Ever imagined going on a family trip like the star cast of Dil Dhadakne Do? Well, I have. ‘Coz let’s face it–a vacation with fam-bam comes to our rescue when all our Goa plans with friends fail to take off. And why not? Because family vacays take everyone’s priorities into account: your mom and day might want to chill and nap in the room, you might want to take a dip in the pool or go out to explore the city. A trip with your loved ones is also the best way to reconnect with your fam amid the everyday hustle. With that in mind, we have found out destinations that would suit every taste. Whether it’s beach getaways, sleepaway camp in the hills or scenic hikes, there’s a vacation here for you.
Now, since international tourism has taken a hit after the Coronavirus outbreak, we’ve searched far and wide for family holiday destinations across India. However, if you wish to travel outside India, you can also take a quick trip to neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka and Bhutan. Read on, who knows, maybe you just might find a place you’ll want to visit and re-visit again and again. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, prepare a fun travel playlist and get going!
From the spectacular Mughal gardens to captivating lakes– you need a minimum of a week to explore the true beauty of Srinagar alone. While your parents can sip some gulabi chai (popularly called Kashmiri tea) during their shikara (house-boat) ride on Dal Lake, you can probably go for a horse-ride around the scenic Sonamarg (that literally translates to meadow of gold).
Best time to visit: April to November. The average temperature around this time is 20 degree celcius during the day and 5 degree celcius at night. It is freezing cold during the winter months.
Places you must visit: Nishat Bagh, Chasme Shahi, Shalimar Bagh, Dal Lake, Gulmarg for skiing, Indira Gandhi Tulip Garden
Known for its monasteries, museums, temples, waterfalls, lakes, and Tibetan settlements, there is SO much you can do in McLeodganj. Your parents can probably visit the Namgyal Monastery, which is one of the largest Tibetan temples and is also known to be The Dalai Lama’s personal place of worship. Or if your family is onto adventure, go for paragliding at Indru Nag (4 km from the main market). Approximate charge: Rs 1500/person. Also, if you and your family loves cricket, you cannot miss visiting the beautiful Dharamshala Cricket Stadium.
Best time to visit: December is the best time to visit McLeodganj as it has minimal rains then.
Places you must visit: Dharamshala Cricket Stadium, St. John’s Church, Tibetan Museum
An immensely captivating hill station–Shimla is known for its tranquil feel and enchanting British architecture that will take you to a mini-tour of Europe. If your family prefers to relax while enjoying an elaborate lunch, Shimla is just the vacay spot for you. This hilly town has got a lot of picnic spots, the famous one that gets most of the tourists is called the Potter’s Hill.
Best time to visit: If you want to enjoy heavy snowfall, then visit between January-March.
Places you must visit: The Ridge, Rashtrapati Niwas, Shimla Heritage Museum and Christ Church.
Tall pine trees and the snow-clad mountains are a few of the many picturesque landscapes that you see while you take a stroll through scenic roads of Mussoorie. Take a cable car from Jhulaghat to Gun Hill or bind with your family over long walks. You can actually explore every inch of this town on foot. If you’re looking for some adrenaline action, book a caving tour that costs Rs 3600 onwards for a group of four.
Fun fact: Mussoorie is the only place across the globe after Switzerland to witness the winter line, a natural phenomenon that takes place every year between November and February.
Best time to visit: Throughout the year. Visit between November to February for the Winter Line
Places you must visit: Chaar Dukaan, Kalsang, Camel’s Back Road, Landour, Kufri, Kempty Falls
The spiritual land of Rishikesh is the perfect choice to visit if you are planning a mix of fun and religious tour with fam. Whether you’re a fearless adventurer seeking a scenic climb or a novice outdoorsman eager to convene with nature, Rishikesh is the perfect travel spot for you.
Best time to visit: October to April
Places you must visit: Laxman Jhula, Kaudiyala
Located in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand, Jim Corbett is the biggest national park of India. To experience the best of this place, you and your entire family can indulge in an adventurous jungle safari. Small kids in the family may also witness their many firsts while in the jeep. Imagine the smile on the face of a small kid as he watches a tiger for the first time– an animal they only saw in books.
