Travelling with Family || How to Plan the Perfect Trip




I was born into a family that loves to travel. Let me provide some examples. Long back, when common households had never heard of telephones, my grandfather and grandmother went to Haridwar. My parents, uncles, and aunts had no way of contacting them, and the only hint about the length of this stay was a simple "We'll come back when we feel like." My parents obviously took inspiration, and when I was just two (and my sister 8), they signed our family of four up for a month-long trip on a bus. The itinerary was Kathmandu till Kanya Kumari. This was followed by several shorter, no-less-exciting trips to Rajasthan, Himachal, Uttarakhand (then UP), Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and Orissa. And I am proud to say that we have managed to keep the tradition alive. Our family trips now involve three generations travelling together - our parents, us, and my 10-year-old nephew. Our first such trip was in 2012 to Lansdowne, Uttarakhand, and since then we have visited several beautiful and interesting places.

I was born into a family that loves to travel. Let me provide some examples. Long back, when common households had never heard of telephones, my grandfather and grandmother went to Haridwar. My parents, uncles, and aunts had no way of contacting them, and the only hint about the length of this stay was a simple "We'll come back when we feel like." My parents obviously took inspiration, and when I was just two (and my sister 8), they signed our family of four up for a month-long trip on a bus. The itinerary was Kathmandu till Kanya Kumari. This was followed by several shorter, no-less-exciting trips to Rajasthan, Himachal, Uttarakhand (then UP), Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and Orissa. And I am proud to say that we have managed to keep the tradition alive. Our family trips now involve three generations travelling together - our parents, us, and my 10-year-old nephew. Our first such trip was in 2012 to Lansdowne, Uttarakhand, and since then we have visited several beautiful and interesting places.


Travelling with family is a different sort of fun, when compared to travelling with friends. You get to spend time with people who are precious to you and yet you end up taking for granted. You get to witness your nephew's first encounter with mountains, the sea, rivers and so many other things. You get to enjoy gazing at the sunrise and snow-covered peaks with your parents. You get to relive and create memories. This does paint a perfect pastel picture of family fun, but slightest oversight in planning can instantly convert family trips into nightmares. We have learnt several lessons during our trips, some of them the hard way. But you do not need to make the same mistakes as us. You can learn from our experiences instead.



Travelling with family is a different sort of fun, when compared to travelling with friends. You get to spend time with people who are precious to you and yet you end up taking for granted. You get to witness your nephew's first encounter with mountains, the sea, rivers and so many other things. You get to enjoy gazing at the sunrise and snow-covered peaks with your parents. You get to relive and create memories. This does paint a perfect pastel picture of family fun, but slightest oversight in planning can instantly convert family trips into nightmares. We have learnt several lessons during our trips, some of them the hard way. But you do not need to make the same mistakes as us. You can learn from our experiences instead. 

 There is one fundamental difference between travelling with family and travelling with friends, and that is the age range of various members. When you are travelling with friends, chances are that all travellers will be of the same age-group, whereas in case of our family, the ages of the travellers range between 10 to 80 years. This should be the most important consideration when you start planning your family trip. Once you have this in mind, the following points will become intuitive:

There is one fundamental difference between travelling with family and travelling with friends, and that is the age range of various members. When you are travelling with friends, chances are that all travellers will be of the same age-group, whereas in case of our family, the ages of the travellers range between 10 to 80 years. This should be the most important consideration when you start planning your family trip. Once you have this in mind, the following points will become intuitive:

Accessibility of Accommodation: Especially when you are travelling to the hills, it is important to know how accessible the accommodation will be for aged people and for infants. On our first trip, I made this error while planning the trip. While the resort itself was right on the road and our tempo traveller was able to drive right up to the reception, our rooms were up several flights of stairs, as is common in hill resorts. It was very difficult for my father especially, though he bravely opted to climb all the way up and down every time we would go out of the resort. I felt really guilty for putting him through so much of discomfort. But the result is that this is the first question I ask when I start making enquiries with hotels and resorts.

Accessibility of Accommodation:
Especially when you are travelling to the hills, it is important to know how accessible the accommodation will be for aged people and for infants. On our first trip, I made this error while planning the trip. While the resort itself was right on the road and our tempo traveller was able to drive right up to the reception, our rooms were up several flights of stairs, as is common in hill resorts. It was very difficult for my father especially, though he bravely opted to climb all the way up and down every time we would go out of the resort. I felt really guilty for putting him through so much of discomfort. But the result is that this is the first question I ask when I start making enquiries with hotels and resorts. 

