Go see the world when you are young, they say. Do it with friends or with strangers, they say. They never say go with parents, travel with them, bond over the experiences. There are a lot of myths surrounding travelling with parents. Meet Anand, 25 who has travelled across the world with his parents, that too on a modest budget. Over to him.
Myth 1: Family Holidays to Offbeat Locations are not fun
Truth: Quite the contrary! So far, my parents and I have travelled to Arunachal, Assam, Meghalaya, Scandinavia, Cambodia, Kashmir, and some lesser-known parts of Rajasthan, Himachal and Uttarakhand. We have also made intrepid forays into isolated parts of South India and Maharashtra. In such places, we stop agonising about the local attractions or the amenities. Instead, we give in to that spirit to explore, which is something I seem to have inherited from my parents! Besides, as tourism is speedily picking up, certain standards of hygiene, sanitation and services are universally maintained.
Myth 2:Planning for a holiday with family is very cumbersome
Truth: Not at all; I do most of the planning and run it by them. With their suggestions incorporated, we arrive at a broad framework. As a rule, we don’t make very precise day-wise plans. This kind of flexibility this allows us freedom of movement and the luxury of moving on if we don’t like a place.
Myth 3: Family Holidays are expensive
Truth: This is the biggest myth of them all. The devil lies in the details or something like that. Getting a better deal is about scrolling more, going to the Page 2 on Google. For instance,
While travelling from Singapore to KL the average low cost air ticket was about $50 and the night bus was about $30. I ran a few searches and discovered that from Johor, 25 km away into Malaysia the flight to KL costed only $ 19! We took a bus to Johor which cost $2 per head and ended up saving about $75 in total! An amount equivalent to a night’s tariff at a decent hotel. We not only saved some money but also saw a part of Malaysia which we otherwise would have missed.
In another instance, while visiting Ranthambore we discovered that most of the resorts were full. We looked at the retiring rooms at Sawai Madhopur station only to be pleasantly surprised with the aesthetically done up, clean rooms owned by the Railways. We ended up saving again and also enjoyed a few safaris into the park.
While travelling in Scandinavia, we found out that living in Copenhagen was prohibitively expensive. So we chose to live in a cute little town named Malmo just across the strait in Sweden.
Malmo. Photo by Christian Beiwinkel (Wiki Images)
Myth 4: Family Holidays are a drag
Truth: If your holiday involves going to a resort and plonking down by the pool, they are going to be a drag. The range of experiences matter. For instance, on our recent holiday to Kumaon Hills, we ended up staying at Almora, the gateway to Kumaon and visited 12th century temples of Jageshwar and Baijnath. We also literally crawled to visit the Patal Bhuvneshwar temple which also has some amazing karst topography features! I hired a mountain bike and went cycling through the hills, and oh boy is it tough to cycle in the undulating terrain of the pine forests. We wander around, explore the markets and try new cuisines!
Some tips to make your trip with family/parents more fun
Hiring a private vehicle for your group is always recommended. The cost per person is only a bit higher than the public transport options which limit your movement to a large extent.
Every region in India is unique, trawl the web to learn more about it so when you plan you incorporate places of interests/things to do that everyone will enjoy.
Although hostels may seem pocket friendly when travelling solo, a hotel tariff split between 3 works out to be reasonable too.
Travelling brings people closer. The shared experiences and the memories go a long way in strengthening the bond you share with your parents. So go out there and see the world with them! I promise it’ll be a lot of fun!