Explore India with family: Tips for a relaxing journey with kids

Discovering India Together

Embarking on a family adventure in India is an exciting prospect, filled with vibrant cultures, historical wonders, and breathtaking landscapes. However, traveling with kids can be challenging, and the key to a successful journey lies in meticulous planning and smart strategies. In this guide, we’ll explore family-friendly travel destinations, packing hacks, and activities to keep children engaged during vacations.

Choosing Family Friendly Destinations

When it comes to planning a family vacation in India, the diverse landscape and rich cultural tapestry offer a plethora of options. Selecting destinations that cater to the needs and interests of every family member is crucial for a memorable and stress-free experience. Here are some family-friendly destinations in India that promise a perfect blend of adventure, education, and relaxation.

  1. Kerala – The Land of Backwaters
Alleppey  houseboat
Alleppey houseboat

Kerala, with its tranquil backwaters and lush greenery, is an ideal destination for families seeking a serene retreat. Houseboat rides through the backwaters of Alleppey or Kumarakom provide a unique experience for both adults and children. The slow-paced journey offers breathtaking views of the landscape, allowing the family to bond amidst nature’s beauty.

  1. Goa – Sun, Sand, and Sea

Known for its pristine beaches and vibrant atmosphere, Goa is a fantastic destination for families looking for a mix of relaxation and excitement. The sandy shores provide a natural playground for children to build sandcastles, while the variety of water sports and beachside activities cater to the adventurous spirit of older family members.

  1. Rajasthan – Majestic Forts and Palaces
Nahargarh Fort
Nahargarh Fort in Rajasthan

For families interested in history and culture, Rajasthan’s majestic forts and palaces offer a captivating experience. Cities like Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Udaipur boast architectural wonders that transport visitors to a bygone era. Exploring the colorful markets and participating in traditional activities can make history come alive for children.

  1. Rishikesh and Haridwar – Adventure and Spirituality

Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, Rishikesh and Haridwar are perfect for families seeking a blend of adventure and spirituality. Engage in river rafting on the Ganges, embark on nature walks, and participate in yoga sessions. The spiritual ambience of these towns provides a unique cultural experience for the entire family.

  1. Shimla and Manali – Scenic Hill Stations

The picturesque hill stations of Shimla and Manali in Himachal Pradesh are excellent choices for families seeking a cool escape from the heat. Enjoy scenic drives, visit apple orchards, and take leisurely strolls through the charming streets. Adventure activities like paragliding and skiing add an extra layer of excitement for thrill-seeking families.

  1. Andaman and Nicobar Islands – Tropical Paradise
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Andaman and Nicobar Islands

For families fascinated by marine life and pristine beaches, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a tropical paradise. Explore coral reefs, go snorkeling, and enjoy water sports at Havelock Island. The islands provide a unique blend of relaxation and adventure, making it an ideal destination for families with varying interests.

  1. Mysuru – Cultural Delights
Mysuru Palace
Mysuru Palace

Mysuru, with its rich cultural heritage and palatial architecture, offers a family-friendly atmosphere. Visit the Mysuru Palace, take a stroll through the vibrant Devaraja Market, and explore the city’s museums. The Dasara Festival, celebrated with grandeur, is an excellent time for families to witness the city’s cultural vibrancy.

  1. Darjeeling – Tranquil Tea Gardens

For families who appreciate scenic landscapes and a touch of colonial charm, Darjeeling in West Bengal is an enchanting destination. Take a ride on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, explore lush tea gardens, and enjoy panoramic views of the Himalayas. The pleasant weather and kid-friendly attractions make it an excellent choice for family vacations.

Packing Hacks for Stress-Free Travel

Packing Hacks

Traveling with the family to India can be an exhilarating experience, but the thought of packing for everyone might seem daunting. Fear not! With strategic planning and a few family-friendly packing hacks, you can turn the task of preparing for your Indian adventure into a stress-free experience.

  1. Create a Comprehensive Checklist

Begin your packing journey by creating a detailed checklist. Include essentials like clothing, toiletries, medications, and travel documents. Having a well-organized list ensures you don’t forget crucial items and minimizes the risk of last-minute panics.

  1. Roll, Don’t Fold

Maximize your luggage space by adopting the rolling technique for clothes. Rolling not only prevents wrinkles but also allows you to fit more items into your suitcase. This is particularly useful when packing for the whole family, as it helps conserve space for everyone’s belongings.

