9 Crucial Tips for Traveling to India with Children

As a mom, avid traveler, and owner of a specialized travel company, India is bridged between my personal and professional lives. I promote India, write about India, and have a passion for India. As the wife of an Indian man and a mom to three children, traveling to the country has become more than visiting the Taj Mahal and relaxing on palm-fringed beaches. (Although, I highly recommend both!) It is now focused on family, home visits, and exposing our children to half of their heritage. My roles and observations are split between tourist and resident, as I navigate hotels, transportation, and keeping kids content in a country of over 1.2 billion people. Here are my tips for traveling to India with kids.

Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds) in India with children
No longer a baby, here is Alexander outside the Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds) in Jaipur, India (Photo credit: Allison Sodha)

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1. Be flexible.

When my husband and I first visited India with our firstborn, Alexander, he was just 6 months old. The entire trip was certainly a learning experience. (Example: We believe in the method of self-soothing. Indians? Not so much.) After numerous visits to India with children, I find myself more flexible with the schedule and routine – or lack thereof. I often remind myself, “It is only two weeks. Our kids can miss naps or eat more sweets from Dadi and Dada.”

A holy cow in Madhya Pradesh, India
A holy cow in Madhya Pradesh, India (Photo credit: master2, Depositphotos.com)

2. Do your research or book a tour.

I recommend doing lots of research before your departure. Which hotels offer larger rooms or walk-in closets to accommodate a portable crib? Which airline allows you to check an extra bag for no charge, even on an infant fare? What activities and sites are appropriate for kids in India?

If researching for your visit to India with kids seems overwhelming, you may want to book a tour instead. A tour especially designed for children enables families to relax and enjoy all that India has to offer.

Birla Mandir, a Hindu temple in Delhi ~ India with children
Birla Mandir, a Hindu temple in Delhi (Photo credit: Allison Sodha)

3. Find the right flights to India with kids.

Invest time to find the flight options and airline amenities best for your family. From U.S. cities, many airlines offer nonstop or one-stop itineraries to larger Indian airports, limiting your layovers and travel time. We like flying Air France and Lufthansa to India with children, both for schedule and the ability to check an extra bag plus portable crib for no charge.

My sons, Alexander and Veer, about to ride an auto rickshaw, known locally as a tuk-tuk in India with children
My sons, Alexander and Veer, about to ride an auto rickshaw, known locally as a tuk-tuk (Photo credit: Allison Sodha)

4. Ditch the stroller.

Indian streets can be very crowded with limited sidewalks, so strollers are not recommended. Instead parents of little ones should pack a baby carrier. We learned this the hard way, after bringing our stroller all the way to Delhi only to leave it folded in the corner for two weeks. On subsequent visits, we used our child carrier, which was also an excellent resource for transporting our kids between terminals at airports.

5. Book a big room.

Many Indian hotels are converted forts, palaces, and/or private homes, which means larger rooms for spreading out. We love Maidens Hotel in Delhi. Although Oborei is considered a luxury hotel chain, this particular property is more budget-friendly. The rooms are very spacious, and our children love the swimming pool and peacocks that roam on the lawn.

A luxury suite at Maidens Hotel in Delhi provides space for families ~ India with Kids
A luxury suite at Maidens Hotel in Delhi provides space for families (Photo from MaidensHotel.com)

6. Pack an inflatable booster seat.

With the exception of hotels, it is difficult to find high chairs in Indian restaurants. If traveling with a baby or toddler and you prefer to not have a lap child during meals, pack an inflatable booster seat. We also used it at friends’ houses when our children wanted to color or play at the table.

7. Bring the car seat.

Car seats are not a common commodity, so expect questions and pictures from curious locals. Our children thoroughly enjoyed the attention, and made many friends along the way!

A houseboat in Kerala, India with kids
A houseboat in Kerala, India (Photo credit: Allison Sodha)

8. Skip the bus.

Although buses provide a cheap mode of transport, most are overcrowded and do not offer air conditioning. Instead, consider hiring a private car and driver, either for a day or planned itinerary. Not only is it an affordable option, but also it offers more comfort and convenience. If traveling with young children, hiring one driver for a multi-day trip allows families to keep the car seat installed and saves time on buckling and adjusting every morning.

Embrace the culture when traveling to India with kids
My sons and I wearing traditional Indian clothing (Photo credit: Allison Sodha)

9. Embrace the culture in India with children.

Finally, immerse your family in the culture and integrate with the locals. Indians are some of the friendliest people in the world and enjoy interacting with foreigners. Children are considered an integral part of the culture and they are welcomed and included in almost any function or event. So if you are walking down the street and randomly get invited to a wedding, go for it and enjoy the experience!

Learn more about visiting India.

Discover more of India by reading this story about Mumbai with kids.

Explore India with Go! Girl Guides India: A Woman’s Guide to Traveling in North & West India by Allison Sodha.

Book your vacation to India with kids via Allison’s travel company, Sodha Travel.

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Tips for visiting India with kids from an expert

Would you like to visit India with kids? Let us know in the comments below!

A Note from Travel Mamas: We did not receive any compensation from Sodha Travels related to this blog post.

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  1. traveling with my grandkids and 13 inapril which Iknow is not the best time but because of schoolbreaks
    would like to plan a kids trip in rheSouth- have been to India many time nd seen all the sights Kerela for example.any suggestions?