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How to Plan an Awesome Family Trip to India in 2024

How to Plan an Awesome Family Trip to India in 2024

By RitaUpdated Feb. 20, 2024

Diversity is the tagline of India, which makes India a perfect destination for family trips. Young kids can enjoy beach activities. Teenagers will find fun in tiger safaris and camel safaris. Older family members might like the majestic historical forts.

But how can you select the right places to go? How much does it cost for an India family trip? Read on to see our suggestions based on our extensive planning experience.

What Are the Best Places in India for a Family Trip?

Best Places In India for a Family Trip Best Places In India for a Family Trip

Most travelers go to north India for their first visit. Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur are regarded as the top 3 must-see destinations for their iconic historical attractions.

If your time permits, you are recommended to go to Ranthambore National Park for a tiger safari, Varanasi for cultural experiences, and/or Rajasthan for desert scenery. But, if you looking for a beach holiday, head to a southern city, like Goa.

1. Delhi: Top Starting Point for India Trips

Capital of India, Delhi receives most international flights, so most Europeans and Americans arrive in and leave from Delhi.

More like a stopover before your India trip, you could spend around a day on the city highlights. Experience the chaos of Old Delhi, but also get a glimpse of modern India in New Delhi. Check more things to do in Delhi>>>

2. Agra: See the Iconic Taj Mahal

Sunrise view at the Taj Mahal Sunrise view at the Taj Mahal

A family trip to India is not complete without Agra, home to the Taj Mahal. Agra is quite friendly to international visitors as a travel hot spot. You can easily find reputed restaurants and hotels.

To fully admire the beauty of the Taj, you're suggested to visit in the early morning for less crowds and enjoy a sunset view from the Mehtab Bagh (Moonlight Garden). A rooftop café or a hotel with a Taj view are good places to have a medium-distance view as well. Find out the best time to see the Taj>>>

Contact us for some exclusive activities, like a sari dress-up experience or a heritage walk into a local village with high tea.

Wanna know more top places to go and popular Agra itineraries? Read 7 Places to Visit in Agra + 1-Day and 2-Day Trip Plans >>>

3. Jaipur: Explore the Marvelous Buildings Inside the Pink City

Jaipur is one of the travel hot spots of India. You could take your family to discover its majestic monuments, dine fine at a royal fort, and experience its exotic life.

If you're travelling in March, what could be more exciting for your kids than color fights and water fights in a local Holi festival (March 25, 2024)?

4. Varanasi: Discover the Age-Old Spiritual Capital

Varanasi in the Morning Varanasi in the Morning

On your first visit to this cultural hub of India, you might be stunned by the mood of the life-death cycle and weight of religious belief. Sunsets and sunrises over the Ganges are impressive as well, echoing reincarnation.

But if you want to see an enthralling ceremony, don't miss the Ganga Aarti — worship of the river goddess credited with powers of absolution, using floating lamps, flowers, incense, and rhythmic chanting.

If you travel in November, Diwali (October 31 in 2024) is a good chance to experience India's festival atmosphere. Contact us to join in the local celebrations your way and we'll create a memorable trip!

5. Rajasthan: Go for a Desert Adventure

Locals in Rajasthan Locals in Rajasthan

Rajasthan is well-known as "the land of kings", with abundant palaces and forts. As one of the cleanest states in India, Rajasthan is good for families with young kids.

Soaking in the ambience of colorful cities and staying at heritage hotels would bring you closer to its glorious history. Try zip-lining over a shimmering desert fort for a more thrilling feel.

Apart from the historical attractions, you can take a camel safari in the golden desert, then go camping with your family on a starry night.

6. Ranthambore National Park: Join in a Tiger Safari

Tiger safari in Ranthambore Tiger safari in Ranthambore

Once a royal hunting resort, Ranthambore has tigers, rhinos, and other animals. Teenagers might like an exciting jungle safari with the chance to spot wild tigers.

Note: during the monsoon season, from July to September, jungle safaris are not available.

