Tag: family travel (Page 1 of 4)

Malawi itinerary with kids

Family adventure travel ideas for 2019

I’m frequently asked, ” What’s the best country you’ve ever visited?” and always fail to answer with just one country. Every country offers something different. We love to get off the beaten track and take our boys on true adventures, pushing the boundaries of family travel, yet we still love a good European camping holiday or city break. But our favourite travel memories as a family are always amongst epic landscapes or bustling Asian cities where we have stepped out of our comfort zone.

So I’ve decided to compile this list of our top 5 countries from our own experience. I’m sure this will change over time and I plan to update it if we ever visit a country that tops one of these. But hopefully this may provide you with some family adventure travel ideas for 2019.

1. Namibia

Read: Our Namibia itinerary with kids

If your crave epic lunar landscapes, affordable and rewarding safaris, and a true African adventure, Namibia gets our vote as one of the best places for intrepid family travel. Don’t do an organised tour. Hire a 4×4 with roof tents and go it alone! The quality of roads in generally very good and the campsites are seriously fantastic. Add to this a low malaria risk and an amazing climate, and it’s a definite winner in our books.

2. Sri Lanka

Train to Haputale, Sri Lanka

Read: Our Sri Lanka itinerary with young kids

We fell head over heels in love with Sri Lanka. We visited whilst we were living in Bangalore and although there were many similarities with India, we found it to be cleaner and less chaotic. It’s a relatively small country so travelling between places is easy, yet it still offers enough activities, must-see sights, and fun to keep the whole tribe entertained. Indeed, for a country roughly the same size as Ireland, it manages to offer so much variety – both natural and cultural – that we’re sure you’ll fall in love with it too. Our favourite experiences in Sri Lanka were the incredible beaches and spotting wild elephants.

3. Iceland

Iceland itinerary with kids
Read: Our 5 day Iceland itinerary with kids

We had put off visiting Iceland for so long, as we thought it was too expensive. But we were tempted by cheap easyJet flights and photos of those dramatic landscapes. Admittedly the car hire and accommodation are going to be your biggest outgoings, but self-catering will keep costs down, and if you travel independently, exploring Iceland‘s natural wonders and hiking through it’s expansive landscape is totally FREE! Check out these other tips to save money on a family trip to Iceland.

On our 5 day Iceland itinerary we explored the classic Golden Circle, but also ventured off the beaten track and over to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. If you’re a family who love the great outdoors and wild landscapes, Iceland is a perfect destination for you; just ensure you pack layers as the weather is extremely interchangeable.

4. Thailand

Bangkok with kids

Read: Ten day Thailand itinerary with young kids

We love the energy, the ornate temples, the colourful markets, the polite people and the food… oh my THE FOOD! Oh, and of course the incredible beaches! Don’t rush straight to the islands though, enjoy your first few days in bustling Bangkok. It has to be our favourite city to explore with our boys (check out our Bangkok with kids itinerary).

Thailand is one of the most accessible countries we’ve visited with the boys. Many restaurants, even along the once backpacker enclave of Th Khao San, have highchairs, and we found that some beach restaurants in Ko Lanta have toys and kids’ play areas. Also, kid-friendly food is available everywhere; think sticky rice, banana pancakes, and tropical fruit aplenty. Throw in tuk-tuk rides, exploring mystical temples, and jumping in the waves crashing on to tropical islands, and you have the perfect mix for a fantastic family adventure holiday.

5. India

India with kids

Read: Our Northern India itinerary with kids

Now India isn’t everyone’s cup of chai. It’s loud, chaotic and confronting. But, it was our home for a year and it feels wrong not to include it. Admittedly, it’s not a place to visit with kids for a first visit to Asia. But if you are ready to take on the challenge, India will be one of you most memorable family adventures ever. The tourist dollar goes far here, so you can spend a little more on accommodation to create an oasis away from the chaos. Allow time to drink in the vibrancy and energy of this magical country, and once you’ve finished exploring the temples and spice markets, head for some downtime on the beaches of Goa.

And the runners up are…

It was honestly so tough narrowing it down to our top five countries, but Malawi, Nepal and Morocco are close behind…


Would love to hear what your favourite family adventure travel destination is! Let me know in the comments 🙂

 

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New Years Travel Resolutions
Family Travel Quotes
Our Top 12 Travel Highlights of 2018

New Year's Travel Resolutions

12 New Year Travel Resolutions

2018 has indeed been an incredible year of travel for us (read: Our Top 12 Travel Highlights of 2018), and I honestly don’t think we’ll be able to top it in 2019. But that’s not to say that we won’t be having any adventures. Indeed, just a month until I’ll be taking on my first solo-parenting trip!

But for those of you trying to work out those new years resolutions, I say – scrap the crash diet on the 1st Jan!  Here are 12 New Year’s TRAVEL resolutions that will be fun and benefit the whole family.

Namibia itinerary with kids

1. Start a travel savings account 

You need money to travel. Until you win the lottery, put aside a little each month solely for travel. This may mean you have to prioritise travel over material items. But you know it’ll be worth it.

2. Use up all your annual leave 

How some people finish the year with leave outstanding, I will never know. Take the paid break from work and go on an adventure and make memories with your family.

3. Be overseas for your kid’s birthday 

Kids’ birthday parties can be expensive. Rather than another manic soft-play event, go overseas and make it a birthday that everyone will remember.

Victoria Falls Waterfront Review

Celebrating Ezra’s 3rd birthday in Zambia earlier this year.

4. Travel to a completely new destination in your home country

You don’t have to fly somewhere exotic to have a holiday. Save your airfare and find somewhere new to explore in your own country. Want to make it a cheap holiday? Pack the tent and go camping!

5. All talking family members learn 5 foreign words for each country you travel 

Hello. Goodbye. Please. Thank you. Milk. These words go a long way and will guarantee a smile from any locals you encounter. Especially if it’s your toddler saying them.

6. Travel lighter 

It just makes travelling life easier; take only the bare essentials. Don’t bother packing any toys, you know they won’t play with them. Nappies can almost always be bought on arrival. This year we visited Iceland with just carry on only! Check out our Iceland packing list.

7. Step outside your comfort zone

Trust me, it will be your best adventure yet! Our overlanding adventures across Africa earlier this year certainly took us outside our comfort zone. There were seriously challenging moments, but they were totally outweighed by the incredible memories we created together; my favourite will forever be camping each night under the African night sky.

