Children are curious, children are fun, children like to see, feel and assimilate. They are mini explorers. Everything that they see has to be known better, understood well and entrenched deep within. It is this little super power of theirs that makes them what they are – unique individuals. Exploration is mostly done when they meet new people, taste new food, listen to new sounds and see new places. What then could be better than travelling to help them discover wonders of the world. Traveling is an absolute essential for us as a family. I took to traveling when my baby was just two months old. Now at fourteen, I can safely say that she is a well traveled child but she needs to experience more.
Having a kid friendly destination that is less stressful to parents and to the child requires a lot planning and some effort. Once done, kids can enjoy themselves to the hilt.
Deciding where to go is the most challenging part of any vacation and if kids are the core of this decision then it has to be done with a lot of research. From my experience as a travel parent, I thought of giving you five kinds of trips that you can take that are not just kid friendly but also a lot of learning.
1. Little historians – For children who have enjoyed their bed time stories of kings and queens, it is a good idea to let them know about these stories for real. Plan a trip to the fort and palace towns of Jaipur, Udaipur, Jaisalmer and Agra to help them know of the rich history India holds. Besides forts, the children will enjoy puppet shows, camel rides and boat rides in most of the fort cities.
2. Adventurers – This one is to get them going with some adventure. It can include small treks, rafting and even para gliding for the age appropriate. With safety checks well in place, this can be an experience to remember for children who may discover a new side of their personality. You could do all of this by visiting Bhimtal, Landour, Dalhousie in the north, the trails in Maharashtra and hills of Nilgiris in the south. International destinations have plenty of choices.
3. Animal and nature lovers – Get them closer to mother nature and let them become more sensitive and ecologically inclined. A holiday amidst nature can include bird watching, trekking or camping by the night gazing at stars. The wonders of nature is bound to mesmerise young minds. You could look at Corbett, Kanha, Bharatpur and other sanctuaries that our country is well endowed with. A night with the stars is now easily available with local travel agents. A weekend camping is a great way to get away and also teach them the love towards nature.
4. Culture curious – India is a huge amalgamation of diverse cultures and it is this that makes it rich. Get the kids to know more about the various cultures of the country. If you live in the north, take a trip to the south. Engage them with locals living there. Plan your stays at home stays and lodges that will give them a peek into local life.
5. Amusement parks – Magic, mystery and amusement. All are so important to children. Take them to theme parks for the adrenalin rush and some fun time. Popular parks include Imagica near Lonavala, Adventure Island in Delhi, Black Thunder in Ooty, Nicco Park, Kolkata and Wonderla in Kochi to name a few
Enhance their learning by giving them the opportunity to explore. Make travel and holidays an annual affair and if you can do so more than once a year, nothing like it. With the mid year exams nearly wrapping up, it is time you start thinking of your destination for the upcoming autumn break!