7. Goa: Have Fun with Beach Activities

Top of the beach destinations in India, Goa is full of international food and resorts. Booking a beachfront family villa, you can lie idly on a beach lounger, play with your kids on the sand, and have a sunset stroll along a soft beach.

Beyond the beaches even, you have a wide choice of activities: take a cooking class with your family, hike in the lush green natural reserves, hop on a cruise for dolphin watching...

8. Kerala: Enjoy Peaceful Rural Scenery Journeying by Houseboat

Household Boat Trip in Kerala Household Boat Trip in Kerala

Kerala features tea plantations, hill stations, and quaint backwaters. What could be better than enjoying family time in a local houseboat on the relaxing waterways? Cruising through the palm-fringed fields, you can see locals working and peaceful rural views.

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Itinerary Suggestions for a First-Time Family Trip to India?

Most travelers travel to India for 1–2 weeks for the top highlights. Most families prefer a 9-day golden triangle trip with a tiger safari, which blends cultural experiences with fun. You'll encounter India's most impressive monuments, like the Taj Mahal, but also get a chance to explore the jungle and spot wild tigers.

Sample itinerary:

  • Days 1 and 2: Fly to Delhi and discover the city highlights.
  • Days 3 to 4: Leave for Agra and admire the iconic Taj Mahal.
  • Days 5 to 6: Drive to Ranthambore National Park and have a tiger safari.
  • Days 7 to 9: Head to Jaipur, explore the top attractions, and take a cooking class.

Read more on 9-Day Golden Triangle Trip with Tiger Safari>>>

More Popular Options: Golden Triangle Trip Plus...

Traveling with kids in India Traveling with kids in India

If you have more time, you can extend to other cities according to your kids' ages and interests.

If you're interested in exotic culture, add two extra days for the oldest and holiest city — Varanasi. Frequently shown in textbooks and popular movies, it deserves an explore. See this sample itinerary: 9-Day Golden Triangle Trip with Varanasi.

Spending an extra 4 days in Goa or Kerala is an excellent choice for a comfortable family vacation with an easy pace, especially suitable for families with babies and toddlers. You can check out more detail on the Kerala option on our 9-Day Classic South India Tour.

Travelling to Rajasthan is a good choice for putting some cool things into your family trip. Kids of school age generally like tiger safaris, desert safaris, and desert camping. Learning to cook Indian food is a wonderful way to enhance family bonding too. You could stay in Rajasthan for 1 to 7 days. Contact us to tailor-make a Rajasthan itinerary as you would like it.

For adventure lovers, Amritsar and Shimla are ideal choices. You could have a distant view of the Himalayan peaks, ride the mountain steam train, and watch the interesting "lowering of the flags" ceremony on the India-Pakistan border. For more details, see our 10-Day North India itinerary.

If you have any other ideas, simple contact us for a tailor-made trip. With Asia Highlights, you enjoy 100% refund of any payments made to China Highlights prior to 3 weeks before departure (detail⇒).

When Is the Best Time to Visit India?

Best Time to Visit India

If you are looking for cool-to-warm and dry weather, you'd best visit India between December and February. During this peak season, room rates and demand for guides reaches its highest from December 22 to January 7. So, booking 3 months in advance is necessary to guarantee rooms and experienced guides.

You can get good prices with good temperatures in March, October, and November, if you don't mind the slightly higher temperatures of up to around 30°C (86°F) and the risk of some rainfall. For more details, read on Best (and Worst) Times to Visit India

The Worst Time to Visit India

April to September is considered to contain the worst times to visit India. The heat in the hot season (April to May) and rainfall in monsoon season (June to September) may cause some discomfort and inconvenience during your trip.

However, these worst times do have their benefits: the lowest prices and smallest crowds.

To make an India visit better, you could head to its hill stations during hot season, such as Shimla in the north and Munnar in the south. Or contact us for a private tour with an air-conditioned car to escape from the heat to after sightseeing, where we'll provide cold drinks.