8. Make a photo book or calendar

I’m sure I’m not the only one who plans to make a photo book from each holiday. I’ve succumbed to the true realisation that I will never have time to do this. Instead, I try and do one each year. This is much more manageable and they are a beautiful memento. Still don’t have the time? Well in that case, make a travel calendar. There are 12 months in the year, that’s just 12 photos you need from your previous travels.

New Year Travel Resolutions

9. Get in the photos

Getting a photo of the kids is easy. Hubby and kids – also easy. Me and the kids – need to work on that a lot. I’m always the one behind the camera, and I get rather particular about my photography and rarely want to hand my camera over to hubby. But in future years, the kids are going to want that reminder that Mum was on holiday too with them! We also need to work at getting more photos of us all as a family.

10. Eco-conscious travel

Think about how your travel effects the environment. We all see the videos going round social media about the devastating effect of our plastic use – but are you doing anything about it? Use a water purification bottle, pack metal straws and a bamboo toothbrush. Ladies, use a menstrual cup rather then tampons/towels. If you’re visiting a beach, collect any rubbish and dispose of correctly.

11. Forget about social media

This is easier said than done if, like me, you’re a travel blogger. However, we can get obsessed with getting the ‘right shot’ and posting our perfect holiday on to social media, that we forget to live in the moment and appreciate the now. Try leaving your phone at home for a weekend away.

12. Travel more 

Make 2019 The Year of Travel! 🙂

 

Namibia itinerary with kids

Happy New Year! May 2019 be filled with your best adventures yet. Jenny, Jason, Arthur and Ezra xxxx

 

You may also like to read:
Family travel quotes
5 day Iceland itinerary with kids
Our Top 12 Travel Highlights of 2018

 

India with kids - is it worth it?

Travelling India with young kids – is it worth it?

India is rarely a top travel destination for young families. The ever-jostling crowds, the incessant honking, the haggling, the selfie requests, the red tape, the litter, and the infamous ‘Delhi Belly’. It’s certainly an attack on the senses and travelling India can hard work at the best of times, let alone with little people along for the ride. So travelling India with young kids, is it worth it?

You may wish to read our suggestions for things to do in India with kids.

Bangalore_CommercialSt

For those families that take on the challenge, the rewards can be great. Check out our post: Twelve Tips for Travelling India with kids. India truly is incredible and you will experience adventures like nowhere else on the planet. Although for some, understandably, it’s just too much and there are so many other places to explore in this world for half the hassle.

So we reached out to some top family travel bloggers who have also travelled India for their honest thoughts, and we asked them the all-revealing question: would you go back?

Katja from Globetotting 

www.globetotting.com
Age of kids: 18-months when the family moved to India and their daughter was born in India. They lived in India for three years.

“During our three years living in India we travelled a lot, both to explore the country and to escape the craziness of New Delhi where we were based. Many of our trips were incredible such as our stay at the Glenburn Tea Estate in Darjeeling and the RIFF festival in Jodhpur. But there were also moments when we wished we had never left home, such as the time we waited for hours with a toddler and a baby in 35deg heat on the platform at Old Delhi Railway Station for an overnight train that never came. But this is India – a country full of amazing highs and crashing “what on earth are we doing here” lows.”

Would you go back? “Absolutely!”

India with kids

Globetotting at the Taj Mahal, Agra

Dawn from 5 Lost Together 

www.5losttogether.com
Ages of kids: 5, 6 and 8

“We spent a month in India with our three kids and both the highlight and low light occurred while on trains.

The lowlight was my 5 year old coming down with food poisoning on the train. The night before we had been having dinner at a local restaurant. They had brought metal cups full of water, which we usually put aside as we always drank bottled or filtered water in India. Before we could put the cups aside, my five year old took a drink. No big deal, we thought; the restaurant was a pretty nice local place. In the night he woke up sick, but we had to board a train to get to an airport in another city. On the train the vomiting turned to the other type of sickness and the poor kid only had a hole in the train’s floor as a toilet. That trip I learned how well Imodium works, but it was a rough couple of hours.

The highlight occurred in our first week in India and is one of my fondest memories of our time in India. We ended up in a carriage where you needed a reservation, which we didn’t have. A large extended family took us under their wings, squeezed us in between them, gave up their seats for the kids and bought us chai from the chai vendors that roam the trains. We talked about India, we talked about Canada, we talked about their lives and they doted on our children. We kept in touch with them throughout our time in India. It was serendipity that we met them at the airport when we were leaving as they were meeting an uncle there. To be befriended by strangers in a foreign country is one of the most precious parts of travelling.”

Would you go back? “Definitely! We spent our month in India in the south and we are eager to explore the North next”

India with kids

Two members of 5 Lost Together riding the rails

Ian from The Travelling Page Family 

www.thetravellingpagefamily.com
Age of kids: 3 and 5

“Family travel in India with young children has been amazing so far. Our best times have been our kids playing with local kids, and attending a Hindu wedding in an ancient temple. The spectacular sights and delicious food are nice too. Our worst time was definitely the whole family being sick on an overnight train. Our strangest times are what we call the selfie-storms. Imagine dozens of young men and whole families surrounding you and wanting to hold your kids for selfies. Now I know what it feels like to be facing the paparazzi.”

Would you go back? It’s been a really great experience so far; we’re halfway through our 2 month visa and we’re already planning a second visit next year.”

Sara from The Wheelers on the Bus

www.thewheelersonthebus.com
Age of kids: 5 and 8

“Having been on the road for 9 month, Northern India was our hardest destination so far. Why? Well we decided to go at the height of summer for one, which was particularly stupid. It was HOT and low season, so transport was limited but mainly because TOO MANY SELFIES. Our dream trip to the Taj Mahal ended abruptly with hysterical children. People were lovely one-to-one, but the intensity of all of the attention was just too much and followed us everywhere.”

Would you go back? “We wanted to love it, but would you flog a dead horse? No, we won’t be going back.”

TheWheelersOnTheBus.JPG

The Wheelers on the Bus in Delhi

Susannah at Our Tribe Travels 

www.ourtribetravels.com
Age of kid: 5

“A day doesn’t go by where I don’t have to ask my 6 year son to stop shouting. In his excitement to tell me about what happened in the latest Ninjago episode, or what he did at school with his friends, his volume is always set to loud.

So when we arrived in India, hot humid and sticky, my son was in his element. India is often described as an ‘assault on the senses’. Before living there I used to picture the colourful saris and temples and imagine the strong scent of spices and fresh fruit, but I’d never considered the sounds associated with this vibrant country.

Cue LOUD. EVERYTHING is LOUD. The music is always turned up to the max, the horns beep incessantly, warning of their presence even though the traffic has ground to a halt, and the live drumming and street parties should come with a health warning.

