Travelling to India is not as popular for families as it is for single, young backpackers. The noise, pollution, and the overall assault on the senses, add to that the typical headaches that come with travelling with kids, and it can be too much for some people. However, millions of visitors—including families—still go back to India year after year. This because with all the challenges come priceless rewards that you can’t earn anywhere else and in any other way.
Travelling to places like India is probably one the most valuable educational experiences you can provide to your kids. Aside from allowing them to learn about a country whose culture and history are different from their own, it’s an eye-opening experience to how beautiful and complex the world can be.
After doing your due diligence through extensive research on tour packages in India, planning for the unexpected, and preparing for the trip, you and your family are ready to travel to one of the most challenging yet most rewarding countries to visit in the world. Make sure your kids have a memorable and meaningful experience with these travel activities that are both fun and educational.
Write a Travel Journal
Encourage your kids, 5 years and up, to keep a journal of their travels to India and other destinations. As with adults, journaling for kids has many benefits. The most obvious is the improvement and development of their communication skills. For little kids, you can amp up the fun factor by transforming the journal into a kind of scrapbook with drawings, stickers, and other souvenirs. Meanwhile, tweens and teenagers can use journaling as a healthy way to let out negative emotions and frustrations.
Lastly, it’s a beautiful way to capture memories of their travel to India and elsewhere. When they look back on their journals when they grow older, not only will they remember the places they visited but also what they were thinking and feeling while travelling.
Give your kids their own easy-to-use camera (instead of a Smartphone) to develop their eye for photography and encourage their creativity. After all, India has numerous beautiful heritage sites and natural wonders that deserve to be preserved in one’s memories through photographs.
However, don’t just give them the camera and let them loose. Take it as an opportunity to teach them basic composition like the rule of thirds, using natural light for the best exposure as well as taking care of their camera. Aside from developing creativity, kids will also learn to be more independent and responsible for their things.
Volunteer As a Family
It’s not news that India has its problems such as homeless children who lack educational opportunities and basic needs. Why not take the time to volunteer as a family at one of India’s non-profit organisations addressing the problem? There are different programs in India that combine volunteer work with sightseeing, as well as other touristy activities. Many of these also welcome families and other groups.
You can expect your kids to be asked to participate and interact with student beneficiaries of the different organisations. While they play and have fun, these interactions organically promotes cross-cultural understanding that enriches everyone’s personal experiences.
Enroll in a Cooking Class
India is seeing an uptick of tourists interested in learning one of the world’s most renowned cuisines. That’s why different cooking classes of all levels and duration are now offered in places like Kerala, Delhi, Goa, Kochi, Jaipur, Udaipur, and other regions of the country where tourism is prevalent. If you think about it, it’s actually a creative and safe way to introduce your kids to Indian cuisine.
The best places to enroll in one of these cooking classes are homestays and organic farms. Here, they offer a short course that includes going to the market, harvesting produce and spices from the garden, and the actual cooking. If you’re interested, specialised courses for kids are available in farms like the Sita Cultural Center in Pondicherry and Rita’s Gourmet in Goa.
Go on a Trekking Adventure
India has amazing outdoor trails that are easy and suitable for older kids. Tempt them away from their video games and gadgets with the spectacular views and experiences that these trails offer. Not only will your family appreciate the fresh air and quality time together, everyone will also get a good workout out of it.
Some of these child-friendly trails are found in Mullayanagiri and Tadiandamol in Karnataka and Chembra in Kerala. All of these are single-day hikes with no camping gear necessary. However, always check the day’s weather before going, and make sure you have water, food, and other essentials you may need.
Let India be your children’s classroom and playground. The country’s colourful culture, rich history, and hospitable people have much to teach kids and everyone who’s willing to learn with an open mind.