Original Travel has teamed up with the much loved children’s party people Sharky & George to inject some (much needed) creativity and fun into the family holiday process.
You might not instantly think of India as a luxury family holiday destination but the sub-continent caters fantastically for any children who like buzzing cities, beasties, battlements and beaches - so pretty much all of them, then.
The obvious place to introduce the family to India is Rajasthan with its unparalleled vibrancy, colour and remarkable cities. We defy any child not to get thoroughly over-excited by an elephant ride, visit to a massive fort or tuk tuk trip in Jaipur, Jodhpur or Udaipur, while the city of Jaisalmer bears a more than passing resemblance to a huge sandcastle in the desert, with the chance to ride camels and camp in the desert all adding to the magic.
Then, of course, there's the full Jungle Book experience
available in India's beautiful national parks. In Rajasthan,
Ranthambhore National Park is easily combined with the famous
cities, and seeing shere khan-like tigers and some of the other
cast of characters in the flesh and in the wild is about as
memorable as it gets, particularly on an adventurous 4x4 drive from
a characterful jungle tented camp.
There are other superb national parks in Central India and in Karnataka, and Kerala, to the south of Karnataka, is another wonderful state for family holidays. For a more conventional coastal holiday many of India's best beaches are here, and the pace of life is far less frenetic than in the Rajasthan. Exploring the backwaters of Alleppey on an overnight cruise aboard a converted rice barge is a pretty magical family experience, and older children may also find a visit to a tea plantation interesting.
Wherever you decide to go in India, we know all the most family-friendly hotels from which to explore the fascinating country and retreat back to for some well-earned R&R and parental pampering time. That will be particularly relevant if your trip coincides with the fun festival of Holi (in February or March every year), when the children will have free licence to throw powdered paint as India becomes an even more kaleidoscopic riot of colour. Just make sure the hotel has a decent laundry service.