“Mummy, Mummy, MUUUMMMMMMY”
“Sorry Alf, but you’re going to have to speak up. I can’t hear you.”

Only in India ?

Would you go back?: “Yes. I would love to go back to India. It’s really got under my skin.”

Click here for Susannah’s video for how loud India really can be!

OurTribeTravels.jpg

Selfie time for this little man from Our Tribe Travels

 

India with kids - is it worth it?

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To read more about travelling India with young kids, head to our India page.


Where would we be without our trusted Lonely Planet

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best age to travel with kids

Why preschool is the best age to travel with kids

The boys have been in school/preschool now for three weeks and they are absolutely loving it. I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t enjoying my kid-free mornings, but I am so very grateful that we had so much quality time together before our eldest started school. We always wanted to travel with them as much as possible before this time, and I think we did alright thanks to our year living in India (which also included trips to Nepal, Sri Lanka, Qatar and Thailand) and then four months traversing sub-Saharan Africa.

You may want to read: 10 reasons to travel with young kids

Many parents believe that family adventure travel should wait until the kids are older. We don’t believe this whatsoever and actually think that the preschool age (3-5 years) is perhaps the best age to travel with your kids. Here’s why…

You may want to read our top tips for travelling with young kids.

Travel during school term

This is the most obvious reason. School terms are when generally when travel is cheapest and you get the good flight deals. Plus, European destinations in particular, are far less crowded. Admittedly this isn’t a problem if you homeschool when your kids are older, but this isn’t for everybody on a long-term basis.

They still need their sleep

They are still of an age when they need a lot of sleep. We even found that when travelling they sometimes still need a nap in the afternoon, or at least a bit of downtime. This enables parents to enjoy some much needed downtime too.

Poon Hill with kids

You can slow down

Slow travel is the best way with this age. They find the smallest things fascinating – from cracks in the pavement, to stones on the beach, to animal dung (always a favourite topic with our boys). You don’t necessarily have to pack lots of planned activities into your day – perhaps they’ve found a fountain to splash around in, or a sand dune to run down. It’s wonderful seeing the world through their eyes.

Barriers are broken down

We find that travelling with young kids breaks down any cultural barriers with strangers. People are often inquisitive of children travelling at this age and want to chat to us; even the hardest haggler in India cracks a smile with the boys around.

best age to travel with kids

They’re out of the baby stage

No more nappies or night time milk demands, and they’re (hopefully) sleeping better at night. The baby stage does have it’s benefits as they’re much more portable, but there are those interrupted nights for many, and babies come with so much stuff! Plus, pre-schoolers are at that stage where they will sit and watch Blaze and the Monster Machines on loop for those long flights (I will never forget the hours I spent walking up and down the isle when we flew London to Bangkok with Ezra aged 18 months).

Learning through play

This age is all about learning through play, to build self-confidence in their abilities and develop their social and cognitive skills, all whilst having fun. What better way to do this than through different environments; drawing shapes in the sand, counting tuk-tuks, spotting wild animals, and playing with other children across the globe.

They still want time with you

Not that I have older kids, but my understanding is that as they get older, they crave their independence (well it’s certainly my memory of being a teenager!) and have strong attachments to their friends. Preschoolers love time with their parent(s) and are unlikely to whinge about being bored; although the tired whinge is still a guarantee, and in that instance there are always snacks and their Amazon tablets 😉

 

So do you agree? Is the preschool age the best age to travel with kids?

 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Should you click on a link to purchase, it is at no extra cost to you, although I get a small commission that goes towards the running of this blog. 

 

best age to travel with kids

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Mysore with kids: top 5 things to do

Sometimes you need to know your audience. If you wanted to sell Mysore to an adult, you’d mention the World Heritage listed palace and see their eyes light up. Try the same with kids and the response might be more underwhelming. So you need a different angle to get their imagination ticking over; instead, try telling them they can climb all over derelict trains, get chased by monkeys, haggle for spices in a market and spot a white tiger in the zoo… you may have piqued their interest. Trust us when we say that Mysore with kids is a great idea!

Mysore with kids

Mysore (which has recently changed it’s name to Mysuru, although everyone still calls it Mysore) is much more that just its grand, centre-stage Palace. People tend to only stop here for the day to tick off the prize attraction but if you’re travelling with kids, it’s definitely worthwhile staying for a couple of days.

Here’s our top 5 things to do in Mysore with kids:

1. Rail Museum

A collection of brightly painted derelict trains have been collected in this shady open-air museum close to Mysore Railway Station. Children are allowed to explore inside the engines and climb over and around the carriages. There’s also a playground that has seen better days. Bring water and snacks as there is no cafe or food stalls (they’re missing a trick!)
(Open Tues-Sun 10am to 5:30pm. Rs.15 adults, Rs.10 children, Rs.20 camera. Click here for website.)

2. Devaraja Market

Vibrant, colourful and one of the few markets we’ve come across in India that isn’t overly congested, meaning the boys could walk (almost) freely. Engage the kids by giving then a shopping list. Perhaps some spices, paints, flowers and bananas.
(Hours 6am to 8:30pm, located here)

3. Mysore Zoo

Standards at Mysore Zoo rise above what you may have seen elsewhere in India. Set in well maintained gardens, be on the lookout for tigers, rhinos, gorillas and more. Try to visit before 11am or after 3pm as in between these times animals take shelter from the sun and may be difficult to spot.
(Open 8:30am to 5:30pm, closed on Tuesdays. Rs.25 adults, Rs.10 children.Click here for website.)

tiger

4. Chamundi Hill 

Flag down an auto and escape the bustling city to Chamundi Hill. It’s a 30min ride (INR400 return) and then a short 5min walk to Sri Chanundeswari Temple. If you’re visiting at the weekend you’ll more than likely find queues snaking around the temple. Walk through the throng of worshippers, visitors, decorated priests and incense to explore one of the smaller working temples the other side for a more intimate experience. After a blessing, grab a drink from one of the stalls but just be careful that a monkey doesn’t chase you down for it. On your way back down to Mysore, be sure to ask your driver to stop at the the View Point to take in some breathtaking views of the city below.

5. Mysore Palace 

Well you can’t come to Mysore and not see the Palace, one of India’s grandest royal buildings. Just get your visiting times right. We didn’t and arrived at the hottest, busiest time of the day (1pm). We shuffled around the stuffy corridors negotiating the hordes of visitors and couldn’t really take it all in. Next time we go, we plan to visit as soon as the gates open at 10am, or perhaps on a Sunday evening when the Palace is illuminated by almost 100,000 lights bulbs. Also note that no cameras whatsoever are allowed inside the Palace. If you’re seen even reaching for your phone, an officious security guard will be perforating your ear drum with his whistle.