Variety of Activities: When you are travelling with kids, you need to carry enough material to keep the busybodies engaged. And you need to plan activities that will be entertaining for the elderly too. We prefer to carry games like Uno, Taboo, Cluedo that everyone can participate in. Apart from keeping the young ones happy, these games also amuse the elderly and provide just the right kind of atmosphere for good family fun. Also, before you finalize the accommodation, do detailed research and find out whether the elderly travellers will be able to enjoy the place. I made a terrible mistake when I planned for Binsar. There were several things wrong with this trip. It involved a long, tiresome mountain travel, the government guest house only had electricity for a couple of hours every day, and moving out of the room involved walking long distances. And there was no television. As a result, while the younger travellers could enjoy the long jungle walks, the elderly were restricted mostly to their rooms without television or electricity. Needless to say, my parents' memories of this trip are completely different from my memories of it.

Variety of Activities:
When you are travelling with kids, you need to carry enough material to keep the busybodies engaged. And you need to plan activities that will be entertaining for the elderly too. We prefer to carry games like Uno, Taboo, Cluedo that everyone can participate in. Apart from keeping the young ones happy, these games also amuse the elderly and provide just the right kind of atmosphere for good family fun. Also, before you finalize the accommodation, do detailed research and find out whether the elderly travellers will be able to enjoy the place. I made a terrible mistake when I planned for Binsar. There were several things wrong with this trip. It involved a long, tiresome mountain travel, the government guest house only had electricity for a couple of hours every day, and moving out of the room involved walking long distances. And there was no television. As a result, while the younger travellers could enjoy the long jungle walks, the elderly were restricted mostly to their rooms without television or electricity. Needless to say, my parents' memories of this trip are completely different from my memories of it. 

Enough Supplies: When you are travelling with infants and the elderly, you need to be equipped with healthy, yet interesting ready-made eatables and beverages, a first-aid box, and basic medical equipment, such as a thermometer, a BP instrument, and a Glucometer. Also carry safe drinking water, paper soap, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, mobile chargers, solar lamps if you are travelling to wildlife sanctuaries etc. This may seem like a lot and even an overkill, but trust me these things come in handy more often than you think.

Enough Supplies:
When you are travelling with infants and the elderly, you need to be equipped with healthy, yet interesting ready-made eatables and beverages, a first-aid box, and basic medical equipment, such as a thermometer, a BP instrument, and a Glucometer. Also carry safe drinking water, paper soap, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, mobile chargers, solar lamps if you are travelling to wildlife sanctuaries etc. This may seem like a lot and even an overkill, but trust me these things come in handy more often than you think. 

Plan your stoppages in advance: When you are travelling with friends you can take decisions on the go, but when you are travelling with family, you need to plan in advance. To ensure that everyone is comfortable en-route, plan your stoppages in advance. Make sure there are enough opportunities for the parents to stretch their legs. Also identify places that serve good, hygienic food and have clean restrooms. Comfortable parents are cheerful parents and if you take care of this aspect, they are more likely to forgive the other minor lapses.

Plan your stoppages in advance:
When you are travelling with friends you can take decisions on the go, but when you are travelling with family, you need to plan in advance. To ensure that everyone is comfortable en-route, plan your stoppages in advance. Make sure there are enough opportunities for the parents to stretch their legs. Also identify places that serve good, hygienic food and have clean restrooms. Comfortable parents are cheerful parents and if you take care of this aspect, they are more likely to forgive the other minor lapses.

Record your Memories and get them Printed: While our generation is comfortable with flipping through the photographs on Instagram, parents will cherish printed photographs more. So make sure you select good pictures and create a printed album for each of your trip. There is no better way to re-live a past travel than flipping through an old-fashioned printed album.

Record your Memories and get them Printed:
While our generation is comfortable with flipping through the photographs on Instagram, parents will cherish printed photographs more. So make sure you select good pictures and create a printed album for each of your trip. There is no better way to re-live a past travel than flipping through an old-fashioned printed album. 

Don't be too stingy with money: While backpacking makes sense with friends, play safe when it comes to travelling with family, specifically when you are travelling with children and seniors. There's no harm in paying a little more if it means you will be getting good room service and a Doctor on call.

Don't be too stingy with money:
While backpacking makes sense with friends, play safe when it comes to travelling with family, specifically when you are travelling with children and seniors. There's no harm in paying a little more if it means you will be getting good room service and a Doctor on call.


Use good websites to plan your family travels. Here's one for international travels: http://www.thomson.co.uk/. You can get some very attractive deals and discounts here: https://www.myvouchercodes.co.uk/thomson


After planning for innumerable trips with family, I can proudly say that I have made mistakes, but I have never repeated the same mistake again. I get better with every trip and the past couple of trips have been delightful. In fact, I did not hear a single complaint from anyone. However, each family is different and your experiences may be different from mine. Please do feel free to leave a comment in case you feel I have missed something out. I will add it to this post with due credit.



After planning for innumerable trips with family, I can proudly say that I have made mistakes, but I have never repeated the same mistake again. I get better with every trip and the past couple of trips have been delightful. In fact, I did not hear a single complaint from anyone. However, each family is different and your experiences may be different from mine. Please do feel free to leave a comment in case you feel I have missed something out. I will add it to this post with due credit.

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