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Travel with Children In India

Travel with children in India is usually a delight, though you (and your kids) may have to get used to being the centre of attention. Locals will thrill at taking a photograph or two beside your bouncing baby. This may prove tiring and disconcerting, but you can always politely decline. A Warm Welcome In many respects, travel with children in India can be a delight, and warm welcomes are frequent.

Accommodation

Hotels will almost always come up with an extra bed or two, and restaurants with a familiar meal. Railway porters will produce boiled sweets from their pockets; clucking old ladies will pinch rosy toddler cheeks; domestic tourists will thrill at taking a photograph or two beside your bouncing baby. But while all this is fabulous for outgoing children it may prove tiring, or even disconcerting, for those of a more retiring disposition.

Sleeping India offers such an array of accommodation options – from beach huts to heritage boutiques to five-star fantasies – that you’re bound to be able to find something that will appeal to the whole family. Even the swishest of hotels are almost always child-friendly, as are many budget hotels, whose staff will usually rustle up an extra mattress or two; some places won’t mind cramming several children into a regular-sized double room along with their parents. Traveling with a baby, it can make sense to pack the lightest possible travel cot you can find (companies such as Kid Co make excellent pop-up tent-style beds) since hotel cots may prove precarious. If your budget stretches to it, a good way to maintain familial energy levels is to mix in a few top-end stays throughout your travels. The very best five stars come equipped with children’s pools, games rooms and even children’s clubs, while an occasional night with a warm bubble bath, room service macaroni cheese and the Disney channel will revive even the most disgruntled young traveler’s spirits.

The key as a parent on the road in India is to stay alert to children’s needs and to remain firm in fullfilling them. Remember, though, that the attention your children will inevitably receive is almost always good nature; kids are the center of life in many Indian households, and your own will be treated just the same.

Eating

Eating You’ll usually find something to satisfy sensitive childhood palates, but if you’re traveling in the most family-friendly regions of India, such as Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Kerala or the big cities, feeding your brood is easier. Here you will find familiar Western dishes in abundance. While on the road, easy portable snacks such as bananas, samosas, puri (puffy dough pockets) and packaged biscuits (Parle G brand are a perennial hit) will keep diminutive hunger pangs at bay.

Adventurous eaters and vegetarian children, meanwhile, will delight in experimenting with the vast range of tastes and textures available at the Indian table: paneer (unfermented cheese) dishes, simple dhals (mild lentil curries), creamy kormas, buttered naans (tandoori breads), pilaus (rice dishes) and Tibetan momos (steamed or fried dumplings) are all firm favorites, while few children, no matter how culinary unadventurous, can resist the finger food fun of a vast South Indian dosa (paper-thin lentil-flour pancake) served up for breakfast.

Traveling

On the Road Travel in India, be it by taxi, local bus, train or air, can be arduous for the whole family. Plan fun, easy days to follow longer bus or train rides, pack plenty of diversions (iPads or laptops with a stock of movies downloaded make invaluable travel companions, as do the good old-fashioned story books, cheap toys and games available widely across India), but most of all don’t be put off : it might take you a while to get there (and there are few words more daunting than ‘delay’ to already frazzled parents), but chances are it will be well worth it when you do. Health The availability of a decent standard of health care varies widely in India, and is better in traveler-frequented parts of the country where it’s almost always easy to track down a doctor at short notice (most hotels will be able to recommend a reliable one), and prescriptions are quickly and cheaply filled over the counter at numerous pharmacies. Diarrhea can be serious in young children; re hydration is essential and seeks medical help if persistent or accompanied by fever. Heat rash, skin complaints such as impetigo, insect bites or stings can be treated with the help of a well-equipped first aid kit. Children’s Highlights Best Fairy-tale Splendors.

Best Regions for Kids Delhi

A fun city for exploring the quirky National Rail Museum, Shankhar’s International Dolls Museum and Sulabh International Museum of Toilets, along with plenty of comfy hotels and good food of all culinary persuasions.

Autorickshaw

Old Delhi Hurtle at top speed to create a scene worthy of Indiana Jones in the colorful, congested, incredibly atmospheric alleyways off Old Delhi’s Chandni Chowk.

Rajasthan

A kaleidoscopic state replete with fairy-tale palaces, blue cities and pink cities fit for little princes and princesses, open-air astrological observatories for stargazers, desert camel treks for older kids and a plethora of colorful festivals.

Ladakh

Families can take it easy in laid back Leh, while high-altitude treks amid incredible, otherworldly lunar landscapes suit those with older children.

Himachal Pradesh

Take pony rides and high teas in charming, colonial British-era hill stations; go zorbing or rafting in Manali, and experience monks, mantras and multicolored prayer wheels in McLeod Ganj.

Goa

Gorgeous white-sand beaches make Goa the perfect family choice for lazing the days away with swimming, sand castles, boat trips and an excursion out to a spice plantation (near Ponda to bathe with an elephant).

Goa’s dolphins

Splash out on a dolphin spotting boat trip from almost any Goa beach to see them cavorting among the waves.

Palolem

Goa Hole up in a beachfront palm-thatched hut and watch your kids cavort at beautiful Palolem beach, featuring the shallowest, safest waters in Goa.

Patnem

Goa Just up the leafy lane from Palolem, quieter Patnem draws scores of long stayers with children to its nice sand beach and cool, calm, child-friendly beach restaurants.