Mysore_Palace

Getting to Mysore 

Mysore is easily accessible by train. From Bangalore there are at least 14 trains per day to Mysore, averaging about 3 hours. The 11am Shatabdi Exp does the journey in just 2 hours. From Mysore train station there are an abundance of autos waiting to drive you to your hotel. It’s likely they will actually use the meter(!), as they’ll take the opportunity to promote their tour guide services along your short journey.

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Where to stay 

Unfortunately we wouldn’t recommend the place that we stayed. However, some fellow expats Mums in Bangalore have suggested the Raddison Blu. It’s in a great location, has a nice pool and lots of space for the kids to run around. Plus I’m reliably informed that the breakfast is excellent! You may also want to try the reasonably priced Country Inn and Suites or The Green Hotel, a charming hotel full of character.

Mysore travel with kids

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To read more about travelling India with young kids, head to our India page.


Where would we be without our trusted Lonely Planet? There’s a detailed chapter on Mysore that provides a detailed history and plan of Mysore Palace.

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Thailand with kids

Ten day Thailand itinerary with young kids and no internal flights or overnight trains

Thailand is a fantastic destination for that first intrepid family holiday. Bangkok is often the main gateway for families travelling long-haul and after a couple of days exploring the bustling city, they head back to the airport for an internal flight to one of the islands for some beach time .

If you’re travelling with young kids, the thought of another airport and flight may be off–putting. You may also consider the overnight train South to Surat Thani and then catching connecting boat or bus to your chosen beach. But if this is your first intrepid trip as a young family, this may feel a bit much.

Our ten day Thailand itinerary with young kids involves no internal flights, no long, overnight trains AND you get to experience the best elements of the country; city (Bangkok), jungle (near Chanthaburi) and beach (Koh Chang).

Day 1 (Arrive in Bangkok) 

From the airport, make sure you take a taxi from the official taxi stand to your hotel. Ensure the meter is used and if you’re heading to Th Khao San the fare should be around 400THB (including tolls).

We recommend you stay around the Banglamphu area (centred around the lively Th Khao San) for it’s central location, hippy markets and fun-time vibe. This area is a melting pot of travellers from around the world and it makes for some fascinating people watching. Plus, some of the restaurants here have high chairs! Step a few streets away from this traveller enclave and you will stumble upon the quintessential side of Bangkok of local stalls, shining temples and antique shophouses. Good family mid-range hotels are Ratchadamnoen Residence and Rambuttri Village Plaza.

Bangkok with kids

Day 2 (Bangkok) 

Opulent temples and shrines, sensational street food and super-fun tuk-tuk rides around the bustling streets await. Head to Wat Arun, rather than the Grand Palace for a more intimate experience with your little ones and enjoy a boat ride along the Chao Phraya. Check out our post – A Day in Bangkok with young children – for more ideas.

WatArun_blessing

Day 3 (Travel to Chanthaburi) 

Chanthaburi is an old gem-trading town conveniently located on the way to Koh Chang. You can either take an aircon bus from Bangkok Ekkamai to Chanthaburi (there are three buses per day, taking 3.5 hours) or hire a private car which provides the convenience of door to door service between your hotels (3500THB). Your hotel in Bangkok will be able to book either option for you.

Once in Chanthaburi, we recommend staying in the old town to soak up all the history the sleepy town has to offer. We particularly enjoyed staying at Tamajun Hotel with their teak en-suite rooms and communal balcony overlooking the river. Perfect spot for a Chang Beer once the kids are asleep.

Tamajun Hotel Chanthaburi

Spend your afternoon wandering around the narrow streets, gem markets (open weekends), the temples and cathedral (the biggest in South East Asia). Check out our post on Chanthaburi to find out more.

temple

Day 4 (Namtok Phlio National Park day trip) 

From your hotel, book a songthaew to take you to Namtok Phlio National Park for a jungle adventure! Ensure you are all lathered in mossie repellant and pack drinking water. It’s a 20 minute drive to the gates and then 1km loop walk around the river (the perfect distance for little legs!), visiting various pools full of large nibbling fish, fed by cascading waterfalls. If you’re brave enough, pop in for a dip with the locals! Back at the gate there are some make-shift restaurants selling local food for lunch. Check out our post on Chanthaburi to find out more.

park

Day 5 (Travel to Koh Chang) 

Time for the beach! From Chanthaburi, there is one bus per day to Trat taking 50 minutes. From there you need to get a songthaew for the ferry terminal to Koh Chang. Alternatively, hire a private car to take you all the way to the ferry terminal. From there it’s a half hour crossing (ferries leave hourly). If you have taken the private car option, the car will go on the ferry and transfer you directly to your hotel on the island. We found it easier to book this through our hotel in Koh Chang and cost 2500THB (inc. ferry ticket).

Once on Koh Chang, we recommend staying on the quieter Eastern side of the island, with calmer waters and a more rugged charm. White Sand Beach on the West coast lends itself more to tattoo parlours, happy hour bars and a lively party scene (although we recommend popping over that way to stock up on milk and snacks from the supermarket).

Serenity Resort is a great choice for young families. We loved taking the free kayaks out on the sea each morning before breakfast and they also provide buckets and spades for playing on the beach. The water here is shallow and calm, perfect for little ones, although a little rocky in places. There is also a good-sized infinity swimming pool and the restaurant provides a fantastic range of Thai and Western dishes. The staff are super accommodating – Keith drove us over to White Sand Beach one morning to stock up on supplies from the supermarket. There’s also a cheap laundry service across the road (by this time your dirty undies are probably piling up!)

Serenity Koh Chang

Serenity pool

Day 6-8 (Koh Chang) 

Spend your days exploring the thick jungle hinterland, visiting the fishing villages of the south, meeting elephants (we don’t agree with elephant riding – read Boys Eats World’s eye opening post on this). Or perhaps allow yourselves to just unwind and enjoy your family time splashing around in the sea or pool, making sandcastles and indulge in some lovely food and perhaps a cheeky cocktail or three for the parents.

Day 9 (Travel back to Bangkok) 

Today will be your longest day of travel. Get to the ferry terminal in Koh Chang early, otherwise you may find yourselves queuing for the next available ferry and they only go every hour. Again, there are buses from Trat (on the mainland and you have to get from the ferry terminal to the bus station) or you could hire a private car transfer door-to-door, including the ferry. From the Koh Chang Ferry Terminal on the mainland, back to Bangkok, is a 4.5 hour drive.

