Although few people consider the idea, bringing along children for a trekking vacation in Nepal can be a wonderful way to explore new cultures, see fantastic scenery and expand horizons at a young age. My husband and I went on a trekking expedition not so long ago and we were quite apprehensive about bringing the children, as they are quite young. Fortunately, after some thorough research and careful planning, we managed to have a great time, with the usual ups and downs that come along with a family holiday of course. Most children can adjust to the level of hiking each day, and, as long as you listen to the needs of your family members, both children and partners, you can modify the levels of exertion to a level that you and your family deems appropriate. There are plenty of ways to include children on a trek throughout Nepal, so embrace the adventure and embark on a journey that won’t soon be forgotten.
Here are a few tips that got us through our trek in one piece, and will definitely help you when planning your family trekking holiday:
Know Your Children: The most important thing to consider is the age of your children and how well they can handle a challenge. Some families have been hiking with the children from young ages, and in many cases at the age of 5 or 6, they are happy to spend time on their feet all day. Others are not used to it, and will require short hikes to get accustomed. Be sure to give children time to adjust to any altitude changes, or stick to hikes that remain at a low elevation.
Invest in Equipment: It is possible to bring children on many hikes as long as they have proper equipment. Hiking sandals for children ensure that there are no sore feet or blisters, and a hydration backpack for each member means that no parents need carry around several bottles of water. For very young children, consider baskets, carriers, or even small horses that can be led around with your child safely riding. All of this can make the trek easier on your child without taking away from the enjoyment.
Travel or Home Base: When trekking in Nepal, there are two ways to enjoy your time. You can opt for a home base, where you leave all your belongings in one location and return there each night. Or, you can hike from point to point, having porters carry your items from place to place. Both are fine options, although with very young children the option to return to a permanent base camp is often the more popular choice.
With the right equipment, a plan of action and an understanding of what your children can handle, a trekking vacation in Nepal can be the perfect family trip. I know that our family enjoyed the experience and we’ll definitely be trying out other types of treks as the kids get older!