Planning Your Family Trip to India: A Guide for Canadian NRI Families


May 8, 2024


Traveling to India with your family is more than just a vacation—it’s a vibrant, enriching, and profoundly personal experience, especially for Non-Resident Indian (NRI) families settled in Canada. Whether you are introducing your children to their heritage, reconnecting with your roots, or exploring the vast cultural landscapes of India, planning is key to making your trip a success.

Here’s a guide tailored specifically for Canadian NRI families gearing up for a memorable journey to India.

1. Choosing the Right Time to Visit

India’s climate varies dramatically from north to south and east to west. Typically, the best time to visit most parts of India is during the cooler, drier months from November to March. If you’re planning to visit the Himalayan regions, summer months are preferable. Festivals like Diwali (October/November), Holi (March), and Navaratri (September/October) are fantastic times for NRIs to immerse their families in Indian celebrations. However, prepare for larger crowds and higher prices during major festivals and school holidays.

2. Itinerary Planning for All Ages

Crafting an itinerary that caters to all ages can be challenging but rewarding. Include a mix of historical sites, cultural experiences, and some downtime. Cities like Delhi, Jaipur, and Agra are rich in history and architecture, while places like Kerala and Goa offer relaxing backwaters and beaches. For families, places with parks, museums, and interactive cultural experiences are ideal. You might also consider adding a visit to your ancestral village or town to deepen your family’s connection with their roots.

3. Managing Health and Safety

Health should be a priority when planning your trip. It’s advisable to consult a travel clinic in Canada at least a month before departure to get any necessary vaccinations and medications. Remember to carry a basic health kit including medications for travelers’ diarrhea, fever, dehydration, and common colds. Given the air quality concerns in several Indian cities, carrying masks and allergy medication is also wise. Always use bottled water for drinking and avoid street food that doesn’t look fresh or well-prepared.

4. Accommodation Choices

India offers a range of accommodation from luxury hotels and heritage properties to budget-friendly guesthouses and homestays, which are ideal for families looking to experience authentic Indian hospitality. Homestays also provide an opportunity for your children to interact with local kids and gain insight into the daily lives of Indian families. When booking, look for family-friendly amenities like swimming pools, kid’s clubs, and in-house restaurants which can make your stay more comfortable.

5. Cultural Sensitivity and Engagement

Understanding and respecting local customs and traditions is crucial. Educate your family about the dos and don’ts; for instance, dress modestly, especially in religious places. Engage with local traditions and crafts — participate in a pottery-making session in Rajasthan or a dance workshop in Kerala. Learning a few phrases in the local language can also enrich your interaction with locals and show respect for the culture.

6. Connectivity and Navigation

Staying connected is easier than ever in India, with widespread mobile coverage and inexpensive data plans readily available. Apps like Google Maps, Ola, Uber, and food delivery services can make navigation and meal planning convenient. However, be prepared for occasional connectivity issues, especially in remote areas.

7. Finances and Shopping

While India offers value for money in many aspects, it’s good practice to budget for unexpected expenses. International credit cards are widely accepted in cities, but having some local currency is essential for smaller towns and rural areas. Shopping in India can be an exciting experience; from handicrafts to spices and textiles, ensure you are aware of customs regulations when bringing items back to Canada.

8. Making Memories and Keeping Them Safe

Finally, ensure you capture the moments but also live them. Whether it’s watching a sunset over the Arabian Sea, enjoying a camel ride in the desert of Rajasthan, or savoring a family meal prepared by a local chef, each moment is precious. Store photos and backups safely in cloud storage or external drives.

List of Best Places to Visit in India

Certainly! Let’s delve deeper into some key destinations across India that offer unique experiences, ensuring your family trip is both enjoyable and enriching. Each of these places brings a different aspect of India to life, from historical grandeur and architectural marvels to natural beauty and cultural vibrancy.

1. Delhi

The capital city is a magnificent tapestry of old and new, offering a rich historical narrative juxtaposed with modern urbanism. Key attractions include:

Red Fort: An iconic symbol of India’s history, great for teaching kids about the Mughal era.
India Gate and Rajpath: Perfect for evening strolls.
Humayun’s Tomb and Qutub Minar: Introduce children to UNESCO World Heritage sites and architectural history.
Lotus Temple and Akshardham Temple: Showcases religious diversity and architectural brilliance.
Interactive Tip: Visit the National Rail Museum or Nehru Planetarium to engage the curious minds of young ones.

2. Jaipur (Rajasthan)

Known as the Pink City, Jaipur is famed for its royal palaces and rich traditions.

Amber Fort: Enjoy an elephant ride up to the fort, appealing directly to kids.
City Palace and Jantar Mantar: The astronomical instruments at Jantar Mantar can fascinate kids interested in science.
Hawa Mahal: The unique structure can be an interesting architectural lesson for children.
Cultural Tip: Participate in a block printing workshop or watch a traditional puppet show to engage with Rajasthani cultural crafts.

3. Agra

No trip to India is complete without witnessing the unparalleled beauty of the Taj Mahal.

Taj Mahal: Early morning visits can beat the crowds and heat, making it more enjoyable for the family.
Agra Fort: Another architectural marvel that narrates the tale of Mughal emperors.
Fatehpur Sikri: A bit outside Agra, this deserted Mughal city makes for an intriguing exploration site.
Learning Tip: Discuss the story of the Taj Mahal’s construction and its historical significance on the way there.

Canada To India Flights

4. Kerala

Known as ‘God’s Own Country’, Kerala offers a more laid-back, nature-oriented experience.

Backwaters of Alleppey: Rent a houseboat for a night for an unforgettable family experience on the water.
Tea gardens of Munnar: Visit a tea plantation to learn about tea processing and enjoy scenic views.
Kathakali Performance: Attend a traditional dance performance.
Nature Tip: Visit the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary for a chance to see elephants in the wild and engage in a jungle walk.

5. Goa

Famous for its beaches and relaxed lifestyle, Goa is a great spot for families looking to unwind.

Beaches like Calangute and Palolem: Offer water sports and safe swimming zones.
Old Goa: Explore old churches and the relaxed South Goan countryside.
Spice Plantations: Take a guided tour to learn about tropical spices.
Relaxation Tip: Choose a beachside resort where kids can play safely, while adults can enjoy some downtime.

6. Varanasi

One of the world’s oldest continually inhabited cities, Varanasi offers a deeply spiritual experience.

Boat rides on the Ganges: Best at sunrise, when the ghats are alive with spiritual activity.
Evening Aarti: A captivating ritual that provides insight into Hindu traditions.
Cultural Insight: Prepare your kids about the intense experiences Varanasi can offer, from crowded ghats to the spiritual ceremonies.


A family trip to India can be a deeply rewarding experience as you expose your children to the sights, sounds, and flavors of this diverse country. With careful planning and an open mind, you and your family can have an unforgettable journey exploring your cultural heritage and making new memories together.

Prepare, pack, and embark on your adventure to Incredible India, and rest assured, it will be a trip that your family will cherish for a lifetime!