Day 10 (Travel back home)

Depending on the departure of your flight, you may have time for some last minute souvenir shopping down Th Khao San, or a last pad thai or roasted cricket (they just taste like a Walkers crisp ;-)), before you jump in a taxi back to the airport.

Temples, churches, jungle, markets, street food, boat trips and beach fun. Now that was a good holiday in Thailand.

 

Home_time

Home time.

 

Looking to spend longer in Thailand and and experience more history and culture? Consider taking the train up to Chang Mai from Bangkok. Go Live Young have a great post on their adventures there. 

Travel Thailand with kids. A 10 day itinerary including Bangkok, Chathaburi and Koh Chang.

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Where would we be without our trusted Lonely Planet

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Suitcases and Sandcastles
Namibia itinerary with kids

ETOSHA National Park, Namibia: THE BEST safari in Africa for young kids

Yes you can take young kids on safari! During our 4 months of overlanding adventures around Southern Africa with our two boys (aged 3 and 4) we have been on a lot of safaris (also known as game drives). We are travelling around Africa in a Land Rover and always choose to self-drive on safari as it means we can be flexible and self-contained in our own space (indeed most game parks have a minimum age of 6, sometime 12, for group tours).

Out of all the National Parks we have visited, Etosha National Park in Namibia gets our vote for the best safari in Africa for young kids. Here’s why…

Namibia itinerary with kids

Namibia itinerary with kids

Affordability

Africa can be expensive and park fees in some countries are extremely high. However, Etosha is VERY affordable. Day entry for foreign adults is N$80 (£4.50) – cheaper if you’re a Namibian resident, N$10 per standard vehicle (£0.57) and children under 16 are FREE! Do check the Ethosha National Park website for up-to-date entrance fees and opening times (which change weekly according to sunrise and sunset). A one-day entry pass lasts for 24 hours. So if you enter the park at 11am on day 1 and pay for two days, you have until 11am on day 3. We found this to be the perfect length of time with young kids.

Campsites are N$280, plus N$170 per adult. Children under the age of 6 stay free, children between the ages of 6-12 are half price. So for our family of 2 adults and 2 children (aged 3 and 4) the campsite cost was N$620 per night (£35.12 at time of visit). If camping isn’t your thing, you can upgrade to stay in rooms and chalets. All accommodation can be booked through Namibia Wildlife Resorts.

Namibia itinerary with kids

Easy game viewing

The low-growing vegetation over flat open plains promotes the best conditions for spotting the abundant wildlife. You can literally see for miles! There is only the grass for animals to hide in, therefore spotting of elephants, giraffe, zebras and even rhinos is pretty much guaranteed. You may have to look a little harder for lions or leopards (although you’ll probably spot the cars before the animals). We unfortunately didn’t spot a leopard, although we spent a fantastic morning watching a pride of lions.

Namibia itinerary with kids

Etosha best safari kids

Watering holes

There are many watering holes dotted across the park, accessible by good roads and well signposted. These are the perfect spots to park up and watch the local wildlife come to drink and socialise. We would often have these as snack stops (although you must stay in your car).

Etosha best safari kids

There are also watering holes at each of the campsites with a viewing/seating area. They are the perfect spot to watch the sun set. Absolute silence is expected, which we found rather stressful with our 3 year old who needed to release energy after sitting in the car a few hours. Our 4 year old however, was totally engaged (helped by his camera and binoculars).

Etosha best safari kids

We found it far more relaxing for us parents to visit the watering holes in turn, once the boys were asleep in their rooftents. The watering holes are floodlit for night-time viewing. On one of my watches, I spotted a family of rhinos bathing, followed by a thirsty lion!

Ethosa best safari kids

Campsites with swimming pools

Ensure you book campsites in advance, especially in the high season (June to October). We stayed our first night at Halai Rest Camp and the second at Okaukuejo Rest Camp. We tried to stay a third night at Olifantsrus Rest Camp, but is was completely booked out; there is a cramped overflow camping available although no power, or braii. They aren’t the most appealing sites as they are rather open and lack privacy, but they all have power, braii pits and hot showers. And they all have a swimming pool! The perfect activity for kids after a morning game drive. The pools are a little on the chilly side, so pack wetsuits rather than swimsuits.

Ethosa best safari kids

Plus, as mentioned above, the campsites are all situated next to a watering hole. So once the kids are asleep, parents can take it in turns to visit the watering hole (we suggest taking a beer or wine!)

Well-maintained roads

Most of the roads throughout the park are suitable for 2WD. It’s only to the Western side of the park that a 4WD is required. This means easy driving for parents who need to multi-task with attending to demands of little ones and spotting wildlife.

Etosha best safari kids

We entered through the East (Von Lindquist Gate) and exited through the South (Andersson Gate).

Animal identification check-list

Pick up a map of the park at any one of the entry gate shops. Inside are drawings of all the animals you can identify in the park. This was a great animal check list for the boys and helped us parents in identifying between kudus, springboks and impalas. Once we left Etosha, the boys then cut out their favourite animals to make a collage.

Ethosa best safari kids

Toilet stops

There are well-marked toilet stops around the park. However, we take a potty for those times when our little darlings just have to go NOW!

Salt pan family shot

Right in the middle of the park is a massive salt pan. If anything, this is a great spot for a family photo with the camera sat on the bonnet and set with the timer.

Etosha best safari kids

Have you visited Etosha with kids? I’d love to hear your stories!

Disclaimer: All prices are correct as of June 2018. 

Etosha with kids

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Japiur with kids: top 5 things to do

Let imaginations run wild as you explore flamboyant doorways, hidden corridors and opulent courtyards of a bygone era. Set amongst compact homes and bustling streets, where motorbikes weave around plodding camels and impatient rickshaws brush past colourful saris, the many forts and palaces provide a sanctuary of calm. Have you considered visiting Jaipur with kids under the age of 5?

Jaipur with kids

Jaipur, affectionately known as ‘The Pink City’ due to the colour of the buildings in the old town, makes up part of India’s popular ‘Golden Triangle’. This is the capital of Rajasthan and it’s more than likely that you will combine your visit to Jaipur with Delhi and Agra (to see The Taj Mahal). Indeed, we visited both as part of Our Northern India Itinerary with young kids.

If this is your first visit to India with kids, ensure you read Twelve Tips for travelling India with young kids. Plan for early starts and late afternoons to beat the heat (especially if travelling outside of the winter months) and ensure you are stocked up on snacks and water (it can be difficult to get hold of once inside the forts and palaces).

