A family destination is one that keeps the kids excited, but has something meaningful for the grownups too. It could be the holiday season or a long holiday, you’ll want to get out of your urban life for a few days to escape to natural beauty. And kids also deserve an escape from the repetitive cycle of school, tuition, exams and more. Here are some handpicked destinations that will let you relax, explore, while you bond with your little ones and make magical memories.
Kerala: For those bored of traditional family holiday destinations like Missouri, Kerala offers a refreshing change for families as they head South. Both kids and grownups will love spending the night in luxurious houseboats, and take off in the morning for canoeing trips traversing across villages. Nature sightseeing opportunities include spotting elephants, Spice/Tea plantation tours, and the flora and fauna at the Periyar National Park. With the kind of lush greenery that is rare across India, and excellent weather throughout the year, Kerala’s a great family travel pick. And if you still have cravings for a classic hill station experience, there’s Wayanad, where kids get ecstatic seeing clouds at eye level. Adventure locations that are easy on the stamina include Pookot Lake and Edakkal Caves, as well as the famous waterfalls, including Sentinel Rocks, Kanthanpara Waterfalls and Soochippara.
Rajasthan: Rajasthan never fails to disappoint any kind of vacationer – from the bootstrapped backpacking to the happy gaggle of kids escorted by parents. Kids will love elephant and camel rides, air ballooning over Jaipur city, and a trip to Ranthambore National Park to spot the Tiger. Fun adventure experiences here include zip lining in Jodhpur, and spending the night under the stars, camping in Jaisalmer.
Goa: Goa isn’t only about hedonistic pleasure. The state is famed for exciting water sport opportunities like snorkeling, boat rides, and paragliding. And, while the kids try their hands at these activities, you can take a much deserved nap on the beach for a nap. A trip to Old Goa will give them a glimpse of history, learning about churches and forts.
Ooty: Another South Indian destination worth exploring is Ooty, known as the queen of the hill stations in the region. The cool breeze and soft sunshine is almost like a balm for those scorched by the urban sun, and the landscape is green and lush in every direction. Family destinations include Botanical Garden, and spotting deer at the Deer Park. Then, you can head for a day of relaxation at Doddabetta, Kalhatty Falls and Pykara Lake. Meaningful experiences for kids here include fishing, trekking and horse riding. Little ones will love to take a ride on the mini-train, and also try out pony rides. There’s also the local tea garden and Honey & Bee Museum to give them a real life learning experience much more memorable than any school book.
Manali: For decades, Manali has been the classic summer escape from a scorching heat wave. Scenic beauty, a cool climate, adventure sports, and romantic options for the couples (playing with snow at Rohtang Pass) are all happy ideas for a family vacation itinerary.