  1. Utilize Packing Cubes

Invest in packing cubes to keep everyone’s items separate and easily accessible. Designate specific cubes for each family member, and use different colors for easy identification. This not only keeps things organized but also streamlines the unpacking process at your destination.

  1. Pack Smart with Multi-Functional Clothing

Opt for multi-functional clothing that serves various purposes. Choose versatile pieces that can be mixed and matched to create different outfits. This not only reduces the number of items you need to pack but also ensures everyone is prepared for various weather conditions in India.

  1. Bring a Portable Laundry Bag

Stay organized on the go by packing a collapsible laundry bag. As clothes get worn, separate them from the clean ones to maintain order in your suitcase. This hack becomes particularly handy during longer trips, allowing you to manage laundry efficiently.

  1. First Aid Kit Essentials

Pack a compact first aid kit with family-friendly essentials. Include band-aids, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and any prescription medications. Be prepared for common ailments, so you can address minor health issues without disrupting your travel plans.

  1. Snack Stash for Hungry Moments

Hungry kids can turn a pleasant journey into a stressful one. Pack a variety of snacks that cater to everyone’s preferences. Granola bars, nuts, and dried fruits are excellent options that don’t require refrigeration and can keep hunger at bay while you explore India.

  1. Entertainment for the Little Ones

Keep the kids entertained during travel by bringing along a selection of activities. Coloring books, puzzles, and electronic devices loaded with age-appropriate games and movies can be a lifesaver during long flights or car rides. Ensure each child has their entertainment kit to minimize sharing-related conflicts.

  1. Invest in Lightweight Travel Gear

Opt for lightweight and compact travel gear to make your journey more manageable. This includes strollers, car seats, and travel-friendly booster seats for younger children. Many travel-friendly options are designed to be easy to carry and navigate, making your family adventure in India more comfortable.

  1. Consider Cultural Sensitivities

Respect local customs and dress codes, especially when traveling to culturally rich destinations in India. Pack modest clothing options for everyone in the family, including lightweight scarves or shawls for women. This not only ensures cultural sensitivity but also provides protection against the sun.

  1. Document Organization

Stay organized by keeping all important documents in one designated pouch. This includes passports, travel insurance, tickets, and any required permits. Having a dedicated space for these items reduces the chances of misplacing essential documents and facilitates smoother travel transitions.

  1. Reusable Water Bottles

Stay hydrated during your travels by packing reusable water bottles for the entire family. India’s climate can be warm, and having easy access to water helps everyone stay comfortable and healthy. Ensure the bottles are empty before passing through airport security and refill them as needed throughout your journey.

  1. Charge It Up

In the age of technology, keeping devices charged is crucial. Bring a multi-port USB charger to accommodate everyone’s devices. This eliminates the need for multiple adapters and ensures that everyone can capture and share their Indian adventures through photos and videos.

  1. Pack for Varied Weather

India can have diverse climates depending on the region and time of year. Check the weather forecast for your specific destination and pack accordingly. Be prepared for sudden changes in temperature, especially if you plan to visit different parts of the country.

  1. Emergency Contact Information

Prepare for the unexpected by having emergency contact information readily available. Create a document with important phone numbers, addresses, and local contacts in India. Share this information with all family members and keep a printed copy in your travel documents pouch.

Travel Friendly Activities for Kids

Traveling with kids can be an exciting adventure, but keeping them engaged during the journey is essential for a smooth and enjoyable experience. In India, a country rich in culture and diversity, there are numerous activities that cater to the interests of children. Here are some travel-friendly activities for kids that will make your family adventure in India even more memorable:

Scavenger Hunt at Historical Sites:

Turn visits to historical sites into an interactive and educational scavenger hunt. Prepare a list of things for your kids to find, such as specific architectural details, historical symbols, or unique artifacts. This not only keeps them entertained but also enhances their learning experience.

Traditional Arts and Crafts:

Embrace the local culture by engaging your kids in traditional arts and crafts. Many regions in India have unique art forms like Madhubani painting, Warli art, or block printing. You can purchase DIY kits or visit local artisans to guide your children in creating their masterpieces.

Storytelling Sessions:

India is a land of myths, legends, and fascinating stories. Utilize travel time or quiet evenings to share age-appropriate Indian folktales or myths with your kids. This not only keeps them entertained but also introduces them to the rich storytelling traditions of the country.

