Successful travels in India with children

Tips for travelling in India with children

– Gregor, Sarah and family from Canada are travelling with their children aged 12, 10 and 5 for a year across Europe and Asia. They used our help to plan parts of their India trip and are guests authors for a series of blogs on travelling in India with children. 

“Keep the kids happy, everybody is happy.” These wise words were spoken by my mother-in-law. Travelling in India from early January to mid-March, we experienced both the sweet fruits of our observance of this wisdom and the rotten fruit of forgetting it. It is hot, busy and very different from home (Canada). You need to take time to just relax, unwind, digest (both exotic foods and all the impressions) and escape. Our tendency is to want to fill our days with meaningful cultural visits, to maximize the time we have. We want to see this exotic new land before we head back home where everything is so familiar. With children, this does not work!

Inspiration and motivation Children of the same age always inspire each other

Our journey with the kids

As cool as it could be to climb to the top of a peak in Sri Lanka with all of the other pilgrims to witness sunrise, these will be the kids crying and acting out and miserable for the rest of the day. So many beautiful temples, so little time… After two or three, the intricacies of when they were built and how Buddha is holding his fingers is lost on the small people. We dropped our kids in at the deep end, arriving in India in Mumbai and heading to Aurangabad to visit the Ajanta and Ellora caves. They were little troopers, but we quickly saw that we needed to leave them in the room (our eldest daughter is 12 going on 17!) while we went out to buy some fresh fruit or to do a little shopping close by.

India with children Backwater canoe trip in Kerala with children

the kids’ favourite place

Nature and small towns is also a key to happiness. When we arrived in Hampi, the kids were jubilant: “This is our favourite place in India!” Life slowed down, there was much less pressure to buy things (I received daily offers from one man to have my ears cleaned and he even had testimonials sorted by country of origin). It was possible to rent scooters and enjoy getting around by ourselves. Any beach we visited offered the same thing in addition to the breeze that invariably comes with being right on the ocean.

India with children Cooking class in Varkala with kids

So, I would say that India is an amazing place to visit, but with kids, you must pace yourself. One temple, not four! Some city time but not much! Nature, fresh air and some beach time is an important way to break up some of the heavier experiences. It gives us all time to digest what we have seen and done. When the kids have time to recuperate and chill-out time, they seem to be able to just take everything in stride. A large part of the enjoyment on our trip has been watching the kids go with the flow!

India travel with children India is always an adventure – more so when travelling with children

More blogs from Gregor and Sarah on travelling India with children

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2 responses to “Successful travels in India with children
  1. Dear Gregor and Sarah!
    Hats off to you guys! Taking my little boy to a shop next street and returning home with minimal degree of damage to his forehand, knees or to the neighbor’s windows is a tedious task for me. A year away from home and it’s amazing how you guys have enjoyed and learnt from parenting the kids.

  2. I’d love to take my family to India one day, but the prospect has always been a bit daunting. Glad to see that you guys did it successfully. I think it would be such an amazing place for kids to experience – a real inspirational trip.