October 2014: Conde Nast Traveller India Experts.
Victoria Westmacott (Co-founder of globetotting.com) is featured as a Family Travel Expert in this month’s Conde Nast Traveller India Magazine (October 2014)
Question: Which place in India would you recommend for an unmissable holiday experience?
Our (unedited) answer:
If it’s your first time to India then the southern state of Kerala is an easy place to travel with children, given its laid-back vibe. Start in Fort Cochin for history and culture. Here kids can help fisherman haul in their catch using the enormous cantilevered cheenavalas (Chinese fishing nets) – an unforgettable experience for any age. Continue to Alleppey to visit the fabled backwaters, the undisputed highlight of the region. We recommend one night in a hotel and another on a traditional kettuvallam, a Keralan houseboat (any longer and little kids can get restless). Children can help steer the ‘floating hotel’ along the long chain of lagoons and lakes that wind their way inland. Depending on your length of stay, you can head further inland to visit tea plantations (driving distances are long though) or flop on Marari Beach for a wholesome dose of sand, sea and sizzling fish curry.
For something more fast-paced the fairy-tale state of Rajasthan – home to colourful cities and majestic palaces – will captivate any child. The highlight here for most families is meeting the elephants. Although there are issues surrounding the welfare of elephants in many places in India, Dera Amer, on the outskirts of Jaipur, is a wilderness camp where elephants are well looked after. Here you can feed and bathe the elephants before climbing aboard for a safari through the Rajasthani countryside. Kids can even unleash their inner artist when they paint one of the elephant’s trunks! Definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience.