We had already gone to Rajasthan a few years ago, when we were young and without children.
We wanted to introduce children to this country. Rajasthan is a shock. A shock of temperatures (30 degrees in February, up to 45 degrees in June, we were very hot!). A clash of cultures. A shock for the senses with very spicy gastronomic specialties, intoxicating smells of incense mixed with that of the rubbish strewing the streets. A shock but still a mad love for this country that we have already had the opportunity to discover several times.
Getting to Rajasthan is quite easy. The ideal is to land in New Delhi and then make a loop in Rajasthan. The flight between Paris and Delhi lasts 8h30 direct. You can find plane tickets for 500/600 euros return trip per person in high season.
I'm not going to hide from you that after spending a day in the dust of India, the smells of rubbish and the incessant noise of tuk-tuks, motorbikes, cars, trucks, you only want to is to find yourself in peace, in the cool water of a swimming pool with a blue background.
We have therefore essentially reserved our accommodation on Booking, only hotels with charm. We have also experienced more confidential rentals via Airbnb, particularly in New Delhi in the Hauz khas district. Our favorite hotels remain the Amet Haveli in Udaipur, an oasis of calm in the middle of the tumultuous Udaipur, the Ajit Bhawan in Jodhpur or Narlai lost in the middle of the Indian countryside.
There are many cities in Rajasthan that are worth a stop:New Delhi, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Agra (Taj Mahal)… To travel in Rajasthan, I advise you to mix trips by train and car (with driver, do not you certainly do not venture to drive alone in India). To find a car with driver you can organize your tour from France with a travel agency or ask the hotel where you are staying to do it for you. For example we asked the day before for the next day at Ajit Bhawan in Jodhpur to organize our trip to Udaipur with a night in Narlai. The car with driver was charged to us the equivalent of 45 euros per day. We didn't try to negotiate, the price seemed right to us and the service offered by the driver was particularly excellent.
The train in India is an essential mode of travel. The train in India, it is lived. Stations are real anthills where everything is well organized but where you have to find your place between cows, monkeys, carts, tea vendors and other peddlers. It is easy to find your train, it is less certain that it leaves on time and arrives on time. On trains, you can order a meal tray when you arrive in your compartment for a few euros and street vendors pass by to offer you cakes, crisps or chai. Hygiene is basic, I advise you to provide handkerchiefs and wipes, with children it is useful and allows you to refresh yourself before nightfall. There are sheets and blankets in 1st class. And don't be surprised, even in 1st class, to be woken up by a rat crossing your bunk... It's part of the adventure! The difficulty comes mainly from reserving your train ticket. It was possible to do it from abroad a few years ago very easily. But since 2012, the system has changed and when we wanted to do it it became very complicated, we had to validate our ticket via a contact in India. It is possible to book your train ticket on the spot but you can also be put on the waiting list and not have a place on the day of your departure. In short, the ideal is to find you a friend who lives in India to find your train tickets!
We try as much as possible to pack light when we travel. We have 2 backpacks of 60 and 50 Liters as well as lighter backpacks. We are looking for comfortable, lightweight clothes that dry easily. We realize during our travels that 2-3 outfits per person are more than enough.
It is often all of these clothes that we put on to leave, comfortable on the plane, they are then used for cooler mornings or to protect ourselves from mosquitoes in the evening)
To wash the clothes, we do it as we go with our bar soap.
For the ideal medicine kit and the essentials when traveling with children, I invite you to read my more complete article on the subject:the checklist of the suitcase for children when traveling.
In terms of food, it is very very spicy in India. Even the least spicy dish for them is already too spicy for us. At home, we are used to eating spicy, the girls too. They were able to taste a little of the dishes but most of the time they ate rice and pancakes (all you can eat naans, rotis, chapatis, etc.), some fruit bought from street vendors (apple, grapes, etc.) and lassi (a kind liquid yogurt). Indian cuisine is very varied and the flavors very rich. We have rediscovered the taste of certain vegetables such as cauliflower or eggplant. Vegetarian dishes are very present, for a question of religion but also of cost. We only drank bottled water and boiled meals to avoid any intestinal discomfort.
I invite you to discover or re-discover our articles on Rajasthan and Kerala to extend the trip!