17 tips for a healthy and happy family adventure in India

written by Intrepid Travel December 17, 2014

Here at Intrepid, we don’t think kids are ever too young to start travelling.* But taking your kids travelling can be a daunting prospect. Will they be safe? What if something goes wrong? What if they get sick?

The parent’s mind can be riddled with anxiety at the best of times. Throw travel to a developing country in the mix, and you’ve got yourself a real pickle.

Taking your pint-sized people travelling in India – perhaps known as one of the most confronting and challenging countries in the world for travellers –  then, would likely be out of the question for most full-sized parents. But it needn’t.

If you plan it properly, a family trip to India could be the adventure of a lifetime for you and your kin. To prove it, Hailey Bartholomew, a friend of Intrepid’s, travelled to India with her kids and made this wonderfully inspiring video for us. Hailey has also kindly elaborated on the points put forward in the video below, for your reading pleasure.

If you find yourself weighing up the pros and cons of taking your kids away – this video should convince you in the affirmative. It’s a beautiful thing. Here’s to the next generation of travellers!

1. Travel in tuk-tuks

“This is the best way to see the streets and to feel part of the crazy Indian fun!”

2. Eat only vegetarian and cooked food

“Stay away from dairy too. I have done multiple trips to India now and as long as I obey this rule I seem to be OK. My kids have also never got sick whilst following this rule. We do eat bananas and things we can peel ourselves, but everything else has to be cooked!”

3. Stay somewhere restful

“If traveling with kids somewhere like India, spend a little more on your accommodation and stay somewhere amazing and peaceful. It will be a welcome respite to the busy streets. ”

4. Wear clothing that covers your knees

“I’m always taking my cues of what to wear from the locals. However, I don’t find wearing a sari very practical for me, so we try to be as considerate as possible and cover our knees without wearing anything too revealing. We got stared at enough without showing any extra skin.”

5. Go shopping!

“India is my absolute favourite place for shopping. Check out markets and stalls and try and shop where the locals shops. It will be interesting, fascinating, exciting and  exhausting all at once!”

Related: check out our 10-day North India Family Holiday

6. Buy local handcrafts

“And make sure you buy them quickly! You probably won’t see that item you like again. I have tried to find items a few hours after I first see them, but it’s almost impossible. If you like it, grab it.”

7. Take photos

“Photos, photos, photos! It seems obvious, but take loads. I recommend the Panasonic Lumix GX7 as the best little travel camera ever- I love it. And I’m not even sponsored to say that! ”

8. Use hand sanitiser

“Food seriously tastes better if you eat it like a local – with your hands. So make sure you always have some sanitiser handy (no pun intended) to clean up those grubby mitts.

9. Don’t drink the water…

“This is an obvious one. And make sure you use bottled water to clean your teeth!”

10. A  little trick regarding water…

“Sometimes it is hard to remember to not use the tap water, especially when staying somewhere nice. So we put coloured tape on the taps to help us (and more importantly, the kids) remember.

11. Have some clothing made

“One of my favourite things to do is get some clothing made. Take your favourite dresses, pants or t-shirts and get them copied! It’s so fun to pick fabric and see it come together.”

Related: fancy an India family holiday for yourself? Take a peek at our 14-day southern itinerary.

12. Write a diary

“Because it all goes so fast and you may forget wonderful details. It will be a delightful surprise to read it all later!”

13. Dance…

“…and find festivals that are going on and get involved. India has some great festivals – Diwali and Holi are the most well known, but there are a stack more so check out what’s on before you go.’

14. Calming oils

“Quigley – a friend we travelled to India with – took this wonderful collection of calming oils with her. There are also oils to help you sleep, relieve aches and pains, act as an antiseptic and a whole bunch more. These were a life saver more than once – especially the stress relief! Sometimes on the streets with all the chaos and buzz the kids can get overwhelmed, so luckily we had this little roll-on oil that we used, and it really did work.”

15. Get henna tattoos

“Find someone on the street or in a mall who can do your hands or feet. It’s wonderful fun to watch them doing these amazing designs so fast. This is usually the first thing I do when I arrive in India!”

16. Visit all the palaces and forts you can

“They are astoundingly beautiful and the stories that go with them are just as amazing. Sometimes we just went exploring to see what we could find, other times we did an audio tour. Both are fun. Younger kids mostly enjoyed the chasing each other through dark passages and finding hidden rooms, which can actually be quite fun for the parents too!”

17. Travel with friends!

“This one isn’t in the video but I can’t recommend travelling with good friends highly enough. We went to Bali once with some other lovely friends and had loads of fun too. It really is wonderful – and the kids have each other to keep themselves occupied. Bliss!

*Although the minimum age on Intrepid Family Adventures is usually 5 or 11 depending on the itinerary, and is 15 on our regular small group adventures. Head to our website to find out more about our awesome family trips.

Check out Hailey’s website for more travel inspiration and advice.


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