Here are our top 5 things to do in Jaipur with kids under the age of 5:

1. City Palace

Visit the City Palace, in the heart of the Pink City, as soon as it opens at 9:30am to avoid the tour groups. Marvel at the intricate pink architecture whilst the kids run around enjoying the open courtyards, gardens and hidden doorways. Within the grounds there is also a museum, art gallery, souvenir stalls and displays of royal clothing and historical weaponry. You may even catch a traditional puppet show, accompanied with live drumming and singing (the puppet with a detachable head had our boys in fits of giggles!)

[Open 9:30am to 5pm every day. Standard tickets for foreigners are Rs500 per adult, Rs300 per child aged 5-12 and FREE for children under 5]

2. Jantar Mantar Observatory

Jaipur with kids

Across the road from City Palace is Jantar Mantar Observatory. More than just a collection of bizarre artwork, each structure is a specific and highly accurate instrument to measure astronomy, including the world’s largest sundial. Admittedly much of the explanations of instruments went over our boys’ heads, although they received a good lesson in shadows and loved exploring all the weird and wonderful shapes.

If visiting after City Palace, you will be approaching midday and it can feel brutally hot. There is no shade, so perhaps bring an umbrella and ensure you have enough water.

If the kids haven’t crashed yet, walk around the corner (or jump in an auto as it’s a bit of loop around to get there) to Hawa Mahal, which is probably Jaipur’s most recognised buildings, with it’s pink-honeycombed facade. There’s not much to see inside, but kids will love peeping through the little windows to the view below.

Jaipur with kids

[Jantar Mantar is open Daily 9:30am to 5pm. Foreigner ticket is Rs200 per adult, children under 12 are free. Hawa Mahal is open daily from 9am to 4:30pm and prices are the same.]

3. Amber Fort and Palace

A 20 minute auto ride away, Amber Fort is best visited at 8am opening; again to beat the crowds and heat. For little legs, it’s a bit of an uphill walk to the entrance, so you may have to resort to shoulder-carrys if, like us, you don’t use a sling. Once inside, the kids will love exploring the maze of narrow staircases and corridors, which sometimes lead to an impressive elaborate courtyard, and other times a dead end.

There is a light show presenting the history of Jaipur and the Fort every night at 7:30pm.

[Open 8am to 6pm every day. Foreigner entrance ticket is Rs500 per adult, children under 12 are free. Evening light show in English is Rs200 per adult. ]

4. Nahargarh Fort

Jaipur with kids

This majestic fort stands proud on the Aravalli Hills, overlooking the compact flat rooftops of Jaipur below. Time your visit for sunset; the view from the Palace rooftop is spectacular. The doors to the Palace close at 5:30pm, ensure you are there in good time to explore and climb to the rooftop. When the officious guards start whistling at you to get down, make a speedy beeline for Sunset Point to watch the sun sink below the hazy horizon.

There’s an open air food court for dinner and a couple of restaurants within the grounds, so it’s worthwhile hanging around for dinner. You will also find a new wax museum; this isn’t included in your entry ticket and we didn’t go in.

Ensure you’ve arranged for your auto driver to wait for you; we didn’t see any autos hanging around on leaving. Nahargarh Fort is about a 40 minute auto ride from the centre of Jaipur (it’s an 8km circuitous trip).

[Open 9am to 5:30pm every day. Foreigner ticket is Rs200 and children under 12 are free]

5. Chokhi Dhani

Jaipur with kids

We unfortunately didn’t make it here on our visit, so turned to Georgina and family from Up 4 a Mission who visited on their recent travels. Georgina writes:

Chokhi Dhani is a mock traditional Rajasthani village, 15 km south of Jaipur. The entrance fee includes entertainment and dinner, a thali (which we chose), or a more expensive a la carte option. The gardens are lit by twinkling lanterns, and the floor is covered with sand; it feels a world away from the chaos of Jaipur. The various entertainers invite you to sit down and watch their craft, and encourage you to join in. The restaurant staff invite you in to sit down on cushions for dinner. They serve dish after delicious dish, there is so much of it, and there are plenty of non spicy options for the kids.

The entertainment was great; from traditional tribal dancers, to a puppet show, a magician, wrestlers, fire dancing, and more, plus horse carriage and camel rides, and an elephant. There is also a good children’s playground, split into different sections, all linked by caves.

Chokhi Dhani was one of our highlights of Jaipur, we would definitely recommend it, with or without kids.

[An Uber from Jaipur centre costs Rs 300, journey takes 30 mins. On the way back rickshaw drivers tried to charge Rs 800, so book an Uber if you can. Entry price is Rs700-1,100 per adult (depending on dinner choice) and around Rs400-500 per child over 3.]

Getting there and around 

Jaipur is accessible by air, train, car or bus. We flew into Jaipur direct from Bangalore (it’s a 30 minute drive from Jaipur International Airport to the city centre) and then took the train on to Agra (check out Our Northern India Itinerary with young kids).

Train is always our preferred method of transport and there are numerous trains per day between Jaipur and Agra (3 hours 45 minutes on the Superfast Express), and Jaipur and Delhi (approx. 5.5 hours). You may also wish to head West from Jaipur to explore Udaipur (8-9 hours).  Check the IRCTC website for up-to-date train times and ensure you book trains as far in advance as possible.

Jaipur with kids

Auto is the easiest way to get around Jaipur. They are not metered, so ensure you have the correct price in mind before you flag one down. A good way to check prices (or even book autos) is using the Ola app. Alternatively, Uber is available.

Where we stayed

Jai Niwas – Just a 5 minute auto ride to City Palace. We had a lovely large family room with a double bed and two singles, plus double doors which opened out onto a secure garden. Staff were extremely accommodating. There were a few things broken in our room on arrival (kettle, fridge, aircon) and everything was seen to immediately. There’s a small restaurant onsite serving the standard Western and Indian dishes. If you ask, you can have dinner delivered to your room (which we always find easier with the boys). Do note, however, that there is serious maintenance work taking place with an entire two floors being added above the current building structure. This is likely to continue through to mid-2018.

For more ideas on what to do with kids in Jaipur, check out this great post by globetotting.com. travel2next also has some great suggestions here.

To read more about travelling India with young kids, head to our India page.

Disclaimer: Jai Niwas gave us a discount on their room rate. All opinions and words are our own. This post also contains affiliate links. Should you click on a link to purchase, it is at no extra cost to you, but I get a small commission that goes towards the running of this blog. 

