We have always been a family that travels. We are expats and with my husband’s family in Ireland, my family in America and us living in the UK, it means we normally are visiting these places to see friends and family. It also means there are so many more places in the world we want to travel to outside of our annual visits to family. One of our new year’s resolutions as a family is to pick one place each year where we need a visa to travel too.
When I first mentioned this my husband was skeptical. I just meant it as a guideline for us to travel further and to more exotic countries than the ones we frequent now. He asked me where was the first place I had in mind and I thought of going to India and seeing the Taj Mahal. I think that India is one of those countries that truly plays on all your senses and can be so captivating.
What’s more of a “show stopper” on holiday than seeing the Taj Mahal. Or looking for tigers with a family tour in Ranthambore National Park in search of Bengal Tigers. And better yet why not drive to Jaipur, for an afternoon tour of the Pink City.
These are the holidays I dream to show my kids and experience with them. I want them to be worldly. Have had experiences in non-english speaking countries, and diverse cultures and food. Oh, the food, don’t even get me started. I want to be booking exotic holidays with the kids.
So where would be your first stop in India?
We thought we would share with you our family holiday to India Checklist:
1. Applying for an Indian visa is necessary for all trips to India.
The first thing you have to sort out for your trip to India is the family visas. The online available Indian visa website is perfect to check what is required. The best part is the electronic Indian visa aka e-visa India can be applied entirely online and costs £109.95 per person. There is no worrying about sending your passport off and getting it back in time. The travel permit is sent within a couple of day directly to your e-mail. An Indian visa is necessary for all trips to India, this applies to all tourist adults and minors as well as business travellers.
2. Research the area you want to travel to for family adventures.
For us, we will be looking at Delhi and it’s surrounding destinations. I wouldn’t fly all that way and stay in one destination. Be aware, it’s so easy to get wrapped up in the dream destination that you forget to make sure you are picking family friendly hotels, places that have nearby restaurants, activities and tours that start early for those early risers. When we plan places that might be geared towards adults, we make sure if we are exploring all day one day, we are doing something the kids would love the next. We alternate through out the holiday. That way everyone is happy.
3. Pick one day to go off the beaten track.
I think there are so many things India has to offer and if you do your research you can find some true hidden gems that isn’t the same as everyone on instagram. I love finding that cave on the beach or that quiet beach tucked away, or perhaps a little cafe off the beaten track. Just make sure you know it’s a safe area and you are obliging to the local rules and regulations. This might take some more googling or asking your tour guides for advice.
I would love to just wandering some little village shops and see the local customs and retail. Those are always the best places to truly see what life is like in a place. If you are planning it with a tour make sure you pick ones that allow you some free time in each place, especially to let the kids roam free.
4. Splurge on one thing. Can you take a small flight to a nearby area and see more?
We always like to indulge just once on something. Whether it’s swimming in dolphin in Mexico or one night in a nicer hotel. When we go to India I want to go on one of those old converted rice boats that usually have dragons carved on the front. I can just see the family hanging out eating Kerala cuisine and sightseeing by the backwaters. But the splurge to do this would be a small flight to Kochi if we arrive in Delhi.
5. Ensure the climate isn’t too hot or too cold when you go.
In some places this can’t be helped but I always think of traveling in terms of the weather. Weather can ruin a holiday in no time especially if children are involved. I know that the best time to visit India is between October and March, when the weather is more likely to be warm, sunny, and dry. This means we are more likely to have a good, smooth holiday. You don’t want to go in August when you can’t even go outside because it’s too hot.
With five simple things to check, you are sure to have a great holiday in India or wherever those visas take you. How do you plan your family holidays? What are things you research before you go? Comment below…
Please make sure to check out all travel advice per the India government website .