Culinary Exploration:

Turn mealtime into an adventure by involving your kids in the local cuisine. Encourage them to try new dishes, and if possible, participate in a cooking class where they can learn to prepare simple Indian recipes. Exploring the diverse flavors of Indian cuisine can be a delightful experience for young food enthusiasts.

Nature Trails and Wildlife Safaris:

Wildlife Safaris

India boasts diverse ecosystems, from lush forests to arid deserts. Plan nature trails or wildlife safaris where kids can observe and learn about the country’s flora and fauna. Many national parks and wildlife sanctuaries offer guided tours suitable for families.

Interactive Museum Visits:

Several cities in India have interactive museums designed specifically for children. These museums offer hands-on exhibits, science experiments, and educational games. Places like the Nehru Science Centre in Mumbai or the Science City in Kolkata provide a perfect blend of entertainment and learning.

Traditional Dance and Music Classes:

Introduce your children to the vibrant world of Indian dance and music by enrolling them in traditional dance or music classes. Depending on the region you are visiting, you can explore dance forms like Bharatanatyam, Kathak, or Odissi, or immerse them in the beats of classical or folk music.

Beach Activities:

If your family adventure takes you to coastal areas like Goa or Kerala, take advantage of the beaches. Build sandcastles, collect seashells, or organize a family beach volleyball game. The sound of the waves and the feel of the sand beneath their feet can be a memorable experience for kids.

Language Games:

India is a land of diverse languages. Teach your kids basic phrases in the local language of the region you’re visiting. Create language games or challenges to make learning fun. This not only adds an educational aspect to the trip but also fosters cultural appreciation.

Photography Sessions:

Provide your kids with disposable cameras or let them use your smartphone to capture their perspective of the journey. Encourage them to document interesting sights, people, or moments. This not only keeps them engaged but also creates a unique family travel album.

Remember to tailor these activities based on the age and interests of your children. By incorporating these travel-friendly activities, you can ensure that your family adventure in India is not only stress-free but also filled with fun and educational experiences for your little ones.

Navigating Public Transportation

India’s public transportation system can be an adventure in itself. While it might be tempting to rent a car, consider using trains or buses for a more authentic experience. Trains, in particular, are a popular and efficient mode of transport, allowing you to cover long distances comfortably.

Book train tickets well in advance, opting for family-friendly seating arrangements. Many trains have special compartments for families with children. If you’re traveling by bus, choose reputable companies with a focus on safety and comfort.

Embracing the Local Cuisine

Exploring local cuisine is a significant part of any travel experience. However, children can be picky eaters, so it’s essential to strike a balance between introducing them to new flavors and ensuring they have familiar options.

Research family friendly restaurants in advance and be open to trying local specialties in a more approachable form. Street food can be a fun adventure, but exercise caution to avoid any health issues. Carry snacks that your kids enjoy to provide a quick alternative if they’re not fond of the local options.

Accommodations for Families

Choosing the right accommodation is crucial for a stress-free family vacation. Consider staying in family-friendly hotels or resorts that offer amenities such as a pool, playground, or kids’ club. Many places also provide babysitting services, allowing parents some downtime.

When booking accommodations, check for family rooms or suites with separate sleeping areas for parents and children. This ensures everyone gets a good night’s sleep, even if schedules don’t align perfectly.

Staying Healthy and Safe

Health and safety should be top priorities when traveling with children. Ensure everyone’s vaccinations are up-to-date and carry a basic medical kit. Familiarize yourself with the location of the nearest hospitals or clinics, especially if you’re venturing into remote areas.

Practice good hygiene, particularly during the ongoing global health situation. Carry hand sanitizer, disinfect frequently-touched surfaces, and follow local guidelines to protect your family and others.

Capture the Memories

Documenting your family adventure is essential to preserve the memories for years to come. Encourage the kids to keep travel journals or participate in a photo scavenger hunt. Create a shared digital album where everyone can contribute their favorite moments.

Consider hiring a local photographer for a family photoshoot at iconic landmarks. This not only results in beautiful pictures but also provides a unique perspective on your travels.


Family adventures in India can be incredibly rewarding, offering a blend of cultural enrichment and quality bonding time. By choosing family-friendly destinations, employing smart packing hacks, keeping the kids engaged, and prioritizing health and safety, you can ensure a stress-free and memorable journey for the entire family. Share your experiences with other families, inspiring them to embark on their own Indian adventures. Happy travels!