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Rishikesh with kids

Rishikesh with kids: top 5 things to do

Have you considered visiting Rishikesh with kids? Nestled in the foothills of the Himalaya lies the sacred town of Rishikesh, a place where a sense of mystique flows from the River Ganga and where thousands of pilgrims gather to cleanse in its magical waters. The numerous ashrams north of town draw in those hippy backpackers looking for spiritual enlightenment through yoga and meditation classes. There is admittedly a trendy vibe around town and many travellers conform to the unwritten uniform rules: headband, beads and flowing trousers (which personally I love!) Once a state of ultimate relaxation has been achieved, many turn to white-water rafting, bungee jumping or Himalayan treks to get the blood pumping again. Doesn’t quite sound a suitable destination for young kids, does it?

Rishikesh with kids

So it may surprise you to read that for our boys, aged 2 and 3, Rishikesh was their favourite stop on Our Northern India Itinerary. Why? Well there was sand to play in, water to splash in, monkeys to feed, colourful people to meet, a fire ceremony to watch, and chocolate milkshake and banana pancakes served at almost every restaurant.

Here are our top 5 things to do in Rishikesh with kids:

1. Play on the banks of the River Ganges

Sandplay_Ganges

Take an auto to Laxman Jula and cross over the wobbly bridge (avoiding the motorbikes, monkeys and cows). Once across, follow the road to the right for about 200m (browsing the shops as much as you can with young kids in tow) and take one of the narrow passageways down to Manmouji Ghat. Here you will find tactile white sand perfect for sandcastles and steps to stand on for a paddle and splash.

You will also see worshippers bathing in the River Ganges, performing their own individual ceremonies alongside local kids having a playful swim. They will urge you to join them. This may be an unwise choice for young kids due to the fast flowing current and questionable cleanliness, but if Mum or Dad feel the urge – go for it!

There is also a good sandy beach a Gange Beach, just 300m East of Ram Jhula.

2. Watch the Ganga Aarti (river worship ceremony)

Witnessing first-hand the noise, mystique and colour of a Ganga ceremony, and the incredible levels of devotion shown by the pilgrims, is breathtaking.  There is a raw energy that radiates from the hopeful worshippers and our boys loved the theatre of it all; they found the choreography of flames fascinating and clapped along to the fervent chanting mantras.

To watch the ceremony with young kids, I suggest going to the ghats to the left of the ferry crossing at Ram Jhula (see star on map below). It is one of the few quiet spots, where you can sit on the ghats with a clear view, without vying for space. Once the ceremony ends, light a candle in a wreath of flowers, place it in the river, and watch your prayer join the chatter of flickering flames and drift downstream.

3. Rishikesh with kids

Copyright Google Maps 2017


4. Take the boat across the River Ganges and enjoy a chocolate milkshake

Rishikesh with kids

Just to the left of the star on the map above, you can see the ferry terminal. There is a  regular small boat which takes you across the Ganges for a nominal fee (kids are free). Once across, climb the ghats towards Tip Top Restaurant. Here you’ll find breezy views across the Ganges from the high vantage point. There are Indian, Italian and Israeli dishes on offer. Our boys loved their pancakes and chocolate milkshake.

4. Temple hopping

On the southern side of the river, you’ll stumble across many ashrams and temples. Some offer quiet contemplation, whilst others are a noisy celebration with banging drums and fervent chanting. In between you’ll stumble across Hindu monks dressed in bright orange, meandering cows (our boys enjoyed feeding them bananas), and colourful market stalls.

5. Visit Haridwar

Haridwar with kids

An hour auto ride downstream of Rishikesh lies Haridwar (meaning ‘Gateway to the Lord’) . It is believed that Amrit, the elixir of immortality, accidentally spilled here, and it is therefore argued that the city of Haridwar holds more importance to Hindus than Rishikesh.

This is where intrepid families are rewarded with a more authentic experience as tourists seem few and far between. Rise early to beat the crowds and take the cable car (looks like a big bucket) up to Mansa Devi Temple, which celebrates the folk goddess of snakes. The cable car opens at 7am from April to October and 8am at all other times of the year; tickets are Rs84 return (small kids free). Shuffle along shoulder-to-shoulder with devout pilgrims desperate for a glimpse of the sacred shrines.

Spend an afternoon temple hopping along the ghats and if you’re still around by sunset catch another Ganga ceremony. Hari Ki Pauri is the most popular place, however, we enjoyed an intimate ceremony adjacent to Ganga Temple with just a handful of worshippers and one priest performing the evening ritual.

Getting there and around

There are direct trains from Delhi. Check the IRCTC website for up-to-date train times. However, with only three slow trains daily, you may find it better to get to Haridwar and then take an auto on to the centre Rishikesh (Rs200). For some reason, you then have to change to a different auto to take you to your hotel. There are also direct buses from Delhi, although we don’t really recommend this with young kids.

Rishikesh with kids

There are no metered autos in Rishikesh and there seems to be a cartel in operation. Very short distances seemed relatively pricey (Rs150 or Rs200 for a 1.5km); although in the grand scheme of things, this is only a couple of quid! Also to get out of Laxman Jhula you have to take a taxi (no autos will stop for you). Prices for taxis are non-negotiable and printed on a big board.

Where to stay

Ideally you want to stay in the more picturesque, less hectic, north of town. We stayed at Bhandari Swiss Cottages. There are great views over the valley and it’s nicely tucked away from the hustle and bustle. Autos wait at the bottom of the hill; although be warned that they are a bit pricier than your standard auto and it cost Rs150 for the 1.5km to Laxman Jhula! Rooms are spacious, but basic and could be cleaner, and there is an onsite restaurant with a fantastic range of food, although bear in mind with your little ones that service is painfully slow.

To read more about travelling India with young kids, head to our India page.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Should you click on a link to purchase, it is at no extra cost to you, but I get a small commission that goes towards the running of this blog. 

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Doha stopover with young kids - camels

Is Doha worth a stopover with young kids?

Have you considered doing a Doha stopover with kids? Rising majestically from the barren desert, the glitzy skyline of Doha is forever changing as money oozes from the oil and gas refineries and pours into the rapid and constant development of the city. The current political situation (neighbouring countries have severed ties with Qatar), seems to have done little to halt this and the region is booming.

Doha stopover with kids - evening beach

With our visit back home to the UK, we thought we would take advantage of our Qatar Airways flight and stopover in Doha for a couple of days. What a fascinating comparison it would be to our lives in India and there are so many things to in Doha.

