Family Vacation Ideas To Take This Summer - A Time to Bond - ICICI Bank
March 03, 2019
World over, summer season is marked with school holidays and hence the time for family vacations. Parents of all school-going aged children try to take time out for at least one vacation in the long 8-10 week holidays that their children get. One of the big questions that families are discussing these days is “Where to go this summer?’
In this issue, we give you a taste of how to find unique experiences even in a much-visited destination. Malaysia is a country close to India and it offers a wide variety of travel landscapes beyond Kuala Lumpur, Genting, Penang and Langkawi. We take you to the pristine waters of Terengganu and the very sublime Perhentian Islands. There is something for everyone here and most of all there is clean air, calm environs and clear beaches – perfect setting for families.
We have compiled the best festivals and events happening all over the world from USA, Europe to Bali – do see if you are planning a trip to those countries - perhaps you can catch one of them. Also, we have put together a comprehensive checklist for ensuring a great family trip wherever you choose to go this summer.
Soul Trip- Family vacation – A time to bond
They say “Life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans”. Parents of growing kids can fully appreciate this. As kids grow, parents are often left wondering where the years passed. That is why each summer vacation is a cherished moment for everyone especially for kids, because it is the excitement of travel and new place and for parents, because this is not only an opportunity to introduce the children to a new place, a new culture, but also an annual ritual to come together as a family.
With a little of thought and planning, this time-off can turn into a treasure trove of memories and learnings for kids and parents alike. Kids need change as they grow. While it might seem daunting to travel with small children, it is a challenge with older kids to keep their inquisitive minds always occupied. And if your kids are teenagers, their needs will be very different. The key to balance a summer vacation so everyone has a good time is to divide responsibilities (in older kids), instilling a sense of shared experiences and to find activities of interest for each family member. This sense of sharing is what creates strong bonds for years to come.
Use the summer vacations to pay annual homage to nature, choose locations that allow you to be in the mountains, beaches, national parks, islands and other beautiful natural settings. This will be a welcome break from malls, theatres and entertainment parks which abound in our daily city life and the thrill of a new adventure will be etched in everyone’s minds forever – making each holiday special.
Discover Your World
Exploring New Places with Family
To get a sample itinerary for Terengganu, Malaysia click here .
One of the exciting parts of holiday planning is to find hidden gems. While Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Langkawi are better known destinations in Malaysia – Terengganu is a beautiful, pristine getaway for the whole family.
The state of Terengganu overlooks the South China Sea on the east side of Malaysia. A charming holiday destination, Terengganu has a stretch of beautiful beaches and even more spectacular islands. Popularly known as the ‘Land of Turtles’, many turtle species such as Olive Ridleys and Leatherbacks come to nest on its beaches each year. Like Kelantan, Terengganu has a strong Malay population, partaking in the same culture and traditions. Its people mostly live a peaceful life in coastal towns and fishing villages.
Today, many people head to Terengganu to escape the busy city life and participate in recreational and relaxation activities by the beach. It is this peace and serenity that Terengganu offers which draws crowds from all over the world. The eastern coast of Peninsular Malaysia is home to several scenic islands, like the popular Redang Island, Perhentian Kecil or Perhentian Besar to list a few.
Kuala Terengganu Sultan Mahmud Airport (TGG) has a number of flights daily from capital Kuala Lumpur. It's a two-hour drive from here to Kuala Besut, the usual jumping-off point for the Perhentian Islands. Alternative closest airport is KBR at Kota Bharu. There are also overnight buses from KL.
Many tourists come to Terengganu to go to islands like the Perhentians to swim and scuba dive, but the coast itself is beautiful and pleasant and dotted with peaceful villages (kampung in Malay), and Tasik Kenyir, a reservoir lake in Ulu (upriver) Terengganu, provides breath-taking panoramas.
One of the best ways to see the sights along the scenic Terengganu river is to hop on a river cruise and embark on a 45-minute sightseeing tour. Relish in the gentle breeze and the warmth of the sun as the cruise sails down the estuary where you get to witness the contrast of the old and modern development, and other landmarks or attractions.
The sandy white beach situated right outside Summer Bay Lang Island Resort on Lang Tengah Island is dotted with several beach benches, making it the perfect chilling spot to catch the spectacular sunset and make sand castles with family.
Checklist for a great family trip:
Adding fun in Family Travel
The buzzword for a great family trip is patience and planning.
As parents, one of the daily prayers that you should repeat during your travel is “Give me the serenity to accept the things I can’t control and wisdom to plan for the things I can”. While it may be a funny take on the serenity prayer, the truth is when you are travelling as a family, things will not go as you planned and the fun of a great holiday will be to take these unplanned things into your stride. So be patient, teach every family member to be patient and plan for your holiday in detail. Here are some handy tips that can add to the fun:
- Involve kids in planning: Even if the kids are small, talk to them about the holiday when you start planning. Let the older kids research and see what they would like to do. Explain the trip and daily itinerary during the travel. Talk to kids about the plan for the day and prepare them for what lies ahead
- Travel Light: This alone can make you break your trip. Travel absolutely light. This is the time to focus on experiences. Do keep books and games for kids to engage themselves: This will come in handy in those long periods of sitting in aircraft or waiting at the restaurant for food to arrive. Also carry some snacks and the basic medicines if travelling with small kids.
- Take proper travel insurance for the whole family: This is important. Please talk to your financial advisor to cover missed flights, lost luggage, emergency medical conditions and even evacuation if necessary.
- Pre-book everything you can: It will help you get in without getting into a line. And as any parent will tell you, that’s a huge relief. Arrive early at airports. Do the check-ins online: Not only will it give time for kids to settle down, it will also save you the last minute anxiety.
- For small kids, tag them with contact information. For older kids, make them memorise your phone number, hotel name and address.
- Have your kids carry their own bags: When you go through a checklist like this, it is easy to get exasperated seeing the number of things to carry. Share the load with kids who will be happy to have their own backpacks and trolleys. Let the older kids sit a few rows away from you: Your older kids will perhaps like it if they can sit independently and you too will feel relaxed.
- Make kids accept others’ choice of activity: Kids must respect and accept that other siblings and/or parents might want to visit a museum even if they don’t like it. Arrive at mutually agreed things to do.
- Use a Travel Card. It’s the easiest, safest way to carry foreign currency and you could even avail of discounts with it at your destination.
- Keep slack times in your schedules: Most people end up planning a minute-to-minute itinerary when they travel. With kids, this is a recipe for disaster. Make loose plans and keep some time for just relaxation. This will keep the kids calm.
- Don’t be anxious. Accept that something might go wrong. It is a part of travel.
News you can use
Events, festivals around the world and key announcements
- Songkran, Thailand – April 13 to April 15, 2019
- Coachella, California, USA - April 12 to April 21, 2019
- Bali Spirit Festival – March 24 to march 31, 2019
- Snowbombing, Austria – April 8 to April 13, 2019
- Las Fallas, Valencia, Spain – March 15 to March 20, 2019
- Starkbierfest, Munich, Germany – March 22 to March 31, 2019
- NokScoot, a Thailand-based Low-Cost Carrier (LCC), starts its first non-stop flight connecting New Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport and Bangkok Don Muang International Airport.
- Thailand has extended 'visa fee waiver' on Visa on Arrival (VoA) for Indians till April 30, 2019.
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