Advice on planning your family trip to Nepal
Some parents are more than happy to relax in a resort or beside a beach for a couple of weeks, drinking cocktails while the kids play around in the pool. There’s nothing wrong with this, of course, we all need to relax sometimes!
Other parents prefer to explore, however, showing their children a different culture and fuelling their sense of adventure. For this kind of family, there are few better destinations than Nepal.
In this guide, we’ll talk you through what to expect when you embark on your Nepal family holiday.
If you have any extra questions, or need some help planning your adventure, you can feel free to get in touch with our team.
The Nepalese People
Nepalis are known for their friendly nature and their humour, and are very family-orientated. If you travel to Nepal with children, you’ll be made to feel incredibly welcome and will doubtless make some new Nepali friends during your holiday.
Don’t be surprised if your hosts, hotel staff or even waiters take a shine and start interacting with your kids. This is very normal in Nepal.
You don’t have too much to worry about from the Nepali people – crime rates are low in Nepal and incidents with foreign children are very rare. The main concerns are the same as for adults, but there are steps you can take to minimise risk.
- Road accidents are quite common in Nepal. Taking flights or private transfers with a reputable provider can be a safer option than the bus.
- Hygiene standards are lower in Nepal, so bring hand sanitiser and use it regularly.
- Bring stomach settlers and any other medicine with you, in case your kids eat something new and don’t react well to it.
- Air pollution from the roads in Kathmandu is high, so bring face-masks for walking around busy parts of the city.
- Altitude sickness can affect kids too, so plan some time to acclimatise and read our Medical and Altitude Sickness guide. If you plan to trek, consider a shorter, lower altitude trail.
Where to stay
Hotels are usually very accommodating for families, and will go out of their way to make sure that your sleeping arrangements are suitable. Particularly in Kathmandu and Pokhara, many hotels have triple or four-bed rooms, along with decent WiFi and enclosed gardens or terraces. Away from the big cities, facilities are a bit more limited and you may need multiple rooms. If you book in advance, our team can request that your rooms are next to each other.
For something truly unique, we recommend spending a night or two at a Community Homestay. It’s not 5-star luxury, of course, but the experience of being welcomed into a Nepali home is something that will stay with your children forever. It’s a great way to learn about another culture and way of life, as well as supporting rural communities in poorer parts of the country.
What to eat
In Nepal, children generally eat as the adults do, with curries and dal bhats playing a big part in the average diet. The tastiest food is always what the locals are eating, but a lot of restaurants in Nepal will also have more western options like burgers or pizza on their menu. This is especially true in the cities, whilst in rural areas these options may not be available. You can always ask them to cook with fewer chillies if your child prefers milder flavours.
One traditional Nepalese dish which most kids will enjoy is momos. These dumplings come in various flavours and are usually a big hit with kids.
In terms of snacks, it’s safest to stick to unpeeled fruit or pre-packed goods. Just make sure you dispose of any packaging responsibly!
Activities and experiences
There is much for children to enjoy in Nepal, and it’s a chance to get away from their screens, connect with nature and experience a whole new culture. Even just strolling around the bazaars of Kathmandu can be an exciting and eye-opening experience for a youngster.
Here are a few suggestions to help inspire you;
- Take a rickshaw ride around Kathmandu or Pokhara. It’s a cheap and fun way to introduce yourselves to a city.
- Spend a night at a Community Homestay or take a cooking class. This is a great way for kids to get to know the Nepali people and culture, and they may learn something new at the same time.
- If you see Nepali kids playing football or some other game, encourage your child to join in! They’ll almost always be welcome.
- Chitwan National Park is very accessible and is home to species like rhinos, elephants and tigers. Most kids love their time in Chitwan, so consider including a few days here in your itinerary.
Trekking with children
Taking your kids trekking in Nepal can be a wonderful experience for you and for them, but it’s not for everyone. Long days, sore feet, altitude sickness and boredom can take their toll on a young trekker, and it’s not easy to quit once you’re 3 days into the mountains!
The good news is that there are hundreds of different trails in Nepal, suitable for all ages and abilities. If your kids are a little older then even famous trails like the Everest Base Camp trek are very achievable, but there are a number of shorter trails at lower altitudes which would be easier for youngsters.
Of course, you know your children better than anyone else, so it’s a good idea to discuss some options with an expert and find something suitable for your child’s interests and abilities.
Our team will be happy to help you choose a trekking experience that is right for your family, so feel free to get in touch!
Travelling to Nepal with a baby or toddler
Bringing very young children or babies to Nepal can be fun and make you a lot of friends, but you should be aware that the facilities you’re used to at home may be different or unavailable.
High-chairs in restaurants and baby-changing tables are not common in Nepal, whilst western brands of nappies or formula can be difficult to find or expensive. Make sure you bring what you need with you.
A travel cot is also a good idea, especially if you’re planning to go more basic or rural during your trip.
Breastfeeding in public is normal and acceptable in Nepal, so you can feel comfortable feeding your baby in most places.
Family Tours and Day trips
It can be difficult to know which tours are suitable for your kids, but you can always get in touch with our team for the best local advice about what you can do with your family in Nepal.
Nepalese Family Culture
Family is at the very core of Nepalese culture, with different generations often living side-by-side and supporting each other throughout their lives.
Nepal is a very traditional country with a largely patriarchal society, although the mother also has a great deal of authority within the family. Traditionally, the father will work away from the home, whilst the mother looks after the children and the household.
Practices such as arranged marriages still exist, but attitudes are increasingly influenced by Western values, particularly amongst younger people in urban areas. Female empowerment and the freedom to choose your own partners is increasingly normal in Nepalese culture.