Children & Their Happiest Travel Memories!
Children & Their Happiest Travel Memories!
“We’re going where the sun shines brightly, we’re going where the sea is blue, we’ve seen it in the movies, now let’s see if it’s true!..”
Cliff Richard sang the ever popular number ‘Summer Holiday’ more than 60 years ago. Today, in spite of the world becoming a much smaller place thanks to technology, vacations are treasured even more. Especially, when it involves the whole family and kids.
But children, though flexible, can be hard to please. Roshni Mitra spoke to 11 kids aged between 7 and 15 in an attempt to bring forth their favorite vacation memories, and figure out what made them a soaring success!
Rahul Cannivady; Age 7
Favourite Holiday: Shimla for the amazing views & the zipline adventure!
I like to explore vibrant cities that have many places and things to see and do. As far as I can remember, my favourite trip was the one that I took with my mom and dad to Shimla. While it is pretty and peaceful with wonderful views, Shimla also has plenty of stores, restaurants and people.
Besides, our resort in Shimla had a big gaming zone in its basement with many fun rides and activities. So the days were spent sightseeing and exploring nature, and the evenings were reserved for the arcade. My dad and I, especially, had a blast during this time, while mom got her much deserved nap time!
I remember the trip very fondly also because this was the first time I tried ziplining. I was extremely scared to be just thrown off a height, but my mom kept persuading me to give it a shot. Eventually, she was the one who screamed her lungs (in sheer excitement), while I was quite cool about it. I would love to zipline again, anytime!
Aarinie Pradhan; Age 8
Favourite Holiday: Switzerland, for the stunning views & chocolates!
I love to build sandcastles and gorge on yummy sea food, so yes I am more of a water baby. But one of my cherished vacation memories is when daddy, mamma and I went to Switzerland. It was a truckload of fun with all the snow and lovely views.
My trip to the Chocolate Factory was a special highlight! Like all kids, I love chocolates and it was awesome to see the ingredients that go into the making of one. The aroma was heady and of course, we got to taste a fair bit, and I carried plenty back home.
The one thing I could do less of on holidays is posing for selfies, but daddy loves clicking them all the time! Actually I was glad about it this once, because we now have so many photographs of that amazing trip. I also love to sketch moments and sceneries from special vacations.
Agneyo Das; Age 9
Favourite Holiday: Dooars Forest in West Bengal, for close encounters with the wildlife
I love taking breaks from my school routine, and wish for holidays to go on forever. While I find mountains beautiful for the cool weather and stunning views, I love forests because of the wildlife!
My visit to the Dooars forest region in West Bengal with family and friends remains a favourite because of the calming natural harmony all around, and a scope to see wildlife in its natural habitat. The highlight was the early morning elephant ride at Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary, where we managed to spot the speciality: the one-horned rhinoceros, along with many other animals!
Dooars is dotted with brooks and surrounded by mountains. I would’ve loved to roam around a bit more, and explore the deep interiors of the forests, but couldn’t as jungles come with their fair share of rules. For holidays, I love to carry books and a book-light to read one late in the night, and it gave me a special thrill to do so in the heart of the jungle!
Aksharaa Korrakuti; Age 9
Favourite Holiday: London for museums, observatories, gardens, & the Warner Bros Studio!
Forests and mountains always attract me with their beautiful views, breeze, peace and greenery. I experienced a lot of this and more in London recently, and it easily rates as my favourite holiday till date. This was my first vacation abroad and though we did a lot more errands than we do at home, it was a remarkable holiday!
London was full of history and legends of Kings and Queens, and that truly fascinated me. Of course, I am a total Harry Potter fan, and have read all the books and seen all the Potter films! Naturally, one of the highlights of the trip had to be our visit to Harry Potter Land – at the Warner Bros Studio, complete with the Hogwarts Express and so much more. The studio made the Potter world come alive! Actually each day in London was great with visits to museums, observatories, gardens, musicals, interesting restaurants and stores.
Avanti Biswas; Age 10
Favourite Holiday: Udaipur, Rajasthan for its fascinating history
While I love beaches, for longer vacations, we often go to the hills or historical places. Sometimes, we travel with extended family – grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins and I have invariably enjoyed these expeditions.
One of my favourite trips was to Udaipur, in Rajasthan. I am fascinated by history and Udaipur is filled with it in all its crooked streets, havelis, temples and forts. I especially loved the City Palace and Lake Pichola. Apart from the sight-seeing, I enjoyed our stay at the cosy, haveli style resort. There was a turtle in the lawn, and my cousin and I had a lot of fun observing it and clicking its pictures. I don’t like to be woken up very early even on a vacation, but sometimes our itinerary needed us to be up by the crack of dawn. Udaipur, I am happy to report, came with no such constraints!
Aviv Lamech-Kalambi; Age 11
Favourite Holiday: Thailand for its beaches & delicious food
As a family, we seem to be on the move pretty frequently, shifting homes and also cities! We also travel frequently, mostly with parents, but my sister and I have vacationed separately with my grandparents as well and it’s always been good fun!
I still remember my Thailand vacation and would rate it as one of the best I have had so far, even though I was not too well for a part of it. I especially remember the beach, and the resort next to it where we stayed. Once we would have our fill of the beach, we would gravitate towards the swimming pool of the resort and splash around some more! I loved the variety of delicious sushi we had in Thailand. And I also recall the street food there, especially the yummy sausages. We also enjoyed our visit to Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum, Million Year Stone Park and Underwater World, all of which are a treasure trove of fascinating facts on wildlife, marine life and more.