Kerala

Backwater houseboat adventures, elephant spotting at wildlife reserves, tea picking in firefly-studded plantations and serious beach time await beside the Arabian Sea. Fascinating, frustrating, thrilling and fulfilling; India is e very bit as much a great adventure for children as it is for parents. Though the sensory overload may be overwhelming for younger kids and even short journeys by bus or train can prove rigorous for the entire family, the colors, scents, sights and sounds of India more than compensate by setting young imaginations ablaze. Gaze at twinkling Diwali candles with your under-10s, dig your heels into white-sand beaches while your toddlers build a sand temple or two; tuck into family-editorializes at a bus station lunch joint; or trek the Himalayan byways with your teenagers: perfect moments like these make the occasional aches and pains of Indian travel worthwhile.

Backwater boat

Allapuzha Take a cruise or rent a houseboat to troll Kerala’s beautiful, mangrove-infested backwaters. If you happen to hit town on the second Saturday in August, take the kids along to see the spectacular Nehru Trophy snake boat race. Best Beachfront Kick-backs.

Jaisalmer

Revel in Arabian Nights grandeur in Jaisalmer’s centuries-old Old Fort on the edge of the Thar desert.

Hampi

Make like the Flintstones on the boulder-strewn shores of the Tungabhadra River, cross able by coracle; explore magical ancient ruins, and stop for a tasty dosa at the riverside Mango Tree.

Udaipur

Explore impossibly romantic palaces galore, take a riding excursion with the aptly named Princess Trails, and spoil your children rotten with a stay at the glorious Lake Palace Hotel.

Orchha

Wander the crumbling palaces and battlements of little-known Orccha, not far from the rather more adult-oriented attractions of Khajuraho. Have a swim in the river, and fulfill every little girl’s Cinderella fantasies with a stay in one of the palaces.

Plan your trip travel with children
Best Natural Encounters
Tiger Parks

Madhya Pradesh Delve deep into the jungle or roam the plains at the tiger parks of Kanha, Pench or Bandhavgarh. You might not see a tiger, but there’s plenty of other wildlife worth spotting.

Elephants in Karnataka

Visit these pachyderms at the Dubare Forest Reserve near Madikeri; get busy bathing and feeding them, and then hop on for a ride.

Hill Station

Monkeys Head up to Shimla or Matheran for close encounters with the monkeys that will readily sneak into your bedroom and steal your precious packet of Hobnobs if you give them half a chance. Be cautious – these feisty simians can be aggressive and are known to bite unsuspecting visitors. Funnest Forms of Transport

Toy Train

Darjeeling Ride the seven-hour diesel toy train past colorful mountain villages and gushing waterfalls to witness mountain peaks so jagged and towering they look like illustrations straight from the pages of the Brothers Grimm.

Hand-pulled rickshaw

Matheran A narrow-gauge toy train takes visitors most of the way up to this cute, monkey-infested hill station, after which your children can choose to continue to the village on horseback or in a hand-pulled rickshaw.

Andaman Islands

Traveling to Andaman with your kid is something you should try for sure. The beaches and the pleasant environment will be loved by your little one for sure. There can be no better way to introduce your children to fun, outdoor activities and travel than a trip to the Andaman Islands. There are plenty of spots where children can run and swim on the beach or wonder at exotic marine life, build sand castles, try their hand at fishing, climb trees as well as learn to tie hammocks on their trunks.

Havelock Island

Splash about in the shallows at languid Havelock Island, part of the Andaman Island chain, where, for older children, there’s spectacular diving on offer.

Staying Safe

1. If traveling internationally check with your doctor to see if your child might need additional vaccines or preventive medications, and make sure your child is up-to-date on routine vaccinations. Bring mosquito protection in countries where mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria are present.

2. In order to reduce jet lag adjust your child’s sleep schedule 2-3 days before departure. After arrival, children should be encouraged to be active outside or in brightly lit areas during daylight hours to promote adjustment.

3. Stay within arm’s reach of children while swimming as pools may not have safe, modern drain systems and both pools and beaches may lack lifeguards.

4. Ensure that your child wears a life jacket when on smaller boats and set an example by wearing your life jacket.

5. Conditions at hotels and other lodging may not be as safe as those in the U.S. and Europe. Carefully inspect for exposed wiring, pest poisons, paint chips, or inadequate stairway or balcony railings.

6. When traveling, be aware that cribs or play yards provided by hotels may not meet current safety standards. If you have any doubt about the safety of the crib or play yard, ask for a replacement or consider other options.

7. Wash hands frequently and consider bringing hand-washing gel and disinfectant wipes to prevent illnesses during travel.

8. Take all essential items for your child in carry-on luggage:
Take enough food, diapers, medicine, and other items to last through possible flight delays. If you put any of your child’s essential items in checked luggage, you may run into problems if your checked bags are lost or delayed. Carrying all the child’s essentials with you is especially important if your child is on a special diet or on medication.

9. Keep your children under control at all times:
You are responsible for supervising your child at all times. An unsupervised or unrestrained child could quickly wander way into dangerous areas such as galleys, especially if the responsible adult falls asleep. During a very long flight from Australia to the US, I observed a parent traveling alone with a child fall asleep and then saw their toddler wander down the aisle. You should also be careful when walking about the aircraft with your child so that they don’t reach for cups of hot coffee, silverware, and other hazards.

10. Bring along safe toys:
Try to avoid bringing along toys that are sharp, heavy, or that break easily. If the child has an electronic game, only allow them to use it during the cruise portion of flight. Electronic games may interfere with an aircraft’s navigational system during other phases of the flight.

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