During the rainy season, you're suggested to discover the drier desert land of Rajasthan. Any monsoon rainfall rarely lasts for long there, so you would still find many hours for sightseeing. Our experienced guide would help to adjust your daily itinerary wisely to minimize any effects of rain on your tour.

How Much Does It Cost to Travel to India?

India is quite budget-friendly, compared to developed countries. You can just spend as little as US$30–50 a day on independent touring, if you don't mind hostels, local food, and long bus journeys.

If you're travelling with young kids or older relatives, a private tour is more suitable to guarantee comfort.

  • On a mid-range budget, you would pay around US$150–200 per day per person. For that, you could enjoy a private tour with an English-speaking guide, a private car, and 3/4-star hotels.
  • For more comfort, US$200–250 per day per person would purchase airfares within India, 5-star hotels, the best attraction tickets, private guiding, and transfers.

Check out more on How Much Does a Trip to India Cost?

How to Get Around India?

For most family trips, you're suggested to take flights between major cities that are long distances apart, like Delhi to Varanasi and Delhi to Goa.

Meanwhile, a private car is more recommended for journeying between nearby cities, like Delhi to Agra (3 hours) and Agra to Jaipur (4 hours).

Local buses are not suggested as you may find using them hard due to the language barrier, unfamiliar procedures, and a lack of English announcements, not to mention different comfort levels.

Is Indian Food Friendly for Kids?

Yummy fish curry Yummy fish curry

You might hear that Indian food is spicy. While it's true that some Indian dishes are spicy, most range from mild to medium heat. But if your kids don't like it, you can order non-spicy food or find Western food in major cities.

Besides the flavor, you also need to pay attention to food hygiene. Choose reputable restaurants, eat hot freshly-cooked food, and drink bottled water with a sealed top.

Learn more about safety guides in India: Is India Safe to Travel? Women & Kids (Tips for 2024)

What Are the Hotels Like in India?

Luxury Resort-Umaid Bhawan Palace Luxury Resort-Umaid Bhawan Palace

Generally speaking, 4-star or higher-end hotels are cleaner and safer in India. Cribs and pools are usually available at most top-end hotels too.

Most hotel rooms offer a double bed with one extra bed at most. If you're a family of more than three, you would probably have to book two rooms. If you prefer family rooms and interconnecting rooms, you should book 3 months or even half a year in advance due to short supply.

Staying at heritage hotels allows you to get closer to India history and enrich your stay with exotic experiences. Local brands (Taj group and Oberoi group), especially in Rajasthan, are popular choices for most travelers. You can get excellent service, but only need to pay a similar price as for a 4/5-star international hotel.

Adding a one- or two-night stay in a luxury resort will give your family an awesome experience! You could enjoy palace-like buildings, exclusive service, and remarkable scenery. Most luxury resorts cost from US$600 for a standard room in peak season.

When booking hotels in India, beware of hotel names with "palace" in. Some might be rough home stays in dark alleys. So double-check locations and reviews, or contact us for worry-free booking!

What Are the Visa Requirements for India?

You can obtain a paper visa at an India embassy/consulate or apply for an e-Visa, which is possible online for the majority of nationalities, including the UK, US, Canada, and Australia.

Generally speaking, e-visas are quicker and more convenient than paper visas. E-visa applications take about 3 working days and cost about US$69 per person.

The Visa On Arrival option is currently only available for those from Japan, South Korea, and UAE who previously have had an India visa.

Take a Guided Tour or Travel Independently?

Travelling independently in India could be challenging due to the demands of tour planning, the language barrier, and chaos of local transportation. Being unfamiliar with local customs or culture might lead to problems as well.

Independent travel may seem good in order to enjoy maximum flexibility, but for a family trip, a private tour is ideal for perfectly balancing flexibility and comfort, while taking the stress out of foreign travel.

Contact us for a 1:1 travel consultant to customize a tour for you and your interests. He/she could email or call you at your convenience. We would provide you with a well-organized but flexible itinerary with a comfortable pace. Your local guide would save you from communication troubles, keep you safe, and deal with any issues or emergencies.

Or start from a recommended fully-modifiable itinerary:

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