Best time to visit: November to February
How to reach: Take a train to Ramnagar which is just a kilometer away from Jim Corbett.
Places you must visit:
Known for rejuvenation of mind body and soul, Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim is a beautiful state located in the calm Himalayan Mountains. Get ready to walk up to the Tashi Hill point and enjoy some refreshing drinks as you witness one of the best sunsets of your life. Not just that, you can also bond with your parents and kids at the blooming Flower Exhibition Centre.
Best time to visit: From September to May. Avoid Sikkim during monsoon.
How to reach: Bagdogra Airport, situated 125 km away from Gangtok is the nearest one. Take a cab from there and be prepared for a bumpy ride since the route isn’t quite smooth.
Places you must visit: Tsomgo Lake, Ganesh Tok, Ban Jhakri Falls
Known as the land of royals, the Pink City Jaipur has a vibe that can’t be experienced in any other part of the country. Make your grandparents listen to the folk music near Amer Fort while your mother shops at the local market adjacent to Hawa Mahal. Kids, on the other hand, can enjoy a camel safari!
Best time to visit: November- February
How to reach: Sanganer Airport is 10 Km away from the main city. It is also well connected to other cities via NH 8, NH 11 and NH 12.
Places you must visit: Hawa Mahal, Amer Fort, Nahargarh Fort
Famous for its austere sights and world-class coffee, Coorg is one of the most tourist-heavy towns to visit in Southern India. Plan a romantic date with your partner along the backwaters in Coorg while your parents relish Bamboo Shoot Curry at the famous restaurant called the Coorg Cuisine in Madikeri.
Best time to visit: October to March
How to reach: You can reach Coorg via Mysore and Managlore airports which are quite close to the city.
Places you must visit: Chelavara Falls, Irupu Falls, Madikeri Fort
Known for lush green scapes and tea garden terrains, Munnar is one of the most beautiful places you must visit in God’s own country, Kerala for a rich family experience. You can enjoy the pretty blooms at the Blossom International Park with your kids while your parents sip in the local flavoured tea near the lush green plantations.
Best time to visit: October-April. Avoid monsoon.
How to reach: The nearest airport is Cochin International Airport, which is around 125 km away from Munnar. The nearest Railway Station is in Kochi.
Places you must visit: Eravikulam National Park, Mattupetty Dam, Anamudi
A perfect blend of beauty and adventure– you can do a lot more than just admire nature here. While the younger generation can opt for underwater scuba diving, the little ones can make sandcastles by the beach with their grandparents. Adorable, right?
Best time to visit: November to April
How to reach: Take a flight to Port Blair
Places you must visit: Radhanagar Beach, Elephant Beach, Laxmanpur Beach, Sitapur Beach
Known for its rich heritage, folk culture, sandy beaches and a galore of tantalising dishes, Sri Lanka is a must visit place for all the families. It is home to a few of the rarest animals and it is a big reason why kids would enjoy exploring this country. And while your parents you visit the beautiful churches across the island, a trip to Sri Lanka can also be highly educational for kids as they get a chance to learn about the Ramayan era. Meanwhile, the lovebirds in the family can plan a beachside supper while witnessing the pretty sunset.
Best time to visit: December to March
How to reach: The easiest way to reach Sri Lanka is by taking a flight from India.
Places you must visit: Nine Arch Bridge, Mihintale, Udawalawe National Park, Ravana Falls, Dambulla Cave Temple
Bhutan is the perfect abode if you are looking for peace and fresh air. From serene valleys to tranquil lakes, there is almost nothing that this country cannot offer. While your parents will love visiting any among the many temples, you can satisfy the adventure bug within by going rock-climbing in Thimpu.
Best time to visit: Spring months of March-May
How to reach: Two direct airlines–Drukair and Bhutan Airlines that operate flights from Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Guwahati to Paro which is Bhutan’s only international airport. You can also commute via road till Jaigaon in West Bengal, which is just 4.3 kms from Phuentsholing, the border town of Bhutan.
Places you must visit: Thimphu, Paro Punakha (these three require a permit) and Phuentsholing, which you can explore without the permit as well. Tiger’s Nest in Paro is a must visit.
So, which of these places are you checking off your family-vacay list?
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