to exploring India
Best for: Family adventures, wildlife and culture!
As the seventh largest country in the world, India has a spectacular and varied landscape, which acts as the colourful backdrop to a family adventure. Whether you want bustling bazaars, secluded beaches or lush tropics, you can find it here.
It’s hard to explore one city in just one trip yet alone the entire country; so we’ve sketched out our favourite must-dos for any family visiting India.
Go to Goa -
If you want an adventure but still need to relax, the beaches of Goa are fantastic and allow you to catch some sun, play water sports and relax! Baga Beach is one of the most popular, Candolim is slightly quieter yet still lively, but for somewhere truly secluded try Agonda.
Ranthambhore National Park –
As one of the largest national parks in India, Ranthambhore is home to hundreds of different species of wild animals. Don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to see the famous wild tigers in their natural habitat.
Explore Kerala –
The backwaters of Southern India are a tropical paradise and can give families a once in a lifetime experience, away from the hustle and bustle of some of India’s cities. Regarded as one of the safest states and one of the most peaceful, we recommend hiring a traditional boathouse and making your way through the criss-cross maze of lagoons. Bring your camera – and enjoy some truly breath-taking sites!
Meet the locals –
We didn’t get to experience this ourselves but definitely want to visit on our next trip! One of the highest rated attractions, Elefantastic in Jaipur offers families something truly unique and some great memories. You can go on an elephant safari, learn about the majestic creatures and get up close and personal. A must for animal lovers!
Taj Mahal –
A trip to India simply wouldn’t be complete without visiting one of the most famous buildings in the world. One of the seven wonders, the Taj Mahal was built by Emperor Shah Jahan as a monument of love to his deceased wife and has heaps to see – including stunning exterior pools, the famous bench Diana sat on and incredible stonework both inside and out.
Whilst there’s not much else to tempt you in the city of Arga, you will end up spending the whole day at the Taj, making it worth the trip. Arga is about 130 miles (3 hours) away by car. Understandably the Taj is incredibly busy, avoid weekends if possible, arrive early and remember it is closed on Fridays.
Top tip: remember that as a religious site, things like chewing gum, ipods etc are all prohibited. Also make sure phones are switched off and you dress conservatively and respectfully!
You won’t get more authentic than a curry in India! For the more adventurous try specialities such as goat curry and baati, a type of bread. The curry in India is a bit different to your local take-away, but in the larger cities western food is widely available along with other Asian cuisines. Children will love the Indian sweets and fresh fruits.
Remember you’ll find it difficult to eat beef and pork due in certain areas due to different religious laws. However chicken, lamb and fish are all readily available which are familiar for younger children. Also, southern India has its own cuisine so don’t go looking for chicken tikka! Instead enjoy traditional lightly spiced coconut dishes.
How to get there:
Flights from London to New Delhi take around 8 hours but can vary. There’s thousands of hotels but make sure you check the standards with your travel agent and online through wesbites such as www.tripadvisor.co.uk as hotel ratings are not the same as in Europe and America.
Just like many tourist destinations, touts can be rife in certain areas and you can get harassed by those selling things in busy areas. The main thing to remember is – if it’s too good to be true – it often is! Be firm, say no and they will usually lose patience.