I am lucky that I had been in Kerala 2 times before the trip am going to elaborate here (my 3rd time in God’s own country) and the fun part is the 3rd one was with my entire family and a two years old toddler and special mention is Hubby was not part of the trip given he was (and is present) not in India and I was responsible for the entire tour plan! Family trips are always fun especially with the typical big fat Indian family and it turns to be a horrendous thing if with the grace of God you took the charge of managing the entire trip! This is what happened to me when I took charge of arranging everything for the Kerala Trip last year I took with my 2 years old daughter and my big fat family from my parents’ side! Loads of drama, loads of tantrums over the choice of food to the hotel to itinerary and we finally able to complete the trip without any hassle.
Since I was responsible for everything started from flight to accommodation I opted for a thorough research and to back through my previous experiences given the group was having people who are beyond 60 and was keen for a leisure trip and to cover as much as they can. I opted for an Itinerary as below and rented a tempo traveler for the entire trip. I found a great deal on Domestic Airlines and never looked back anywhere else. For food, given I am a foodie, I along with the family tried to explore local varieties as much as possible. Let me share the trip detail now:
Day 1: Arriving in Kochi (From Kolkata) and 1 Night stay at Kochi: We opted for a flight to reach Kochi and given my preference for Indigo I opted to choose a break flight option fro Kolkata to Trivandrum through Indigo Airlines. from Kolkata and upon reaching there I contacted the tempo traveler (which was already booked) to start the tour! We stayed Overnight at Hotel Fort Queen Kochi for which I found a great deal here. We have visited Kochi Fort, Mattancgery Palace, Jewish Synagogue, Chinese Fishing Nuts, Marine Drive etc and Opted for some beautiful local food there.
Day 2 and 3 and 2 Night stay at Munnar: Munnar is famous for the scenic beauty and is one of the best places I visited so far. We left Kochi next morning and it took us 4 hours to reach Munnar and we visited Vallara and Cheyyappara waterfalls on the way and stayed in Blue Bells Valley Resort Munnar for two nights. I opted for a spa in Munnar and it was mindboggling. Next day we have visited Eravikulam National Park, Tea Museum, Mattupatty Dam, Echo point, Kunadala Dam and Blossom Park in Munnar.
Day 4 at Thekkady: We left Munnar on the morning of day four and reached Thekkady after few hours and opted for Periyar Wild Life Sanctuary and Elephant Ride, ( not me; I was too scared for that) followed by a Spice Plantation visit and Shopping there. I purchased a good lot of spices from there which I am using till now at my place. In the evening we witnessed amazing Kathakali Show and local fight show there. We stayed at Grand Thekkady and it was an awesome hotel.
Day 5 at Alleppey: From Thekkady, we went to Alleppey and visited Vembanadu Lake and Beach and finally stayed overnight at the Pagoda Resorts Alleppey.
Day 6, 1 Night stay at Kumarakom Houseboat: Finally, we reached Kumarakom on the day five and that was the best part of the tour. We stayed there in a Houseboat overnight and enjoyed every bit of our journey starting from local food and loads of fried seafood and visit through the lake entire day. It was an experience of a lifetime to me. The Houseboat we opted for there is the famous Indraprastham Houseboat and it was a Deluxe package consisting of the entire houseboat, food, and trip through the lake along with an overnight stay at the houseboat.
Day 7 and 8 at Trivandrum: We reached to Kovalam from Kumarakom and stayed there at the Pappukutty Beach Resort Kovalam for two nights and opted for the sightseeing there including Padmanabhapuram Temple and beautiful Padmanabhapuram Palace and other places nearby Trivandrum and shopping. I was been there in Kovalam before and I found Trivandrum a perfect place for shopping Kerala suits and Saree. To finish the trip properly we went to the beautiful Kovalam beach and the experience was a lifetime…
Day 9: The tour ended there and we took a flight from Thiruvananthapuram to return back to Kolkata.
Few things to Consider!
- Try to have pack small packs of food if you are carrying a toddler.
- Plan well in advance and opt for hotel booking through online portals. Those are cheap as well as you may find several options there best on your budget.
- Same applies to flight or train booking.
- I strongly recommend booking a car based on the number of people for the entire trip to avoid unnecessary problems.
- Kerala is all about exploring nature; if possible try to avoid hurricane tour and just relax and enjoy the beauty.