However, when we initially scoured the hotels online, we thought we had made an expensive choice. Doha promotes itself as a high end tourist destination where one enjoys luxury hotels, dines at fine restaurants and shops at shiny malls. This isn’t quite us. In fact, far from it.

So is it worth doing a Doha stopover with kids?

Where we stayed

Although it would have been lovely to stay in a 5* resort, we couldn’t justify the cost. We had pre-booked the 4* Golden Ocean Hotel, which was a huge mistake. After a 30 minute wait to check in, we were shown a room with a tiny bed for all four of us to sleep in. The hotel were happy to show us another room with a larger bed, however one of the rooms still had a person sleeping in it (!!!) and another was thick with cigarette smoke. We hastily left.

We quickly realised that Doha is perhaps a place you need to stretch the budget a bit and we opted for the 5* Saraya Corniche Hotel after a super quick booking.com search. I would say that it is more 4*, although it’s a great location (short stroll to the Corniche), comfy and clean rooms (many with amazing views across the bay) and there is also a indoor pool and kids play room. We really only used the hotel as a base for exploring and it was more than adequate for this.

Doha stopover with kids - Saraya Corniche

Photo credit: Saraya Corniche Hotel

Views from the room:

Experiencing 5* resort luxury for the afternoon

TraveLynn Family were invited to spend the afternoon at the Intercontinental Doha. We had heard from friends and bloggers living in the area that this is THE place for families, and we can see why! With a wonderful playground, kids’ swimming pools and a sandy private beach overlooking the bay, we were all still playing once the sun had set. We also enjoyed a marvellous buffet lunch; after 6 months living in India the boys particularly enjoyed the bangers and mash, whereas I had my eye on the scrummy sushi and the delicious range of cheese and cured meats.

Non-guests can pay for a day pass to use the pool area and beach for the day.  Entrance is FREE for children below the age of 3. Prices for children (aged 3 to 12) and adults (13 years and above) are dependant on the days of the week:

Sunday, Monday, and Thursday: QR 200 (Adult) / QR 100 (Child)
Tuesday and Wednesday: QR 100 (Single female) / QR 200 (Single male / per couple) / QR 80 (Child)
Friday, Saturday, and Public Holidays: QR 350 (Adult) / QR 150 (Child)

If you are visiting at the weekend, or you have children aged 3 and above, the cost does add up and you’re probably better off paying to actually stay at The Intercontinental Doha.

Desert fun

No visit to Qatar would be complete without visiting the desert. We booked a fantastic half day desert tour with Qatar Inbound Tours (Half day QAR800 for the entire group/prvivate 4×4). 

Doha stopover with kids - dune bashing

The drive south to the desert from the city took about 25 minutes along a wide, clear highway. When the tarmac ran out, the driver let the air out of the tyres in preparation for some dune bashing and we took a ride on the camels. Admittedly this isn’t quite what we expected. We essentially spent QAR60 (£12) for two camels to walk 40 metres up and down a car park. However, the boys absolutely loved it and it’s just one of those thing we had to do.

Doha stopover with kids - camel riding

But it was the dune bashing that we had come for. What absolute exhilarating fun! I will never forget the giggles from all the boys as our skillful driver careered up, over and around the silky dunes. We also stopped to take in the seemingly endless views of untouched sand and drove so far south we could see the coastline of Saudi Arabia.

Doha stopover with kids - dune walking

Free things to do

As you may have gathered so far, it’s quite easy for the budget to blow out of the window in Doha. However, there are some fantastic free things to do, which are all within easy walking distance of each other.

We loved wandering around Souq Waqif; smelling the array of spices, browsing the eclectic shopfronts and getting lost amongst the maze of alleyways. It has been cleverly redeveloped to retain the character and structure of the original 19th-century souq.

From Souq Waqif you can cross under Al Corniche St towards The Pearl Monument, and enjoy a stroll along the Corniche Promenade. To escape the daytime heat, this is best enjoyed in the evening when the skyscrapers across the Bay are colourfully lit up.

Doha stopover with kids - skyline

Follow the Corniche around to the right (East) towards the Museum of Islamic Art (open until 7pm every evening, free entry). A bit further along is MIA playground, a fantastic play space for kids with two large playgrounds – itt does get very busy on weekend evenings. There is also a good playground at Sheraton Park.

For a comprehensive list of what to do with kids in Qatar, visit Wandermust Family’s post: Ultimate Guide of What to do with kids in Qatar in Winter.

Getting around

If it’s too far to walk, taxi is your best option of getting around. These are all metered and easy to flag down. Taxis are reasonable and start from QAR10. To get from the Museum of Islamic Art, around the Bay to The Intercontinental Doha (11km) is about QAR25.

Many hotels offer an airport shuttle service for free. Otherwise a taxi to/from the airport is around QAR40. Thankfully Hamad International Airport, Doha, is very well organised and is often voted as one of the best family friendly airports in the world.

Is it worth doing a Doha stopover with kids?

Most definitely! Okay, so we soon realised we needed to stretch the budget, a lot (particularly for accommodation), and we spent a bit more than we would normally for a two-day city break. But hearing the boys giggles as we careered down those sand dunes was priceless and the clean order of everything was a fascinating contrast to the chaos of Bangalore where we live. Plus, we still found lots of free things to do.

Doha stopover with kids - Souq Waqif

Useful Travel Info:

Best time to visit: Winter (Nov-March). However, we visited in late October; the heat of the summer was passing and it was comfortable.
How to get there: Qatar Airlines is the main provider to Doha’s Hamad International Airport. Other providers include SriLankan, IndiGo, Kuwait Airways, Jet Airways, Oman Airways.
Currency: Qatari riyal (QAR) divided into 100 dirhams (as of October 2017 – £1=QR4.79, US$1=Dh3.64)
ATMs: Multiple ATMs are available at Hamad International Airport and they are plentiful across the city (map).
Visas: In August 2017, Qatar removed visa requirements for citizens of 80 countries, including Australia, the European Union, New Zealand, the UK and the US. Visa waivers are issued on arrival and you can stay for up to 60 days.
Language: Arabic is the official language of Qatar, with Qatari Arabic the local dialect. English is widely spoken as a second language.
Time: GMT+3
Government travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/qatar

 

Disclaimer: The Intercontinental Doha kindly hosted us for the afternoon and Qatar Inbound Tours discounted our half day desert tour. However the opinions and words are all our own, based on our own experiences. This post contains affiliate links. Should you click on a link to purchase, it is at no extra cost to you, but I get a small commission that goes towards the running of this blog. 

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