From snow-capped mountains to sandy beaches and arid deserts to evergreen forests, India has it all. The natural and cultural diversity is unmatched due to how vast and varied this country is. The only way to fully experience the magical land of India is to visit the length and breath and experience all the hidden natural treasures.
Few things need to be remembered when traveling in India – the country is big, it is crowded, and the weather can vary dramatically across the land. For the best experience, while traveling around India, you need to be well prepared and aware of some dos and don’ts.
Tips to travel safely with kids in India
Traveling with kids in India can be extremely enjoyable but also a bit challenging. With these tips, things should run more smoothly and leave you feeling enriched and with tons of great memories.
- Avoid the water: Tap water is not always safe and could make you and your kids sick. Stick to bottled or filtered water. Most resorts offer filtered water with the option of buying bottled water as well.
- Avoid the street food: Every state in India has its own version of street food. While the food is delicious and can be very tempting, the warm weather and flies could cause the food to spoil. Find a good restaurant to sample the various cuisines instead.
- Avoid crowded areas: Certain areas in every city, at certain times of the day, could be more crowded than usual. It is advisable to avoid these areas where there is a chance of getting separated from your little one in the crowd. You are very unlikely to face this problem when visiting rural and forested areas so, make the most of your travels within these places.
- Hold hands: Many places of interest have large open spaces and lots of people. To make sure your children don’t wander off, keep a firm hold of their hand and make sure you can see them at all times.
- Avoid public transport: The public transport in India is usually overcrowded most times of the day and best avoided. Use auto rickshaws, taxis, and Uber/Ola to get around as much as possible. If you do want to experience a ride on a local train or bus, choose an off-peak hour when the transport is less crowded, and you can sit comfortably with your children next to you. Don’t let your children wander around the bus or train compartment on their own.
- Make travel reservations: Interstate travel by rail is one of the best ways to see India between the towns and cities. When traveling by train with kids, make sure to have confirmed reservations to ensure that you get your seats and don’t miss your journey.
- Hire trusted tour guides: At popular tourist destinations, you are likely to be approached by several tour guides offering their services, avoid them. Pre-book a tour guide via the hotel or through a tourism agency and ensure that the hotel/agency can vouch for the guide.
- Supervise swimming: Not all hotels and public swimming pools have lifeguards in India. If your children go swimming, go with them and supervise them at all times. The same goes for swimming in lakes and rivers. Check with the locals of the area if it is safe and legal to swim there.
- Vaccinate: If you are visiting India from overseas you will need to check with your physician about the vaccines that you will require before you travel.
- Carry medication: If your child suffers from allergies or is on any prescription medication, be sure to be well stocked with epi-pens and the meds. Accessing a pharmacy might prove tricky in some of the more remote areas of the country.
- Get advice from your hotel in case of medical emergencies: All the cities and most of the smaller towns have good medical facilities and doctors. In an emergency, check with your hotel for the closest and best place to find assistance. The emergency room of a private hospital might be your safest option. Many resorts also have a doctor on call.
Everyone living in India and abroad should explore the diverse landscapes of this country. Navigating this terrain with children can be quite a task, but these few guidelines should prepare you well for the trip of a lifetime.