Anagha Giri; Age 12
Favourite Holiday: Kanha wildlife sanctuary, for its majestic tigers
As a family, we love jungles. Now, there are too many things going against this — getting up at 5am for the safari and packing in light and warm clothes (forests tend to be nippy in the mornings and hot in the afternoons). And then we often travel by road, which is fine but I wish we didn’t cover 300kms in a day!
Post my trip to the Kanha wildlife sanctuary, I can’t complain! Kanha is famous for the Royal Bengal Tigers, count yourself lucky to spot one. Well, they did grace us with their presence and how! We came across a tiger on the first day itself, drinking water from a rivulet. He struck a pose, roamed around and short of doing cartwheels, showed off his entire repertoire. The second day was even better as we came across tiger named Rajaram. He was at a distance of 3 feet from our jeep, and it was exhilarating and nerve-wrecking at the same time. We recorded him crossing the path on video and later on noticed dried purple blood on his body. I am working on my photography skills big time after this!
Angad Bawa; Age 13
Favourite Holiday: Road trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco
When I was very young, I did a lot of sea cruises because my father is in the shipping industry, and used to sail a lot. However, I prefer air travel now, it’s faster and there is the added bonus of watching a movie! One of my most treasured holidays, though, involves a really cool road trip – the one we undertook from Los Angeles to San Francisco.
On a holiday, your parents and you might have different ideas on sights to see, mementos to bring back home, and when to go in for a particular activity. But on this road trip, we were in complete unison! To begin with, the scenery was splendid. And I remember stopping by this location, where there was an arid desert on one side and a forest cover on the other. The Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz, California is another place that amazed us. It’s a gravity hill that creates visual illusions of height and orientation, and we did a little tour to explore this phenomenon. The perfect blend of geography, science and family time made this a memorable ride.
Dhruv Kulgod; Age 13
Favourite Holiday: His last trip to London
Over the years, I have gone from loving the mountains and forests to soaking up whatever new experiences a vacation throws up. So, my favourite vacation is invariably the last trip I went for. In this case, it would be London! But really, each vacation has tonnes of different highlights.
It would perhaps be easier to say what holidays ‘shouldn’t’ be about. Activities wise, I like it to be somewhere in between jam-packed and lazying all day. For instance, we did a lot of water-sports in Goa once: kayaking, banana boat ride and the works, but the next day was about reading the book I brought along. And then, there’s shopping! Although my mom says she hates shopping, my dad says we shop because of mom. So we end up doing a fair bit. Of course, I am not complaining!
My ideal trip would be about a week and a half long to truly recuperate. While I have never made a scrapbook of my travels, I am getting acquainted with photography more closely, to treasure the moods and moments once you are back.
Isha Sinha; Age 13
Favourite Holiday: Ireland for its beauty & quaint little towns
We zero in on our annual summer vacation from much ahead, and meticulous research and planning is an inevitable part of it. So while each vacation has been good, my trip to Killarney in Ireland remains a favourite. People talk of mountains and beaches, but quaint little towns are what I love to visit. And Killarney, which skirts lake Lough Leane is so quiet, laid-back, rustic, and breathtakingly beautiful.
I am a picky eater, and sometimes that leads to a difference of opinion while travelling. At Killarney, the Irish food was scrumptious. In any case, we had hired a lovely place with family friends and used to prepare dinner together — simple and yummy.
While gearing up for my trip to Killarney, I had read about this patisserie, which is famed for baking the best carrot cake in the world! I had forgotten about it while there, but as luck would have it, we came across it, when we were lost one evening and trying to find our way back. Holidays should be like that, it should just fit in beautifully.
Raka Banerjee; Age 15
Over the past few years, I have had the privilege of going for two types of vacations — one with my family, of course, and school trips. It’s difficult to choose from amongst them because each one has been memorable in different ways.
The school trips with classmates and teachers, came with tour guides and a fixed itinerary, so one got to absorb a lot of information. For instance, I remember going to the Indira Gandhi Canal Project on a trip to Rajasthan, which I doubt I would have visited with my parents!
Once my parents and I go to a place, what we do there becomes a joint decision. For instance, when we went to the West Coast of US, we fit in Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, the Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory in SFO and more, based on what each of us wanted from the trip. In Shimla, I wanted to go horse riding, but my parents were tired, and talked me out of it that day. I got my wish the next day, though, as they took out time since I was so keen on it.
As with other things in life, when it comes to holidays, it’s different strokes for different folks, ermm kids. The one thing that resonated while speaking to all the young ones was the joy of bonding with their families in stress-free environs. A place where parents were far from the exhausted adults they get to see, where mornings meant waking up to bird calls rather than an alarm clock, and where everything they read about in the books came alive!
About The Author
Having grown up in different parts of India, the nomadic spirit burns bright in Roshni, though rootedness is what she overtly likes. As a communications professional, Roshni loves to write (with her pet cat providing the Persian rug feel atop her foot as she types on). Reading, eating, travelling, and having her mind ignited by fresh, new ideas (though she may not necessarily implement them) are her other passions. She can’t swim but her current motto is, ‘Keep swimming, keep swimming, keep swimming.’