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Are you insane to travel to India with kids?’

’India is so dirty and children could easily catch at bug!’ Comments like these aren’t unfamiliar to parents who plan to embark on a Kerala family tour. So is Kerala, a kid friendly place? Here are some reasons why we think Kerala is an interesting and child friendly destination:

  •  The Backwaters:   Traveling on a houseboat and watching locals go about with their daily lives is an incredible experience for kids. This includes children who’re merrily playing football or cricket with makeshift arrangements, bathing in the canals, or running gaily to catch the boat for school. Children certainly enjoy the houseboat cruise experience and often end up sharing seat with the driver who keeps them entertained with his witty anecdotes and tales.     
  • Munnar:   Munnar is a must on the itinerary for those on a Kerala family tour. This is a splendid hill station with tea plantations. Besides tea, you can see spices like vanilla, cardamom and pepper grown over vast expanses of land. Trekking may not be an activity afforded with children onboard, but there are several other places that children are likely to enjoy. The Mattupetty dam, the Indo-Swiss farm at Mattupetty, the Tea Museum at the Kannan Devan Hills are some of our recommendations.      
  •   Thekkady: This isn’t a place to visit during the summer season, but a definite must-see during the winters or when the weather is pleasant. If you happen to book a Kerala family holidays package, make sure that your children take time to visit the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary where wild elephants come in groups to the lake while other endangered animals like the Nilgiri Tahr and the lion tailed macaque watch them in silence.
  •  Kodanadu:   Kodanadu is a small village along the Periyar River. Earlier, this place served as a training centre for mahouts, but now it serves as a centre for rescued elephants.  There are many other places worthy of a visit for children. Just make sure you speak on one of our tour guides to ensure that your child remains entertained and throughout the journey.

Away from home, yet at home

Swanky hotels with exquisite settings and state of the art amenities are surely a way to travel. Nevertheless they seldom suffice when you look to have a complete travel experience. Providing a glimpse of the local homes built in traditional Kerala style and their ways of life, Kerala homestays make sure your travel experience is one that is complete and enriched. 

‘Home’ it is
Being rightly named ‘homestays’ they truly provide a home away from home. One is easily spoilt by the hospitality and warmth of the host family. Especially great for those travelling in small groups or alone, they provide an atmosphere that makes you less homesick and make sure you don’t feel alone in a new and unfamiliar place. 

Money matters
One of the greatest advantages of a homestay is that they make travel a lot more affordable and people centric. Without blowing big bucks, you get to stay and eat healthy, wholesome traditional meals and use the money thus saved for exploring more. Light cleaning and laundry services are also provided by some Kerala homestays.  Tongue tantalizers Homestays not only provide affordable food but they spoil you with lip smacking local fare served with warmth and care. The rich and delicious home cooked food gives even the best of hotels a run for their money. The mouthwatering dishes of Kerala cuisine with a dash of the fragrant spices that it is famous for, are much revered among tourists. 

Cultural exchange
With plenty of scope for interaction and sharing of stories, homestays provide a wonderful setting for cultural exchange. Local festivals, family events and celebrations can be observed and enjoyed like your very own. Stories of the past and rationalities behind the different faiths and beliefs are narrated. Insider knowledge about these things is far more interesting than run-of-the-mill stories narrated by the local guides. 

Is this for you?
While they might be splendid options that offer more than just renting rooms, one needs to make sure that you pick the ones most suitable for you. It might be a good idea to check out the user reviews about the homestays. More often than not, they give a fairly good idea about the nature of the stay and give you an idea of what to expect. That being said, you also have to decide if homestays are for you. They are no frill stays that are devoid of the many luxuries that hotels provide. One might have to abide by the rules and customs of the family one stays with. Food and beverages are served at particular timing. In short, homestay are a great option for those who wish to have a social and cultural connect with Kerala. If one does open up and is interested in communicating and interacting, one might forge friendships for life