Our top 5 picks for a well spent Dussehra vacation.

If you are a Bangalore based parent, then you know that October is bringing 10 – 12 days of mid-term break for the kids. Don’t freak out; we got you covered. Here is our Conde Nast approved top 5 holiday destinations for October. See a new place, make new friends and as they say travel is the best teacher. Go on, and you can thank us later.

1 BHUTAN
This beautiful kingdom in the Himalayas was in the news a few years ago for its ‘Gross National Happiness Index.’ This concept has governed the country for decades but only recently gained popular knowledge. Bhutan is however known for much more than its happiness index. A gorgeous landscape that is characterized by beautiful encounters with nature and mountains makes it a must for families who love an out of the ordinary experience. Short kid-friendly hikes, the fresh mountain air, and clear October skies helped it make its way to our list. Enjoy the fantastic museums in Paro. Encounters with the national animal of Bhutan – The Takin at the Jigme Dorgi National Park, and up close and personal with some beautiful handicrafts that are unique to the culture of Bhutan, are some things that will give you and your family a glimpse of an entirely different culture, and memories to cherish for a long time.

2 GALAPAGOS ISLANDS
If there was a place that looked like time has stopped, it is here. There is no other wildlife like this on earth. October is the best time to visit this beautiful paradise. The Galápagos is like an island from a fairy tale. Giant tortoises rub noses with baby seals. Beautiful birds in striking colors scold marine iguanas on their way to their daily sunbath. What sets this experience apart is that the wildlife has no fear of humans. There are no animals that are dangerous on this gorgeous landscape, so you can let your kids run and explore the treasures in every corner. There are family friendly cruises for primary and middle school kids where the guides tailor their interactions. Now with the advent of land-based tours children and adults alike can have the time and space to explore this island that time forgot.

3 MAURITIUS
Springtime is the best time to visit any place and in Mauritius that would be October, before the humidity of summer. It’s an ideal family vacation. Kids never tire of the pristine white sandy beaches and the crystal-clear waters. Undersea walks, submarine safaris and dolphin watching are just some of the fun adventures you can have with your family. Children would love to go snorkeling with the gorgeous marine life, and the beaches are perfect for long walks. A place teeming with multicultural accents, Port Louis, the capital, is a melting pot of cultures and languages. The locals speak Creole while French and English is also fluently spoken. If you want a vacation that has something for everyone, Mauritius, the jewel of the Indian Ocean, is the place to be.

4 SPAIN
Whether it is the Alcazar Castle which inspired the Walt Disney’s version of Sleeping Beauty’s castle or Dinópolis which is a dinosaur theme park, Spain has so much more to offer the family than just the Tomatina festival popularized in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. The beautiful beaches of Mediterranean Spain marked by sheltered coves and fun loving cuisine and culture. While inland Spain may not be on your list of child-friendly vacations, it is full of rising castles and flamboyant culture which will give the kids plenty of memorable experiences. Barcelona is by far the most kid-friendly city of Spain. Every bit of it suited to every mood. From theme parks to museums of every kind, it is the best place to give kids an exciting Spanish holiday!

5 VIETNAM
Few places will give your family a burst of culture and experience like Vietnam will. If you adore adventure of every kind, then this is undoubtedly the place to go. The beautiful capital of Hanoi boasts of the Temple of Literature and the Hoan Kiem Lake along with interesting culinary experiences. A cruise in the Ha Long Bay will have your family exploring caves and passing by ancient volcanic islands, while Sapa will give you a flavor of the famed rural beauty of this country. Vietnam is a country that is beautiful beyond words, and a must visit for those who want a dose of an entirely different culture.

There are plenty of options available to create your own tailor-made tour. Most operators give you options that will make your trip kid friendly. If you prefer offline operators here are a list of the top five in Bangalore:

  • SRS Travels, Rajajinagar
  • Global Wings Tours, Kammanahalli
  • Nirmala Travels, Basavanagudi
  • Kesari Tours, Cunningham Road
  • Cox & Kings, K H Road

Experimenting with cuisine and learning about other countries first hand is one of the best gifts you can give your family. They open the mind and the heart. Like someone wise once said, collect experiences not objects.

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